About one year ago I started writing a blog called “Swimming Upstream.” My first post revealed the secret dream I had of becoming an author. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not famous by any means, and I had no followers, no social media presence beyond Facebook, and not much to my credit in terms of published work. Also, at that point I had received twenty-four rejections of my first book, so the odds of more disappointment were greater than they had ever been. With virtually nothing to lose, I pressed POST.
I spent the next few months writing articles I hoped would grab people’s attention. The blog started out about writing, that was the purpose, to document my writing struggles. I wrote about rejection, my struggle with dyslexia, and the small successes I had along the journey. But the blogs that received the most hits were about my own personal stories. Posts about my children, fears, and irritations were far more widely read.
This surprised me as I thought it would be the reverse. I thought people would be more interested in what it takes to publish a book than the grime I find stuffed under my children’s beds. But when I examine it closer, it wasn’t surprising at all. Not everyone is writing a book, but most people understand the frustrations of a messy bedroom. Most people don’t worry about sentence structure and word confusion in their daily lives, but many do relate to the feelings of being asked embarrassing questions by strangers which they would rather not answer.
One of the first rules they taught me in creative writing class was to be relatable; know your audience. That has become my number one aim in writing my blogs: To create posts that others can identify with on a personal level. Still, I will continue to chronicle my writing journey, but I will always bear in mind my wider audience when choosing topics.
In celebration of my one year “blogging anniversary”, I’d like to take a moment to share with you the milestones I had along the way…
· Most liked Post: My first, “I Have a Secret.” - 450 views.
· Least liked Post: “In Defense of the Cliché.” - 19 Views.
· Number of blogs posted: 34
· Number of people who have visited my website in the last three months: 706
· My goal was to publish my first book, You See Me, which was achieved on October 15, 2019.
· Copies sold so far: 84 estimated.
To think that just one year ago, all I had was a Facebook page, a manuscript, and a hope to hold my book in my hands. I would like to take this moment, with grateful tears in my eyes, to thank you, my readers and supporters! Let’s see what year two brings to us all!