Milestone Marker: 1 Year

As of today, this blog has been alive for ONE WHOLE YEAR!

kermit-yay-flail_2745106_GIFSoup.com

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!
(courtesy of GIFsSoup.com)

When I opened this baby up for business, I had a couple of goals in mind. Just so you don’t have to go find them yourself, I’m going to list them here.

Purpose:

I think a blog could be a good exercise in keeping things concise, for working on my actual writing skills, and in finding my voice.

And how has that been working for me? Well, I edit as I write now. When I started this whole shebang, I wrote pages and pages of stuff and had to edit it down to a much smaller piece. It was tedious and painful and because I only have small windows of time in which to write, I had to find a way to become more efficient so I could get more done. Turns out, being able to figure what’s going to get cut in advance helps a ton. Why didn’t I have this skill earlier in life? It would have helped me immensely in school.

As for my writing skills…well, I suppose readers would be a better judge, but…no, I don’t think I’m becoming a better writer. In fact, I think the opposite is happening. I’m becoming a faster writer, a more thoughtful-of-the-process writer but I think I’m backsliding when it comes to the actual telling a story aspect. Because I’m so busy zipping through and not pouring everything out onto the page, I don’t get to uncover the little gems I like best in my own writing. There’s less drama, true, but also missing are those wonderful little quips that fall out when I’m writing to tell a story. Writing to keep to my goal creates a totally different style, one that’s not so great, actually. Honestly, while I like the structure of making sure I have a post up every week, I don’t enjoy the actual writing so much anymore. It’s so boring.

And finding my voice? No, I’m not finding my voice. Do I even have a voice? I don’t know. But it’s not showing up here. So I’ve taken to writing in my diary when I can and working on stories in those rare moments I have nothing else I need to do. Maybe my writing style and my voice will show up there.

These were my stated goals:

1. Post once a week.

You know? I’ve been pretty damn good about this. I skipped one week and I slapped together a couple of pretty weak posts when I couldn’t think of anything else to write but hadn’t finished editing any of the drafts in the hopper. But there is something there for every week and that is actually impressive. Good job, me!

2. Post only on the following topics:
My Adventures to include those that happen in my own backyard or while I’m housesitting as well as adventures abroad
-Tales from Toiletopia. A few people already know this: I LOVE toilet stories. I have great ones and I enjoy those told to me by others. Potty humor just cracks me up! Because I am a 12-year-old boy, apparently.
-My journey to writerhood. I don’t imagine there will actually be too many posts about this topic, but you never know. Crazier things have happened.
-My Dearly Beloveds. All the fun stuff about friends, family, and my cats or any future critters who join our circus.
-My Phenomenal Fake Life. This will be about the amazing things that happen in my life, only it’s the life that only exists in my imagination.
-My Opinions On Stuff. Probably reviews on books and movies. Maybe thoughts on video games. Who knows. I’ve already got a whole slew of book reviews up onGoodreads, so maybe just general things that entertained me. Or maybe this is where I’ll go all ranty and stuff. Who really knows at this point.  

I’m going to be honest – I stretch those topics like they’re made of Silly Putty. I run so loose with this self-imposed rule, there’s no point in the rule. But I made those topics into categories (I think they show up over there –> ) and since I like to lump things together, they stay.

3. Posts will have a one page limit.  A Word document page, I mean. That’s, what? Around 450ish to 700ish words, depending on spacing? 

Ok, I tried. I really did. I had given myself wiggle room for actual stories and the infomercials I didn’t know I would write and really tried to keep everything else tight. But, come on, I have a lot to say and even with my new, efficient editingness…I’m weak, ok? WEAK! I love words. I love to write them and type them and say them and I don’t want to hold them back! They have things to do, stuff to say! I need to give them their freedom! Even so, I’ve been fairly good at keeping most posts under 900 words (the picture captions do NOT count toward that number because that would be dumb. Those are totally different stories)

So what have I taken from this exercise?

Well, maybe I’m not a writer, so much. I might be a better editor. Or perhaps web comic illustrator.

Will I continue with the blog?

Yes, I will. I like it. Despite everything I’ve said, I enjoy reading back through my posts. I look for progress, for ideas, for…I don’t know. But you know what I like best? The comments. My commentors are so good at their job! That is what brings me the most joy.

Ok, that’s not all true – I also love watching my little map fill up; I feel like I’m taking over the world. As of this post, my blog has been viewed in 54 countries! And you know which country* is my biggest fan? Turkey. They always search for “ekgo” and wind up here. I love you, Turkey! Thanks for all the hits! I think you’re looking for a band or a singer and I am sorry I am not that person, but stick around anyhow! It will be fun!

*The US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are numbers 1-4, respectively, but don’t count because those are all friends and family reading whereas I know NOBODY in Turkey but get traffic from them at least twice a month anyway.

Will I still follow all my rules?

No, probably not. That page limit rule is going right out the window. While I don’t want to go crazy and write tomes of crap, I also don’t want to limit myself anymore. I tried my best, it didn’t help my writing, I’m letting that restriction go. Starting now. We’re already around 1,000 words and I have more to say. Like pondering whether or not I will keep with the post every week rule. I need to make time to write and this seems to be the best way to do it because I’m held accountable even if it’s only to myself. I mean, it’s obvious if I didn’t take the time to create a post because nothing appears. It’s sort of hard to lie to oneself when the evidence is ON THE INTERNETS!

And since I’m on the topic of me, here are the stats I find the most interesting regarding my site:

My most popular posts are:

#5: My True Friends: A Spoken Word Poem It comes up in a lot of searches for spoken word poetry about friendship. I can only imagine how surprised the readers are when they find out the poem is about poop.

#4: Pushing Up Daisy This post got shared a couple of times on Facebook so the readership skyrocketed for a couple of days. I don’t know how I feel about my dog dying being popular. Both good and not good, I guess.

#3: Merry Christmas, I Know About Your Affair, Pt. 3 So the weird thing is parts 1 and 2 didn’t have as many readers (though they’re in places 8 & 6) and I wonder why the final post got so many views? I guess some readers didn’t care what happened in the first two parts of the story and just wanted to skip ahead to the end?

#2: Stalkers: A Serious Post I can’t explain this one. It went nuts the week it came out and I don’t know why. Yes, I should be running Google Analytics on this site and no, I’m not, and yes, that’s a terrible oversight but moving on: I really don’t know what happened with this post.

And my very most popular post: When You’re Sure, You’re NovaSure This gets at least one hit every week. It’s been retweeted, it’s been shared, it comes up in searches for NovaSure, endometrial ablation, mammograms, periods…pretty much anything that has to do with womens’ health. I sort of feel like maybe I’m helping people find information they need. I like that.

What do my top posts tell me? There are two meant-to-be-funny ones, one of which is part of a super-long story and the other is full of good search terms. The other three are serious, one sad, one scary, and one medical-y. Yeah, I don’t know that this tells me anything, actually.

In the name of fairness (and self-promotion), I will also list my bottom posts (not posts about my butt. I don’t actually have one of those, even with a poem about poop). These all have less than 15 views (though that will change if you people click the links below. Mwahahaha!)

Third from the bottom: Writers, Come to Me Yeah, I know exactly why this one didn’t do well. It was one of those I just wrote on the fly and shoved out there to have something in the space. It was totally random and it is not very fun to read. It does have good pictures, though. I mean, come on, there’s a squirrel!

Penultimate bottom: Little Housesitter On the Prairie Honestly, I thought this one would be more popular. I mean, it’s all deep and thoughtful and crap, it’s got pretty pictures, and it’s short. What’s not to love? Something, apparently, because it was not loved.

On the bottom: Maxwell Bug: Good To the Last Dot This never shows up in searches. Ever. Because there are no search terms. Also, it’s about bugs and if anyone remembers the Maxwell House commercials, I can see how one could assume by the title that I was grinding up insects and making a hot beverage of them and, really, who wants to read that? Probably no one. No one but me. Because that sounds pretty hilarious, actually.

But wait! There’s more!

This is where I share the strangest/most delightful search terms to have shown up in my stats. They won’t compare to anything Jeneral Insanity or Sunny Days in DC get, but they’re still pretty odd.

why are my feet dying up and scabbing Dear Searcher, I am sorry I could not answer your question. I don’t actually know why the internet even sent you to me. If foot lotion + wearing socks and shoes isn’t working for you, you may want to see a doctor.

hoofy and coop I, uh…what? I don’t even…how did that lead here? Seriously!

beautiful blonde women santa lingerie naked I know exactly what this hit on but it cracks me up every time I see it because I have absolutely no relation to (or with) beautiful blonde women in Santa lingerie who are also naked.

dumbass children This is one of my tags so, again, I know why this search landed here. What I want to know is why this searcher was searching for dumbass children. You can just, like, go outside and wait a bit and BAM! There they are.

use these letters to form a word e k g o and c Again, I know why I got this but I want to yell at the person who typed that into their browser, “THE ANSWER IS GECKO, YOU FREAKIN’ CHEATER! YOU SHOULD HAVE WORKED IT OUT ON YOUR OWN, WITHOUT THE INTERNET!”

what percentage of people get punctured from novasure WHAT?? DUDE! My doctor never listed puncturing as a possible “By the way, this could go wrong” scenario! Holy hell! What is happening in those backalley ablation clinics???

my sister is white trash and also i thought i knew all the things from my white trash childhood Just…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

unsolutioned ails I…don’t even know…what this means. I should probably Google it.

And to the person(s) who keep trying to find out: straw bale garden combustible? Well, they are made of STRAW BALES and those things go up like, um, a piggie’s house on fire BUT! They are also used in flood areas because they retain water like mad so if you keep them well-watered, you’d have to use gasoline to get them to light. Ok, I don’t know that for a fact, but, logically, if you water the bales when you water the garden, they shouldn’t burst into flames. Unless it’s spontaneous combustion, like you get when you keep oil-soaked rags all stacked up in a corner. In which case, just make sure there’s nothing else flammable near your spontaneously-combusting straw bale garden.

And now to bring this all to a close: Happy birthday to me and to my blog. Thank you, readers who read this every week! I hope my stories have made you laugh a bit. Thank you, readers who pop in and comment! I love hearing from you! And thank you, random person who found this via a crazy search. I probably didn’t answer your question (unless it was about exploding straw bale gardens) but I’m glad you came by anyhow. I look forward to abusing you all for another year!

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6 Comments

Filed under My journey to writerhood, My Opinions on STUFF

6 responses to “Milestone Marker: 1 Year

  1. Pam

    Happy Birthday Erica!!!!!!! Your blogs always make my day better in some way!

    • I love knowing you read it – this blog will always have at least one reader because of you. 🙂
      And thank you! I’ve had a fantastic birthday! The pictures of our Brown Palace adventure are up on Facebook and the post about it will be here Wednesday! Hooray!

  2. Tyler J. Yoder

    Congratulations, darling! I actually really enjoy everything that you write. Even the ones that are just thrown together to have something up.

    Also, you’ve articulated a lot of the feelings I’ve been having about blogging, myself, lately. Your blogiversary is a few months ahead of mine, so I am going to lurk and watch and see how things progress for you, and learn from what happens. ❤

    That probably sounds like I'm treating you as an experiment, or something, rather than a role-model. Um.

    Happy Birthday!

    • You and I, we are like the Mutual Admiration Society. Of course, who else could be as appreciative of the other as we are? No one, that’s who. And that is why we had to create our society.

      You know, you wouldn’t be the first to treat me as an experiment, so…consider this your laboratory (lah-bore-a-torrie) and we’ll see what happens! Hooray!

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. I need to get going on my This Was My Weekend post.

  3. nataliedeyoung

    Happy blogiversary! Sounds to me like you stayed much more on track than I did, lol. 😉

    • Thank you!
      You know, honestly, it’s the ability to write, save, and then pre-schedule posts that has saved my butt. It’s not like I do this every week. I’m not that efficient. Or capable. Pretty much, WP is the reason I look so organized.

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