Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Four Years of Blogging

It was four years ago today that I woke up with a bee in my bonnet. I can't rightly say how it got in there, but she started buzzing early in the day and stung me by mid-morning. "Today is the day you start a blog," she said, and she left her stinger inside my head.

Seems to me she must have been a queen bee, as she was quite insistent on how things should be done. I should write today, I should publish at 8:57 every morning (she knew that I needed some incentive to be consistent by writing each day and meeting a deadline; she thought if I published at three minutes to nine I would be a bit ahead each day -- if only by three minutes -- and that it would give me a blog name that was not already taken), and that if I chose the name Chrysanthemum, nobody would ever find me. Turns out I couldn't even spell it myself and had to look it up.

So I kicked my son off the computer and sat down to write.

It's a snap to stat a blog on Blogger. Select a template, choose some colors and styles, drop in a few photos, type up a story, and hit "Publish." Within an hour or so I was an official blogger.

That first day I got a comment from a reader in the Philippines! I was ecstatic! Let me just say right out loud, I've received comments from time to time, but a blogger soon learns that you dare not blog with the express desire of accumulating comments. You blog because you have something to share. Maybe it's a deep and stirring thought, an insight, a bit of humor, or something mundane that you just want to say. And maybe people will comment. But probably they won't.

As I study the map in the Blogger Stats, I am always a bit overwhelmed by how far flung my readers are. Usually the US is the darkest green (meaning the most readers on a given day or week) but for months, now, Russia is a close second. Russia? Why Russia? I don't know -- they never write to tell me why they're reading!

As for what I write, and why. I've been advised that a blog should focus on a general area, that being the writer's area of special interest or knowledge. Since there was no dominant motif I felt qualified to pursue, I decided to open a package of wildflower seeds and sprinkle them across the pages of my blog and see what bloomed. A little cooking, an occasional book review, stories about interesting folks I've met along the journey, a passion for the Jesus Way, videos and stories I've enjoyed, music (especially, but not limited to, hymns), parenting and other life callings, lovely places to visit (and lovely times sharing them with my husband) -- and a few seeds of my dopey humor. I love rose gardens, but I'm more of a wildflower kind of gal.

At first I posted Monday through Saturday at 8:57 a.m. That was pretty wearing, and I soon discovered I didn't have nearly enough clever stuff to say every day. But, like the kid in the book Holes, who had to get used to taking a cold shower every morning, I got better at creating my own content over time. When I cut back to just three days a week it relieved some of the pressure I had put on myself, but I know that the consistency of posting on a regular basis was a great discipline for me.

Now I'm rambling, which is not becoming in a blog. So let me just say, after nearly 1000 posts and over 100,000 pageviews (not all mine or even my husband's!), it looks like I'll still be here for the foreseeable future.

If you'd like to comment -- especially if you are from Russia -- go ahead! And any time you'd like, take a stroll through my garden. The blog archive in the right margin lists all the posts I've ever done. Or you can query for a topic in the search bar at the top left of the page.

Thanks for visiting. May you leave with a bouquet to brighten up your corner of the world.


irene said...

dear Ginger...when, occasionally, I wander into your wild flower garden..I leave refreshed and smiling! So keep scattering those seeds..they are appreciated!

Ginger Kauffman said...

Thanks, Irene. You are always welcome!