My Sweet Robin came by to say hello today, just as he did on the same day exactly two years ago when I wrote my first blog post.
My little, red-breasted, puffed-up muse.
I have learnt so much since that day. About blogging, about writing and about myself. I have also discovered a WordPress world filled with the most incredible kindness and compassion: I found all of you, dear friends!
Recently I read on another blog (and huge apologies for not remembering whose blog), that a fair size chunk of bloggers burn out after two years. It is also common knowledge that most people who say they are going to write a book never actually do.
I do not want to become one of those statistics.
But I admit that during 2014, I had more than a few moments when I wondered how I was going to meet my goals: not because of any lack of motivation or even, at times, my crippling self-doubt.
No. It was because of the times when I walked through the fog and stumbled time after time, when nothing I tried seemed to go right.
But I tried, I really did. I set plans for a new writing regime, determined each time to make a fresh start, to set my focus on what it was I needed to do to meet my goals and get a proper schedule going.
Planning is good, and necessary, right?
At times like these, I can’t help but hear the words of Eldest Son’s old Scoutmaster telling his troop over and over:
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!’ Cliche I know, but it’s true.
Just ask a group of Boy Scouts who thought they had done a good job of packing all they needed for a weekend away, camping in the middle of a huge forest in California.
Until they sat down to light the fire and realised they had forgotten to bring any matches.
I found it hard to keep blogging and write my book at the same time. I tried to set a writing schedule, doing my level best to keep disciplined enough to stick to it. I became more determined than ever.
But ‘stuff’ happens
Things break-down (appliances, laptops, cars), people let us down, illness strikes, financial worries hit us hard and in my case, my increasing concerns for my Aspie daughter bear down, at times, too heavily.
Yet 2015 starts afresh for us all. We hope to put the past behind us and face the new year ahead with renewed verve and vigour, with a positive outlook, and instead of looking at the bad of last year, remembering all the good, thankful for our many blessings.
So as the fog lifts, I can at last see my way clear.
I look back at my two years of blogging and get a surprise when I read the results of my WordPress Annual Stat Report for 2014.
Although my busiest day was March 4th with 205 views for WPC: Abaondoned Minoan Ruins of Crete, (and I have really enjoyed the Weekly Photo Challenges), the top three posts with the most consistent views are ones in which I’ve shared about my Aspie daughter:
- The Love of Animals and Asperger’s Syndrome
- The Dark Side of Asperger’s Syndrome
- The Taste of Words: Asperger’s Syndrome and Synaesthesia
I haven’t been paying much notice to my stats lately I admit, but I had noticed that The ‘Love of Animals‘ post, written in August, 2013, is viewed several times every day. Sometimes a reader leaves a comment. Somebody must have posted it on their Facebook page which has generated, to date, 107 hits.
Back in May, 2013, four months into blogging, I wrote ‘No Longer Invisible Darling Girl‘ in response to the sometimes overwhelming sadness that I carry in my heart for my daughter’s struggles. A blogger named seventhvoice left me a beautiful comment and re-blogged it. In reading my report now, it amazes me to see that seventhvoice is my top referring site.
Knowing that something I’ve written along the way which has encouraged and helped others living with and affected by Asperger’s Syndrome makes my heart soar. I know we are not alone in the struggle and I can tell my story from a mother’s heart.
My blog had visitors from 116 countries with 31,000 views. That would be the same as 11 sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, apparently. I find that hard to visualise to be honest. Most visits come from right here in the UK, but America and Australia follow close behind. Love you guys!
Thank you so, so much to you all, dear ones!
So I begin the year as always with optimism, putting all troubles behind and with a new writing regime (in the Summerhouse every morning, no social media, no phones, switched off, just writing), and a heart overflowing with the deepest of gratitude for you all.
I couldn’t have done it without you and that’s the truth.
When I jumped into my little homemade boat two year’s ago and rowed out to sea, searching for my new life as a writer, I had two choices: keep rowing or sink.
Well, I’ve come close to sinking a few times but you, my lovely people, have thrown me a life-line every single time. And so I keep rowing across that shining sea and I won’t stop until I reach my destination.
So here’s to a great year ahead. And to kick-start things off, I would like to share some good news with publication of my article, ‘Memories of Hintlesham Hall’ in the January edition of Suffolk Norfolk Life magazine. You can view the digital copy here, my article is on pages 88-89. I sincerely hope you enjoy the read.
We are in this together. We are sharing our stories. And I couldn’t be more thankful.