In a surreal moment this week, someone asked me for blogging advice. Me. The techno-phobe who still sweats buckets every time I hit the publish button. I was flattered.
In her request for advice, she said something very interesting:
It seems like yours [blog] grew enormously in a short amount of time.
Has it really been a short time? Sometimes it feels like I’ve been blogging forever. So I went back and checked the date of my first post. No, it hasn’t been forever. It’s been almost exactly 9 months–long enough to grow a baby, my blog baby.
In January 2011, I was terrified nobody would read my blog. Or worse, they’d read it and hate it. That didn’t happen. I blogged religiously for 2 solid months, with only friends and family giving me feedback, before I got my first “real” commenter (sorry friends and family, you don’t count. Obligation and all that.) Not only my first commenter, but my first “internet” friend.** It was me and her for the longest time. I kept at it for two more months and steadily gained more commenters and subscribers. More friends.
**I adore her and her story, which you can find at Love Versus Goliath. Thank you so much, Robyn.
People scoff at the idea of “internet friends.” Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have had so much love and support from people on Momfog. When my house burned down, the offers of help were phenomenal. One lovely woman sent me a care package from the Netherlands with local foods and some handmade cards and ornaments from her and her children. When I decorate my tree, I’ll know “internet friends” are “real friends.”
So, has my blog “grown enormously?” Based on my expectations on January 24, I’d have to say yes. I have more subscribers than I ever thought possible and I have loyal commenters whom I love. But it’s not only about the numbers.
The writing has changed. In the beginning, I was excited and nervous. The posts were safe: kids, housecleaning, parenting, spa days. Then I found Write On Edge (formerly the red dress club.) They inspired me to branch out, try writing a fiction piece now and then, focus my writing on a particular subject and keep to a word count. If I was nervous before, I was on the verge of a breakdown then. Again, the support of other awesome bloggers got me through it.
Now what? Do I sit back and relax? Keep doing what I’m doing? After all, someone asked me for blogging advice.
Of course not!
The Blog is still growing. I’m fielding offers. I’m doing book reviews. I’m hosting giveaways. I’m starting a weekly feature. Who knows what else I’ll come up with?
Nine months can grow a baby, but it takes time and effort to grow a mature adult. I’ve only just begun.