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A WordPresser’s reflection on her first year of blogging

Post a Week participant Donna, author of Huffygirl’s Blog, recently celebrated her first blogoversary. In A look back: my first year of blogging, she reflects on the inception and evolution of her blog. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

I started my blog mid February 2010 when I was spending way too much time home alone, and feeling a need to do something new and creative…My original thought was to write about health and wellness…But then one day I cleaned my self-cleaning oven, all the while with a satirical script running through my head, and the Satire Friday category was born.

Since then I’ve branched out into other categories…Random Thoughts and Personal Rants, which are exactly what they sound like; Exercise and Fitness, fueled by my own journey to improve my cardiovascular fitness level; HuffyHow, inspired by my discovery of how to get tulips to stand up straight in a vase,  Plinky Prompts, short stories written in response to a topic assigned by Plinky, Nature, to cover my interests in gardening and birds,  and Food, because we all have to eat, so why not make it interesting?

She also highlighted her

  • Worst post ever
  • Most enduring post
  • Easiest post to write
  • Post that spent the longest time in draft limbo
  • All-time favorite posts
  • Post that received the most attention

and her favorite things about blogging: “Being part of a world-wide community of bloggers, reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, having a forum from which to write, and just plain being able to write.”

How long have you been blogging? Have you ever done a reflection like this?

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  1. I started posting Jan 29th and have had 18 posts. It’s a challenge, but I love it. Sometimes I know exactly what I’m going to write about. Other times, I wake up and stare a blank computer screen waiting for inspiration. So far it’s always shown up.

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  2. I started way, way back in 1994, before “blog” had been coined. Well, technically, I’d been posting assorted weekly musings on AOL, Usenet and assorted BBSes for years before that. But when the web came along, it seemed perfect for my ramblings and I started the Bowerbird Cafe in mid-1994 as what was then known as an e-zine or just zine.

    I’d ramble about food, poetry and politics, then publish emailed comments from readers. It was manual and very simple by today’s standards. Over the years it mutated, changed names, changed emphasis, changed platforms and hosts, migrated onto recognisable blogging platforms, and finally found its way onto WordPress in January 2006.

    Perhaps the most amazing thing is that I still have at least one reader who started out with me back in 1994! She emailed me recently to say she’d been reading me since the start but had never got around to commenting. That’s a long time to have a lurker.

    Do I ever reflect on the evolution of the blog? Rarely. It just drifts along at its own pace, gathering a steady accumulation of moss and dross. I keep promising myself to move all the archived material onto WordPress but five years on it still hasn’t happened. One day…

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    1. Whoa, and I thought I’ve been blogging for a long time because I started officially in 2002! Reading this is inspiring, makes me think one day maybe I’ll look back on a decade of blogging. Though I’ve already kept it up longer than I ever imagined I could, this self-publishing thing has a something 😉

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      1. I’m the sort of person who’d once have kept a combined journal and sketch pad. Today, I can do it with computer and camera, plus I can share it here and now rather than waiting for someone to discover a pile of faded books long after I’m dead and buried.
        I was saying to my OH that I’ll have to think of something special to do in 2014 when I notch up 20 years.

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  3. Congrats on reaching your 1 year anniversary! I started my blog in December 2010, shortly after I got married. I was a newlywed all of a sudden no longer insanely busy planning for a wedding/honeymoon or working 2 jobs or going to school. I had all this free time on my hands, which I was never used to & a hsuband who spent a lot of his time on his MBA courses so I thought “What can I do to keep myself busy?”. I only hope I can keep the motivation going because lately I’ve been losing that loving feeling for my blog & just don’t know what I really want out of it.
    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Happy Blogging!

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  4. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve only been blogging for about a month and I started to feel down because I felt like I kept losing my focus. I see from Huffygirl’s posting experience that a blogging project has a life of its own that you must bend and grow with. Thank you!!

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  5. Cograts on your anniversary, Erica! I am gonna follow it and check it out. I have had my blog for 2 yrs or so, but really have started paying attention since last year when I lost my job. Go check it out if you like! Peace and good luck with the blog!

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  6. Hey WordPress folks, thanks so much for the mention! When I started blogging a year ago, I had some of the same frustrations that some of the commentors above mention. I never considered giving it up though. Writing has been a long-time passion of mine, but before I started this blog I really had no forum in which to express it, unless I count my grad school thesis, which quite frankly, no one ever wanted to read.

    I write about 3-4 posts per week, and in the past year, can only think of two or three times when I struggled for inspiration. Most of the time I’m inspired by something around me, start ranting about it, and the next thing I know I’ve got the next blog post written in my head. All it takes is a snippet of a report on NPR, a comment on a TV show, or an obervation of some aberrent social behavior, and I’m off. The inspiration for writing the current reflection just came from looking at my stats and seeing how the year has evolved.

    I also find the scheduler is a great help for keeping up with posting. If I have a week of great inspiration, I’ll write several posts and schedule them out. In that way I’m not struggling for something to write about every other day, but writing when I’m inspired.

    Good luck to all the WP bloggers out there.

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  7. It was a pleasure to read this post. I am a timid blogger. Still not sure I have something to say, not sure what I am writing about is worthy of a blog etc…

    In answer to some of the questions
    “How long have you been blogging? Have you ever done a reflection like this?

    I have been attempting to blog since the beginning of 2011.. and it seems that the only writing I have in me (at this time) are reflections as written today. So this blog was something I needed to read and I thank you for that. It seems that maybe I do have a ‘place’.

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  8. Rebecca, don’t sweat it about posts being worthy. The main thing is to write honestly and with your own voice/voices. As for subject matter, it’s all around you. Even the most mundane, everyday occurrences have stories to tell. It’s just that most people don’t take the time to see what is in front of them and even fewer take the time to describe it in their own way.

    Take my posts today. The first was based on seeing our pigs rip a trough up and pushed it around the field. The second was based on a rather daft pair of glowing gloves that startled a passing driver. In two sentences, I’ve summed up a couple of everyday events. Time to move on. Or is it?

    I took the time actually observe events, to mentally note them down, and then turn them into posts for my blog—even though my writing time is quite limited by all the jobs I have to do. Two everyday events have suddenly expanded from two sentences into two full-blown stories that will hopefully entertain, amuse and inform others as much as they did me and my family.

    So slow your mind down, note the minutiae that most people skip over, and tell the story in your own words and with your own voice. Good luck with the writing.

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  9. I starting my blog in December 2010 becuase I want to be a blogger. I was bored nothing to do so I signed up for wordpress for blog. I did some posts in a week. I love blogging.

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  10. I just passed the year and a half mark recently, and I have to say I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into with this blog. 🙂 I won an international blogging competition, I made friends across the country, and have actually, believe it or not, made some people THINK. Haha, that’s my favorite part, seeing people actually debate and research and learn as a result of something I wrote. The postaweek challenege helped me re-evaluate what I want to do with this blog, and I’ve been writing a lot more often.

    Cheers WP!

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  11. Há um ano que comecei a blogar, no começo foi complicado escrevia pouco, por não ter computador, usava da minha filha, depois de alguns meses, ganhei um usado. Dai foi outra história, eu peguei mais prática e o meu blog cresceu a olhos vistos.
    Só posso agradecer a todos!!!
    Mina!

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  12. Thanks for your post. I am going to check out the rest of your website later tonight when I get my children to sleep.
    My blog was started because people kept telling me how crazy my life is and how I should write about it. It is a great outlet. Thanks again

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  13. I have only been blogging during this month (Feb), but it seems to be full-filling something in me. I have always LoVed being on the computer. But have always walked away from it after hours feeling like I accomplished nothing. Not that blogging full-fills much, but for some reason I feel satisfied once I’ve posted. I think I’ve found something I love.

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  14. I have been blogging since UMM Feb 2, this year, and i have managed to hit over 100 traffic in the first week, and now i keep a steady 50 or 60 a day. It’s an amazing feeling.
    Sometimes i blog dumb things, but a lot of the time its a mixture of images, anecdotes, poems, my personal life, and links that i find fascinating. I think maybe in a few months i might do a reflection, but right now, i have over 80 posts, and in less than a month!

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  15. like this post and rises a question, two … … why not (as a subject, a topic) and why not me (starting a blog)
    I started long ago but did not think it would be public and waiting for appreciation(s) …
    sorry for my english … quite school-like
    bye

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  16. I have been blogging in English since February 19 2011.
    I had been in Japanece since the end of March 2005(Windows Live Space).
    I changed my Japanese blog to WordPress.com by myself, June 2010.
    I was very surprised September 28 2010, “Wow! :-)” .
    Because I had not expected at all.

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  17. Congratualtions. Blogging is hard but fun work. I didn’t realize until over a month ago this community was alive and kicking. I hope I can continued to be as determined as HuffyGirl to still be doing this a year from now!

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  18. I have been blogging since August 2006. I really have evolved as a blogger. And yes. I have retrospected on my blogs. And after shifting my blog to wordpress, I feel so motivated and I am learning new blogging tips each day. And I am really proud to be a part of this community. Great job wordpress!!

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  19. I hadn’t considered a review of blogs. I’ve been blogging on and off for a year after being introduced by a friend. The postaweek has helped my awareness of the community out there, the range of topics, and the effect reply has on other bloggers. Just off the top of my head my favourite blog is the one I wrote on making a gingerbread house and the reflections on fire the cooking and creating process caused.
    Thank you for the topics – I take Friday’s topics to run with and I am keeping up the postaweek

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  20. I started blogging in September 2010 with the purpose of being more accountable to my writing life. I have not perfected the page the way I would like it, ideally, and as I am not a techie it is hard for me to figure out the best way to create the best blog for me. The actual “blog” posting page is currently a combination of my poetry, musings, etc. I took the challenge to PostADay and even though I have missed a few days, and may have forgotten to select the category for postaday on occasion, I am proud of myself for posting as much as I have. My goal is also to find something special to be KNOWN for – or maybe I need to have more than one blog 🙂
    In the meantime, I will keep writing.

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