Last Thanksgiving Day I started blogging.
I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far at all. I wasn’t sure how often I wanted to post, how long I wanted my posts to be, what subjects I’d explore.
I wanted to always have a few pieces written ahead, so I could spend some time honing them before they went live.
And mostly I wanted to get into the habit of writing regularly, proving to myself that the books I feel I have in me could become a reality, that I have the stamina to work steadily at this thing that is not a chore, that I have loved since before I could read or write.
This thing I was made to do.
So I want to offer my sincere thanks to every person who has read any of my blog posts.
I’m not sure I can tell you how encouraging it is just to be read!
I started writing as soon as I could as a child. The other day I came across what my mom always said was one of my first masterpieces at about 3: a toilet lid cover on which I printed my formal name – Rebecca – with my mom’s lipstick. It never did wash out.
At about four years old I could spend hours going through school textbooks bigger kids gave me to “read” and circle every word I knew. Mostly “a”, “an”, “and”, and “the”. I recited a book to my first-grade class that my teacher thought I was reading, but I had memorized it from hearing it so much.
And by third grade I was finally published. My teacher mimeographed my story, “Sally and Her Horse”, and passed the beautiful purple pages out to the whole third grade! Thank you, Mrs. Brinker, for launching my career at the age of eight. My first book is going to be dedicated to you.
Has the blog been a success?
I feel like that’s a question some people may ask. I’m not a person who is driven by winning. I’m very competitive, but I love the doing of a thing while racing others or trying to produce the best thing I can for the excitement of the doing. I’m not focused around being the winner.
So success for me isn’t defined by how many people follow or read regularly. It’s more about, did I put forth my best effort? Did I dig deep and try to get to the heart of whatever I’m writing about? Did I say it in a way that entertained or enlightened or provoked thought in someone else?
Those aren’t things I can quantify. I can’t count the “Aha!” moments or the healing tears someone else was finally able to cry. I will probably never know if any of you have felt led to lift your face and cry out to God because something I wrote stirred a longing for more inside you.
But if I could, those would be the statistics that would bring me the most satisfaction. Because my goal is to help others not be afraid to face their own feelings by reading about some woman facing hers.
For those of you who like data, here are some of the things that can be numbered over my first year of blogging.
I’ve posted 55 times. That’s since November 22, 2018. One a week, with a double post during one week in January 2019.
So far I have 14 categories that I parcel out my thoughts into. There could have been a lot more, but I didn’t want to get too detailed.
I have 12 followers on WordPress (my blog home) and email, 83 on Facebook, and 1 on twitter.
I know, not high numbers. I sometimes get jealous when I hear of friends who launch something online and end up with a thousand followers before they know it. But I have to ask myself if large numbers are my goal, or if touching one person a week is worth it.
Speaking of that, I don’t get many comments or likes, but that’s ok with me. I don’t “like” everything I read on social media either. You’ll never find me sending along anything that requires you to type “Amen” and like, or send on to 10 of your friends.
But responses are appreciated when they happen.
My blog has been seen by 804 visitors over the past year, and they have looked at 1,220 posts. That’s an average of 22 views per post. I like that when someone comes by to read, they will browse a little and read a second post. Or more. Please feel free to do that as much as you’d like. That’s what they are there for.
My average words per post is 1,004. I don’t know if that’s a good number, but it’s about how much I need to round out a train of thought each week. No one has ever commented that they are too long or too short. And the one double issue was because I needed to tell a whole story and didn’t want to leave anyone hanging for a week. And it couldn’t be said in 1,000 words.
Most of my readers are in the United States where I live. But I have been tickled to find that 97 times people in 16 other countries have stopped by to see what’s up. As the child of very mission-minded parents, that’s something I’m proud of, that people in other countries can read my thoughts, can see what God is doing in my life.
And looking forward, I plan to keep on writing and posting once a week.
Because I didn’t run out of stories to tell. (That was a real fear at first.)
And though I am not mainly about reaching milestones of how many views and followers and likes, I am about reaching people. So I would like to ask a little favor of you who drop in from time to time and like what you read.
Please share it with others.
I’m not going to imagine all the ways you could do that. But I’ll make a couple suggestions.
If you read a blog and really like it, feel free to repost it to your friends. I make my blogs public so that they can be spread, and you have my permission to pass them on, especially if you think someone would enjoy or benefit from them.
If you’ve ever enjoyed one, take a minute to visit the site and look through the categories and maybe catch a couple more related ones that you missed. They are there to be read, anytime.
And if I quote a scripture or a song and it speaks to you, pass that on to someone else who needs it as well.
Because our stories aren’t just ours to savor and relive in our own minds. They are to share, to connect with others that we may never meet in this life.
But we weren’t made just for this life.
Thanks for being a part of faceliftbook on my site at haasmom.blog.
I wrote it just for you.