Happy Anniversary and the Difference a Year or Five Makes

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

Sadly neither of those days is today. However, I did receive a message informing me that yet another year has come and gone since I started down this whole blogging thing. I decided to celebrate by reflecting on my original goals and how life (and what I post about) has changed since then.

Happy Anniversary - what a difference a year or five makes - www.alliepottswrites.com

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When I originally started out, my intent was to establish a platform in support of my novel, An Uncertain Faith, which is a women’s fiction / cozy mystery mashup (and its sequel is now officially out as well). As it was my first attempt at publishing a book, I knew I was in no position to proclaim myself an expert on either the writing or publishing process, but at the same time, I didn’t want to come across as someone who was simply winging it without a plan by sharing ALL the things I didn’t know.

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” – various sources, but often attributed to Mark Twain

In the end, I thought the better strategy was to rule out writing as a focus as many other authors tend to do. However, I still liked the idea of sharing tips or tricks, or weekly takeaways I’d picked up along the way, which, over time, proved to mostly center on the lessons I was learning from my kids. Some were sweet lessons, while others were more akin to the following:

“Never have more children than you have car windows.” – Erma Bombeck

This strategy worked for me, though family anecdotes rarely go viral, and when they do, it is usually for the worst sort of things. Nonetheless, the content itself was easy enough to generate. All I had to do was look out my window or down the hall. My weekly posts became a sort of happiness journal – a reminder of all the things I was grateful for, and all the reasons I had to celebrate.

At some point, without intending it, this blog had stopped being a way to promote my books and my writing to a general audience but instead evolved into a way to promote myself to the internal me. I guess that is the magic of writing. You never really know what the end result will be until you first start trying.

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

However, my kids started to grow up. They started to read. Even worse, they started having lives and personalities of their own. Unfortunately, a nagging thought began to take hold in the back of my brain: I’m their mom, and they’re still my kids, but was that really enough to give me the right to share their stories (beyond the basic funny thing they’ve said) with the general public, even if I am doing my best to protect things like their faces or their names?

For a time, I thought so, but now I’m not quite so sure.

“Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you.” – Cyril Connolly

And so, I’ve found myself scaling their stories back, though they remain ever at the forefront of my mind. At the same time, I’ve grown older evolved too. I’ve moved on from that earlier version of me, the one who didn’t know how much she needed the weekly written reminders of the small joys as much, if not more than, public acknowledgment of the major accomplishments.

I say this because I was able to keep a promise to myself. I took a risk and made a change. I’m now working full-time in the world of online publishing, which in some ways is completely new for me, but in other ways strangely reminiscent of the world of consumer tech, sales, and project management I left behind. Overall, it has been a positive experience, but if I thought I didn’t know a lot about publishing back then… well let’s just say:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

As a result, I’m continuing to give myself permission to mix things up from the way I’ve done them before. Therefore, while this post may have been prompted by a celebration of my blogging longevity, I’ve decided to relax my self-imposed rules for the balance of the year if not a few weeks longer. It’s not a hiatus per se, as I’m going to still try to post as I am inspired, but if life takes precedence over the written word some weeks, so be it.

However, I am also considering posting on a different day or at a different hour, testing, and refining until I find the combination that works within my new normal. (I may also ask my boys to sign a waiver allowing their mother to post with their permission). Who knows what changes life may bring in the coming year? I sure don’t, and that’s okay. Thus far, not having all the answers has worked out for me far better than I could have ever imagined.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

I know this small decision might cause additional ripples of change in my future, however, I’m not worried. Because, while I might love consistency and know too well the benefits of having a set schedule can bring, of all the things I’ve learned over the years, appreciating the value of the small things (both the good and the bad) as much as the big things, is the one lesson this blog has taught me how to do best.

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18 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary and the Difference a Year or Five Makes

  1. Congratulations on your blogging longevity. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, with stories and insights that resonate with me. You’re wise to allow yourself the flexibility you need right now to blog if and when you want. I’ve discovered that trusting yourself to know when to change things up, or down, is the key to being a happy blogger.

    I look forward to reading whatever it is that you decide to write about here, regardless of when you post it or how often.

    Like

  2. What I have really enjoyed over the years is when you have taken simple or common events to use as a springboard to point out for what you are truly grateful. (Hmmm I’d hate to diagram that sentence, but I think it’s OK). Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s natural to evolve, Ally, and our blogs have to evolve with us or they become stale at best, anchors at worst. Thanks for sharing your journey. Congrats on your anniversary and the learning and growing over the years. More to come. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I must say, Allie, that I have never had a blogging schedule. I always wing it and have from the beginning. I usually post a book review on a Saturday, but not always. I usually post a baking post on a Sunday, but not always. Everything else fits in on an ad hoc basis too. I see no problem with that. Blogging is to be enjoyed, like life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a blogging schedule for the simple reason that I can’t write a post more than once a week. Plus it usually takes me a week to find something funny to write about–it’s amazing how most days aren’t funny at all:-) I’m hoping that once I retire, I can devote a lot more time to writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Blogiversary, Allie! I think you have it all sussed – and if it ain’t broken… My new normal is to blog when I can, no more, no less. Anything else wouldn’t work. Wishing you many more years of blogging success. And remember, one woman’s embarrassed children is another’s ticket to Internet stardom 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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