It’s my blogiversary! Yes, it is a word because it appears in the ‘urban’ dictionary. Live, parent, teach, repeat is the grand old age of two (feels like 22 years; I wonder if blogs age like in dog years?) Well, it was actually two days ago but stupid Facebook didn’t notify me and that’s generally how I am reminded about important life events nowadays. So two years and two days of blogging – what have I learnt?
People other than your friends will read your blogs.
When I started off, my audience knew me and the blog was basically an extension of my Facebook page. But, slowly, and I don’t know how (blogging is a very strange world), other people start to follow you and like your posts. And they’re not friends of friends! They’re in different countries! English sometimes isn’t their first language! And before long, your new audience feels like they know this Joel creature or they’re asking for more updates about the stupid dog. This still blows me away. But I’ve actually made blog friends. I’m actually going against traditional parental advice (or ignoring what Charley Says from 1973) and communicating regularly with complete strangers. If one of them suggests a rendez-vous, I’ll have to see if my dad will come with me to be on the safe side! I do joke but it’s gratifying that people beyond your own little world appreciate your writing. I’m not needy, honest. Well, maybe a little.
Your family will not like reading your blogs.
In fact, it’s probably best that they don’t or legal action may be threatened. Unfortunately, they’re just gonna have to suck it up because they are my blogging material. I’ve been accused of misquoting them, embarrassing them, lying about them. Tell a lie, the dog hasn’t complained yet. They roll their eyes when I ask if they’ve read the latest. Which is a stupid question because that would involve the act of reading and they haven’t done that since the days of Biff and Chip. They pretty much withdrew to their rooms and adopted the hours of nocturnal animals during the initial days of lockdown so that they didn’t risk saying or doing anything stupid which would feature in the Corona diary! I would hoover outside their rooms, willing them to make an appearance and say something publishable! Meanwhile, the husband has to have the blogs read to him. He knows better. He knows he has to show an interest AND be positive at the same time. But doing those two things plus reading words to himself is one step too far. (I’m so going to get into trouble for that!)
It will take a world wide pandemic to produce regular content.
I was just coasting along before we’d even heard of COVID-19. Every now and then, I’d think of something to write about and spend a few days scribbling down musings. All of a sudden, I had a lot of time on my hands with three children saying and doing a lot of stupid things. Writing a daily diary was not something I planned but you have to give the people what they want! Every evening, at six o’clock, the world had to stop turning so I could jump off and rustle up the daily update. The family knew better than to make demands on me during the golden hour of 6pm-7pm. Then, once that ‘PUBLISH’ button was pressed, there was an immense feeling of relief and life could resume again. As in, I could go back to watching TV whilst eating crisps and drinking vodka.
You develop a keen interest in numbers.
As someone who scraped a pass in GCSE Maths, this has come as a surprise. I stumbled across the stats button on my blog one day and was immediately hooked. I could see views, visitors, hits, followers. There were bar charts which my simple little mind could just about understand. Green numbers meant things were improving. If I saw red figures, I’d scream at the kids, “Click on my blog a few times! Or I’ll write about that time…..”. Usually worked.
You learn a new language.
I thought I was just going to write stuff. In English. Yet, you’re sucked into Facebook groups or read things on Twitter. SEO? Back links? Affiliate? I did plan on reading up on these things. After all, I had all the time in the world…oh, back to work next week? Oh well, what’s that saying? What you don’t know won’t hurt you? And there’s an awful lot I still don’t know.
Anyway, I’ve just read an article about how to celebrate your blogiversary. It involves quite a bit of work so I’m not going to follow any of those suggestions. Aptly, I’m off to spend the evening with the person who said I should start a blog. Because she said I could make money from a blog. And I will thank her for the suggestion. And then scream at her, “Where’s my fecking money?!!”
And here’s where it all began Is it right that I write again?