One Year Blogiversary

One year ago today I published the first post on my blog. For many moons before that day I had been a homeless blogger. I visited sites, read posts, commented on a few—but I had no blog or site of my own.

My writing life had long been a private, secretive endeavor. I never felt comfortable sharing my writing experiences with other people, even other writers. I never felt up to par or worthy of the title “Writer.”

courtesy of inkpunks.com

When I decided I wanted to be a published author, I knew I was setting myself up for trouble. It meant sharing my work with others. This did not bode well for me, and I resisted making those connections for a long time.

But writing is my calling, and it is something I have tried to ignore but failed. Failed miserably. When I started lurking through writing blogs and reading what other writers were doing, I was envious. I felt like a kid who got chicken pox on Halloween and couldn’t go out to trick-or-treat.

google images YourKidsEd.com

Becoming part of a blogging community was one of the best decisions I ever made. I suddenly felt like I belonged, and that’s not easy for an introvert with low self-confidence. Even though writing is mostly a solitary act, the end result is anything but.  Blogging turned out to be great practice for the time when I was ready to go back to querying my novel.

4amWriter wouldn’t have lasted this long if it weren’t for the people who read my posts once—and then came back to read again. Even though I have a short story published in The Greensilk Journal (definitely a proud moment), I get just as much pride and thrill when I publish my blog posts. Knowing that the words I wrote will be out there for anyone to read, should they choose. It’s really a fascinating feeling.

courtesy of Nan Rinella

There are a few bloggers that need to be mentioned in this post. While I adore and appreciate all of my readers, there are some that have stood the test of time, and for that I am eternally grateful.

MY FIRST 5 FOLLOWERS

These bloggers all found me before I even turned a month old. And they are still devoted followers and commenters:

Fandina

Fredrik 

Christy

Kim

Nancy

MY TOP 5 COMMENTERS

These bloggers have commented on every post I wrote since the first day they started following my blog. I know I can always depend on them to swing by, read my stuff, engage in the conversation. Of course, now that I have announced their names, there is the pressure on them to continue that trend. ;)

Loony Literature

JM McDowell

LimebirdBeth

Vanessa Chapman

Mayumi

So, it’s been a great opening year for 4amWriter. I have enjoyed what I have learned, the people I have met, the ideas that have sparked. Thanks again to everyone who has helped make this possible. Virtual hugs and Black Forest Pudding Cake all around.

A side note: As most of you are aware, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo in a few days. This blog will likely be on the quiet side for the month of November. But I’ll be posting NaNo-related articles at Limebird Writers. So, if you need a 4am fix, look up Limebirdkate.

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98 thoughts on “One Year Blogiversary

  1. Congrats … but ….

    and this is sooo eerie:

    I started my blog on 26 October 2011. That’s seriously freaky. I’m so glad we made it together. Unlike you, I forgot about my anniversary until the day later.

    Keep going until you reach your goal. You haven’t failed. You’re on your path to success, so don’t stop now.

    • Neat! I had no idea your blog was only a year old, Rebecca. I honestly thought, from the looks of your blog and how well you’re doing with it, that you had been around longer. Happy Blogiversary to you, too.

  2. Happy Blogiversary, Kate! :) And here’s another in our string of cosmic coincidences—mine is coming up on Halloween! It’s the topic of next Saturday’s post for me.

    Like you, I’ve learned that sharing this writing journey is a lot more fun than going it alone. And if I succeed in publishing any books, that sharing will be the big reason behind it. Support, encouragement, and help from fellow writers like you are helping me to improve my writing and hopefully to take it to the level needed to be good. :)

    Best wishes for NaNo, and I think my November posts will include some cheerleading for you and the other participants!

    • *Cue theme music to Twilight Zone*

      Blogging is a strange animal in this way. I didn’t think I’d like it at all, nor that I’d look forward to engaging with people over cybersphere. And I agree with you about how fellow bloggers have aided the writing/publishing journey. This is where I get the most support for my writing and everything involved with it. Makes you wonder what writers did before blogs? Kind of like what people did before cell phones?

      Thanks for the good NaNo wishes. I’ll look forward to your cheerleading posts. :)

  3. Congratulations on your first blog year! The Web’s been a much warmer, friendlier place since you’ve joined in, with your own voice. :)

    Now, I have to say I can’t believe that low self-esteem comment of yours. That’s all in your head, Kate, because you write lovely, passionate stuff. Even your simple conservation and ecological awareness posts have more oomph! to them than I see in most journals and stories.

    What I love about 4amWriter is that you engage people. Rather than just posting your thoughts or short stories willy-nilly, you get your readers motivated: to think, to act, and to keep your good vibe going.

    Hope you’ve had as good a blogging year as you’ve given the rest of us! :D

    • Hi Mayumi, you are very sweet to say that. Thank you. But it’s people like you, genuine, open, friendly people, who have helped me squeeze out of my shell. I truly am someone who doesn’t have a lot of self-esteem. It’s easier to sound confident behind a web of words than it is to be in a face-to-face situation. That is probably why I am a writer, actually. It’s the easiest, safest way for me to communicate.

      Wow, you’re just brimming wth lovely compliments. I can’t handle it! :) I truly enjoy a multi-dimensional discussion, where people can bounce ideas off of each other and learn from each other, and help each other.

      I am a huge supporter of approaching an issue or a problem or a question with a variety of methods and suggestions and visions. That’s probably why I don’t post a lot of my own creative writing or thoughts on here, because those would be fairly limited and not conducive to conversations.

      I have grown and changed a lot in this year of blogging. I could have written so much more about that aspect of 4amWriter, but I try to keep my posts under 700 words, lol. I can always blog about that another time.

      Thanks again for your awesome comment!

    • Thanks, Carrie. Aww, that’s sweet. I love hearing that my blog is enjoyable. It’s hard sometimes, knowing that every week we are writing for the public and hoping that we’re interesting and engaging and entertaining. Some weeks are better than others, and we have to let the not-so-wonderful posts go. But I do try to focus on the ones that resonated with people or that helped me get to the next step in my journey.

      Thanks for swinging by. :)

      • Yes, sometimes I look back and think, “Did I really post that?” In fact, I’m planning a blog post along those lines. Hopefully, it won’t be one I’ll look back on later and wonder what I was thinking… ;)

    • Hey Britt, wow. Thanks. That’s a really nice thing to say. :) I love hearing that people enjoy visiting my blog, and my main goal was to become a part of a community rather than just showcase my stuff. I’m super glad to have made all of these awesome connections.

      Thanks for swinging by. :)

  4. We’re all so in tune with each other aren’t we, just yesterday I was thinking that you hadn’t posted for a while, and here you are posting today, and here I am commenting, as one of your most regular and consistent commenters ;) Thanks for the shout out!

    Really excited to be doing NaNo with you and the others this year, I’m not sure I’m going to have much blogging time in November either.

    Congrats on everything you’ve achieved so far, and here’s to the future!

    • Hi Vanessa, I’m wondering if something is up with a post I put up last week–because a few of my regular commenters said they didn’t get it in their email notifications. I’m thinking WP was doing something weird that day. Did you ever see it? I’m mainly just curious, because I think it’s strange if it happened to a whole bunch of people.

      I’m getting really excited about NaNo, too. I usually stress out with things like this, but after having done it a couple of times I think I’ll find my groove fairly easily. If I blog at all, it’s going to be short and sweet and straight to the point. :) But I do hope to keep up with everyone elses’ posts. I’m depending on fellow bloggers to keep me relatively sane.

      Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa!

      • Oh no, I didn’t see that one – I just went to look at your previous post when I saw your comment here and that was the first time I saw it! How strange. I rely on email notifications for the blogs I regularly interact with, I don’t often look at the reader.

      • Me too. I don’t ever use the reader. I always go by my emails; it’s easier to keep track of who I have read or haven’t read. Yeah, JM and Anne Woodman said they didn’t get emails for that particular post. Quite strange…

  5. Happy Blogoversary Kate! I agree that blogging can be a great way to not only share the journey and feel like part of something, but also to acclimatize to sharing our work. Even if the blog doesn’t include samples of writing all the time, it’s still the act of writing and sharing it, of putting our thoughts and ideas out there where they’re exposed to others. That can be a big, scary thing for many, so this is a good way to get started on that.

    You’ve done a wonderful job here, and I always look forward to your posts. While I may not always comment (unless I feel like I have something to add to the discussion), I smile when I see an email come in telling me you’ve posted another entry and read them every time.

    As always, looking forward to your next post, and to going through NaNo together. :)

    • Hi Julie — blogging really has helped boost my confidence with sharing my written words.

      Thank you for your kind words. I know how difficult it is to comment on all posts that come through, and I think it is getting more difficult as we grow and build our blogs.

      I have a group of followers who are followers of others that I follow, and I consider us a core group. Even though I may not hear from that core group on all of my posts, I still know they’re there. Kind of like the old friends you grew up with who you may not hear from all the time but you know you’re always good friends. You’re one of them, in my book. :)

      • Thank you *blushes*

        The feeling is most definitely mutual. And I love the analogy with old friends, as I’ve been that way with some of my friends both past and present. They’re the sort that you know you can reach out to any time, even if you haven’t spoken in weeks or months. You know they’ll be there though, and that you’d be there for them, positions reversed. The best kind, really, who you can count on always. :)

  6. I’m so glad that you stepped out and shared your work with the world. You’ve been a great help to me over this past year. Keep up the great work.

    FYI, I also did not receive your last post (NaNoWriMo). I get your posts via Google Reader and never saw one that mentioned you signing up for NaNo. I’ve signed up for it, too, so it should be an exciting month.

    • Hi Darla, thank you for your kind words. It’s really heartening to know that we’re doing something productive with our blogs. :)

      How strange about that post. I wonder what happened. Maybe when I get a spare 15 minutes I’ll take a look at my settings. Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Congratulations on your blogoversary, Kate! Keep up the great work and good luck with NaNoWriMo. We’re rooting for you. ;-)

  8. All I can say is that I am so glad that you did start to share your writing with the world as I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. Good luck with the NaNoWriMo – I am so behind the times, I have no idea what it is, I will now look it up. Keep writng – it means a lot to us.

    • Hey loony,

      Haha, that’s okay that you don’t know what NaNo is. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to look it up and become tempted! There is still time to join in… :)

      And thank you for being one of my top commenters, your support helps keep me writing. :)

  9. Happy Blogiversary Kate! I relate to it all–the anonymity, the fear–but I’m so glad to have “met” people like you! I wish you much success. :)

    • Hi Dennis,

      I really appreciate you saying that. Knowing I am supporting other writers is important to me. It’s my purpose of blogging, and ultimately, writing in general. Thanks for your support, too!

  10. Yeah! What an accomplishment Kate! I love the mark of a new year. Who knows what this next one might hold! I’ve had some similar struggles about sharing my writing and how my community of readers has given me confidence. Thanks for commenting on my blog and I hope there are many successes to report in the new blog year. Congratulations!

    • Thanks so much, Bob. The first year could have been a dismal one for sure, but I feel really lucky to have found a great network of writers and readers. I enjoy your blog, and I’m happy to have found it. :)

  11. Happy Anniversary! I’m glad we’ve been able to meet this way. Your voice really resonates with me – I think we have a lot in common (and not just English setters)! Hope you have fun with the NaNo craziness!

    • Hey Sheila,

      Thank you so much. I feel the same way about you, too. I always smile when I get a notification that you’ve posted something. So far, I am having fun with NaNo, but it does help to be a little on the loony side. :)

  12. Congrats on your one year blogiversary! :) How sweet of you to thank you tops commenters and first followers. That’s what makes you such a delightful blog to visit–your generous and kind spirit!

    • Hi Kourtney, I honestly believe that the support of this blogging community has helped me stick to the public side of writing. And I love visiting other blogs to hear how everyone else manages this part of writing. Thanks for your kind words, Kourtney. :)

  13. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Seems like just months ago I was browsing through WordPress for something interesting to read when I found you. Since then you’ve constantly delivered quality work and interesting reads. I feel honored to be one of your readers and I will keep coming for the next fifty years! :D Happy anniversary.

    • Well, Fredrik, it’s true. :) Thank you so much for your continued support and regular comments. That has always meant a lot to me. I feel the same way about your blog, and look forward to seeing your book on my shelf one day. :)

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  15. Congrats! And thank goodness you let go of those fears and kept going. My daughter and I were new and not so long ago. And you were one of our very first commenters on our blog. I can remember the feeling. Someone took the time to read. Someone cared. You gave back. Funny enough, the post, Blog Envy written in a humorous tone to hide the fears of, whether we were good enough or were doing it right. You came in and left a sweet comment, on how nice our blog looked. Giving back to the same community you entered with reservations and fears. So, thank you. By the way, I didn’t know you had a short, short published, so congrats on that as well! Just clicked on the link in your post. Looking forward to reading. And here’s to a many more years of 4 am writer!

    • Oh my goodness, I totally remember your blog! But I’m concerned now because I’m suddenly realizing that I don’t receive notifications of your blog posts anymore…hmm. I’m going to have to look into that. It might take me a small while before I check on it (because of NaNo), but I’m jotting this down on my to-do list…

      Anywho, I totally know what you mean about blog envy and the feeling of insecurity. But once we push through all of that, it does get easier and actually gets to be a lot of fun!

      How is NaNo going for you?

  16. I appreciate what you share about yourself here. I know it’s important for me to be honest with myself about what’s holding me back whenever I find that my creativity is stagnant — usually I am imagining people making really snide and hateful comments — and realizing that this is what I’m concerned about can actually have me laugh about it a bit and put my concerns in perspective.

    • Hi Chris, I know exactly what you mean about worrying what other people might think or say. That’s the type of thing that held me back for a long time, too. And you’re right, laughing about it does help pop things back into perspective. Thanks for commenting.

  17. Pingback: Go Ahead, Make a Blogger’s Day | 4amWriter

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