WordPress for 3 Years?

Three years ago in the sleepy town of Descanso, California, I decided to start a WordPress blog because a book I had read said such a blog would help me develop a platform for my novels and I would sell more books.

Presto.

I didn’t really want a WordPress blog. I had a blog, on blogger (still do, several, but they’re set to private). I didn’t want to do any stupid-ass daily prompt, either.

and THEN…three years and 1048 followers later, here’s the net result.

One of my stories recently won a prize in a literary contest put on by the library in a small town nearby (but the biggest in my “hood”). I happen to be very proud of that story, and I would never have written it had it not been for the Daily Prompt. You can read it here. 

People from almost every country in the world have read something I’ve written. Some have even liked them. I’m a bit concerned because no one in Greenland has read any of my posts, but I’m stoked because Cameroon and Senegal have weighed in. You just can’t have everything.

As for my original goal… Did my WordPress blog make me a famous writer? No. Did it help me sell books, yes, but, actually more than that. A few people, who would never have heard of me or my fiction, have read and loved my novels and have been kind enough to leave reviews for the books where other people can find them — on Amazon, Goodreads and here on WordPress.

What else? I would never have known about what has been one of my favorite books of the past year, A Walk to the Water by Daniel Graham without having, myself, a blog on WordPress. There are several people I have “met” whom I consider friends, not in the “friend me, Dude” sense of a lot of social media, but, you know, like real people in my town that I actually know and see. That is the result of sharing ideas with others — conversations, some spats, some consolation, moments of understanding (occasionally profound) everything that happens between people who know and like each other but across vast distances. It is amazing.

And, I’ve found it inspiring. Inspired by Danny Graham’s book, I decided to compile my hiking stories. At first I thought I’d put them in a scrapbook, but then decided to make a blog so I could read them over easily, include photos. I thought it would be mostly for me and it is, though it’s public, it’s here.

I left my teaching career of 35 years two years ago, and moved to my home state, but into a town I’d barely seen in which I knew no one. It was a financial decision combined with the strong desire for mountains (I am now surrounded by them), cold and snow (4 or 5 months a year) and yet with more than 300 days of sunshine annually. My perfect climate. It was a very difficult process physically, psychologically, logistically — but at the encouragement of friends in California, I wrote a blog about the adventure. I am so grateful for their persuasion because it has inspired others to take a chance like that and move toward their happiness (successfully, as in my case) and it’s a record of a transitional moment in my life. You can read it here Colorado or Bust.

Leaving teaching, I was somewhat disenchanted by the “future,” but here on WordPress I’ve read (I follow) the blogs of many young people,  and I am not disenchanted for the future any more. I’m grateful to be in a place where I get to share in their free expression of ideas rather than the classroom which modern education models have turned into a hostile environment. I would not “know” them if it were not for WordPress.

And, finally, three years later, among the several blogs I have on this platform — there is one that convincingly mimics a website, marthakennedy.co   Hardly anyone goes there, ever, but I read that you want to sell novels you need to have a website.

 

 

10 thoughts on “WordPress for 3 Years?

  1. Garry is always telling me that I “make a difference,” that my blog means something to more than a few people. I’d like to think it’s true, though I sometimes wonder. For me, getting to know you has been a plum pulled from the pudding. It is also what I least expected to from blogging. I started because I could. I was following someone and I got this free site when I signed up. It sat around blank for more than 6 months. One day, I wrote something. Then, a month later, I wrote something else. And posted a picture. At the end of that year, I had almost 40,000 hits … and, oh yeah, I’d also sold a few books.

    Blogging takes up more of my life than I expected and sometimes, it seems too much like work for comfort. It also keeps me sane, keeps me writing, thinking, creating, even when I’ve been so sick I could barely sit up. And, I met you and a couple of dozen other people. Now, if only you didn’t live so terribly far away 🙂

    Congratulations and keep on keeping on!

  2. I recently received a similar message from WP informing me about my 4th anniversary. The first year was with a different blog written to capture the thoughts, photos, and highlights of a one year hiking adventure.

    I think we all have a sense of surprise when we discover that blogging is so much more than just tossing words and thoughts into the ether. The feedback we receive, the friendships, and sense of community that develop are the icing on the cake.

    Congratulations on your anniversary. I believe that blogging has made us all richer 🙂

  3. I am not sure, but think it must be going on for 10 years on WordPress that I belong because I remember getting some sort of message a few years ago congratulating me to 8 years. I was long on Blogger which seemed to be a lost cause to me, but mainly on Multiply where I met most blogging friends I have, but Multiply collapsed because the owner got greedy and wanted to turn it in to marketing platform. Most of those I knew were photographers some wrote a little, but most drifted off to Facebook. Facebook is OK, but I have put myself on an own page, because I do not want to talk to the masses.
    I enjoy blogging because over the years I have come to realise that it keeps me away from becoming brain dead. I have met some wonderful people (some even in real life) and am so glad to count you and Marilyn and others to almost real friends in flesh and blood, although we have never met, but who knows. So keep writing, without you I would never have met Dude and Lamont or discovered that that my husband being in the Swiss Reform Church is not just words, but there is a lot of action behind it all (he only goes for funerals and weddings). Keep writing and I will keep reading.

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