It has been exactly one year since I started this website/blog and I wanted to commemorate that with an update on everything that has happened both online and off in the last year.
A summary about the evolution of the blog itself. I started this site to showcase my writing and have a place to muse from time to time. I had no idea at first what I was going to write about or how to even start. Needless to say, I’ve found a groove since then. Some of my earliest posts were simply opinions about what was happening in the world or about books I liked. There were a few flash or micro stories in there as well, but I never really felt like I was doing anything correctly (if there is such a thing). One of the earliest pieces of advice for younger writers is often to start a blog. I’d been told this many times throughout school. “Blog” “Showcase your writing” “Build an audience” etc., etc. I thought it over several times and always convinced myself that there was nothing I could say that anyone really wanted to hear (let alone read). Who would follow my blog? Who would read my posts? Especially if I had no idea what to do? But several years went by and I grew less afraid of what people thought of my writing and grew brave enough to submit some pieces to journals expecting the inevitable rejection (which of course did come).
It was during my Masters program that I found confidence. Somewhere hidden away behind a layer of irrational fear was a confidence in my own work. I created this blog about halfway through that program to eradicate that fear and bolster that confidence. I admit, I am still dreadfully bad at promoting my work. It feels like bragging to me (or egotistical douchebaggery). I don’t know, but I’m working on it. It’s okay to be proud of my work. I’ll convince myself of that one day.
Anyway, I started this blog. I wrote about random stuff I thought was interesting for 4 or 5 months absolutely convinced that no one was reading anything I wrote. Then one day someone visited the page. Then another, then some time later someone followed my page. I began to gather consistent views/readers (I’m up to 60+ followers which blows my mind). I found myself honing my posts to entertain my readers. I began writing a flash fiction piece once a week. (A quick note on my flash stories, I write them and post them in the same night so please forgive any typos.) Then I added a weekly book recommendation. Now I consistently post at least twice a week with a story and recommendation and more people have been stopping by to read and I cannot express how awesome that is. Even if only a few people visit each week and read, I’m thrilled. Honest. I can’t thank you enough. I just hope I can keep writing interesting things for you.
Outside of, but somewhat related to, this site I’ve created a few social media accounts for my writing. You can find me/my work on Facebook, Twitter, and Patreon. I made these to make it easier for people to find and access my work. I realized making it easier to find me is better for everyone. Going back to my terrible self-promotion (I will take any advice on this by the way), I can’t bring myself to create “Patron-only” posts on Patreon. I just can’t make some of my work walled off with a money barrier. I understand that making everything free makes a Patreon account useless, but writing is not about the money. Writing is about writing. It’s about a million other things that I should and will save for another time. I’ve found a lot of cool things through these social media accounts as well. Other artists and writers and cool writing contests. All honesty, Twitter is probably my favorite platform.
Also outside of, but still related, to this blog are my other writing projects. In my post on New Years about resolutions, I mentioned my writing goals for the year. I plan to keep up my story and recommendation a week. That’s 52 flash stories for the year. I know the quality isn’t always consistent and I hope you’ll forgive me for that. I try to write an engaging piece every week but some weeks are better than others. Other things in life sometimes come into play which I’ll get to soon. I also aim to write a few short stories to submit to journals, and I want to finish my book (which I haven’t touched in far too long). These are fairly big goals for my hope-to-make-full-time-hobby. Working a full-time job and keeping a social life and doing other, lesser hobbies really limits the time to write. Some are excuses, some are legit, but I will attain my dream. That I promise.
In October, my first published story came out in Kansas City Voices. It can also be found here. Now, that would make me an officially published writer, which is fantastic. Everyone at the journal launch was extremely awesome about it and all my friends were happy for me, and it is a great start. I’m working to increase my number of publications and hopefully get the first big one (the first book) sooner than later.
Now, completely outside of the site. I rarely talk about myself, but I’m going to try so that you can get to know me better. Many of you are from all over the world (which is super cool). This also means we are total strangers, so here is a bit about me. I completed my Masters degree in September. I got engaged at the beginning of this month and will be getting married later this year. (Which reminds me I have to change my bio….and done. I do like the word fiancee.) So I will be busy with wedding planning, but I made a promise to you and myself to at least keep up the weekly posts. So hold me to it. Let’s see…I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan and a moderate gamer (my fiancee would disagree and say I game too much). I enjoy movies. I probably like Lord of the Rings too much (if that’s possible). I work at a University because I like learning and enjoy helping others learn and better themselves. I’m not an instructor yet but I will be. I’m not sure what else to say so I’ll move on.
You can contact me from the “Contact” page on this site, or you can leave comments on any post (including this one) or story. I’ll respond as quickly as I can. You can even ask more questions about me (yes, that’s my face in the browser tab). My two favorite colors are blue and green, just in case you were wondering. I encourage everyone to like or comment on whatever they enjoy here. I really wouldn’t mind getting to know some of you either. I’ll take advice on how to improve the site too. I’m still pretty new, but I think I’ve made little changes over the last year that have improved it a bit. I’ll also take advice on how to be a better self-promoter (feel free to promote for me if you feel so inclined and enjoy my work). If you like a story and would like to read more about it, leave a comment. There are a few flash pieces I’ve written on here that I plan to expand on.
I think that’s enough about me and my year-in-review. Thank you so much for reading. I wish you every happiness this year and all the ones that follow. If you ever need me, I’ll be here writing. Until next time. Happy reading.