Tag Archives: 2 years

Time to Rumpus Most Royally!

Well, here it is officially June 10, and two years ago, bored at work because everyone was off at a conference or something and I was left to man the phones, I started this foolish blog, knowing nothing about blogging whatsoever. I started originally on Blogger, but quickly got frustrated when the formatting would randomly go wonky, the photos would disappear with no warning, and when I’d schedule posts, they just wouldn’t post. WordPress beckoned and I answered the call and haven’t looked back.

Two years, you guys. That’s a long time. So much has happened over the last two years. Things that I could never have imagined when I was sitting at the reception desk of my office looking for something to do to make the hours go by more quickly and thought, “Well, you could start a blog.” I’ve met some of the world’s most amazing people. I have friends in my life I’d never have met without my blog; friends that I was meant to know, and without my blog? They wouldn’t be here. I’d have never met them. The thought of that breaks my heart, because my life would be such an emptier place without them in it.

Today’s advice to you? Well, I of course saved the best for last. Did you doubt I would?

The most important thing I’ve learned over the past two years of blogging?

Ignore all the advice. Write.

I know, right? Totally bait-and-switched you.

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for "bait and switch" is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Hee, I love that the first thing to pop up in Image Seach for “bait and switch” is Lucy and her football. Fortuitous!

Listen. You can read a million how-to-blog articles. How long your posts should be. When you should post. How frequently you should post. How you should or shouldn’t market your blog or yourself. Your use of social media. What you should write about. What you SHOULDN’T write about. There are plenty of places that will give you advice – sometimes conflicting advice – until you’re so confused you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off, all squawky and discombobulated. Also, it is very hard to count chickens with their heads cut off. All that blood makes for incorrect chicken headcounts.

But the way you’re going to learn all these things, the best way, the way it’s going to stick with you, is to just DO it. To sit at your computer and write out the words in your head, whatever those words might be. Are you going to fail? I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes. You are probably going to fail. Probably more than once. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to do things you’re not proud of, looking back on them; freshman mistakes, I suppose you could call them. These things happen. They’ll continue to happen. Even when you’re no longer a freshman. It’s life. Life’s one long learning experience, so take the lessons as they come.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

Just like the Game of Life. With the little pegs and shit. Learn your lessons, chickadees.

You’ll know when it’s working. It’s something you feel inside; this click, this feeling of rightness. You’ll know because you’ll start building a community. Your words will resonate with others. You’ll start…I don’t know how best to explain this. Ripples. You’ll start creating ripples. And those ripples reach others. And on and on and on and you connect, and you have this whole network around you. All these points of life. All these people whose lives you’ve touched, whose lives you touch. It feels very good. It feels very safe. And you did this. You did this with your words and your work and putting yourself out there.

You can read all the advice; you can even follow some if you want. Yes, you’ll get less hits if you post on a weekend. Yes, it’s good to network with other bloggers. Yes, a presence on social media is a good thing.

But mostly? Just get out there and write. Take the words inside you and get them out of you. Share them with the world, where they can take root and grow and touch others and on and on and on it goes.

It’s the start of a grand adventure. It’s your own royal rumpus. The only thing I know for sure is that your life will never be the same for it.

Thank you to everyone who’s come along with me on my royal rumpus over the last two years. Everyone who’s read a post, who’s commented, who’s shared something I’ve written, who’s been here. Thank you to my friends, who I found along the way and who are so precious to me, so dear, I don’t even have the words.

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Now, finally, my top post for the past two years. Some of you might have already guessed this, I think, and if you haven’t, it’ll make sense once you see it.

Top post in the past two years!

With 3,490 hits – almost 3,500 hits, you guys, is that not insane? – in the past three months…

You’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

Freshly Pressed did a lot of that, and you guys did the rest, with your comments and your shares and your reblogs. You’re a glorious group of people. A brave, strong group of people, who feel things deeply, who connect deeply with things, who want to make a change in things that are broken in the world.

I’m glad this post connected with people; I’m glad this post helped people connect. I’m glad Freshly Pressed decided to share it with a larger audience so more people could see it. I’m glad you were all here for it.

Thank you for the past two years, my most beloved little chickadees. I don’t know what the next year will bring; that’s the joy of the future. It’s as-yet unwritten. It’s a shiny new blank journal, waiting for you to start your chicken-scratching.

Off I go to start chicken-scratching all over my shiny new year.

I hope you come along. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Let the Royal Rumpus Start

Well, here we are. In just seven short days it will be my second bloggiversary. Two whole years blogging. I know, it’s a little mind-blowing, right? I have trouble wrapping my brain around it myself. Two years! Seven hundred and thirty days! 8 seasons! Many life changes! Coming and going! This, that and the other! Callooh callay!

Last year, for those of you that were around and remember such things, we did a whole week-long celebration. This year things are a little different and I’m in another place (mentally, emotionally, physically, take that as you will) so things will be a little less traditionally-Amy-hyper and a little more low-key. But hopefully still awesome. I mean, when you’re this awesome, how can you just erase that? You can’t, is the answer. I’ve tried. It’s still there. It never fully disappears.

So this week, we’ll talk about some things I’ve learned from blogging, and we’ll talk about my top seven posts over the past two years, with some behind-the-scenes goings-on, and maybe do some other things. I fly by the seat of my pants here. It’s just the way I am. Very pants-seat-flying. It’s either dangerous or fun; I haven’t decided yet.

Without further ado…

Today’s thing I’ve learned from blogging:

You cannot blog in a bubble.

Not even if you're Jake Gyllenhaal in a very ill-advised early-life role choice.

Not even if you’re Jake Gyllenhaal in a very ill-advised early-life role choice.

So when I started blogging many and many a moon ago, I just kind of did my thing. I wrote, and a few people would comment, and I thought that’s all that blogging was, because I didn’t know any better. I read a few other blogs – mainly the big ones – but was too afraid to comment, both because I thought what I had to say was probably idiotic, and that if I commented, and put a link to my blog with my Gravatar, the fancy blogging people would read my blog and would be SO DISGUSTED WITH HOW DORKY I WAS and was I ready to have fancy people read my blog? Was I really?

After a while, I connected with other bloggers (mainly through Twitter) and since I had talked to them on Twitter, I wasn’t as afraid to comment on their blogs. And huzzah! They reciprocated! And we had conversations in the comments! And they told people they knew to read my blog! And I started getting more readers! Some of whom had blogs of their own, and therefore, more blogs to read and comment on and more readers and on and on and on and so it goes!



And sometimes, you make friends with the bloggers! Not just casual friends, but real friends, the kind that check on you when you’re down and send you things they saw online that made them think of you and that you have real, true friendships with. My closest online friends are all bloggers; I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think I’d find it hard to relate to someone who didn’t use words as their primary attack on life online.

(And we’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think there’s much delineation between online friends and face-area friends, not really. If you talk to someone almost daily, if you share in their lives, if they share in yours, if you love them, if they love you? You’re friends. It doesn’t matter if you’ve met face-to-face or not. It’s wonderful when you CAN, but it’s still a friendship, and it’s still just as valid.)

Yeah, kind of like this, only less clinical. If I love you to distraction and would willingly jump in front of a speeding locomotive to save your life? Doesn't matter if you live in my computer or not. You're my people.

Yeah, kind of like this, only less clinical. If I love you to distraction and would willingly jump in front of a speeding locomotive to save your life? Doesn’t matter if you live in my computer or not. You’re my people.

Also, teaming up with other bloggers, be it guest-posting or actually collaborating with them on a blog, is another excellent way to make the blogosphere work for you. My guest-posting has brought me new readers and introduced me to new blogs to read and has also taught me how to work well with others (something I did NOT get good marks for in kindergarten, I can tell you that right now.) It’s also pushed me to create some of the work I’m most proud of that I’ve done since I started blogging.

So, yes. You can blog without getting engaged with other bloggers and/or your commenters, but why would you want to? Engaging with the internet is over half the fun of blogging. Sincerely. Bloggers that cut themselves off from that perplex the hell out of me.

Now…drumroll please…for my seventh most popular post of ALL TIME…all time being TWO WHOLE YEARS…

…from March 2012…

…with 538 total views in the past 15 months…

…which I realize to you fancy high-profile blogger types is like CHUMP CHANGE, don’t be snotty, I’ll smack you with a rolled-up newspaper…

To Dad, on his birthday (since I can’t be there to say it in person)

OK, here’s what’s weird about this one being in the top seven posts of all time. (And, actually, except for one or two, all of the top posts fall under this umbrella of weirdness.)

This post is not popular because of the subject matter or because of the awesome photo of young-Amy and young-Amy’s-Dad with killer 70’s facial hair going on.

No, this post is popular because I get searches EVERY MONTH for people who want to know what to say to THEIR dads on his birthday.

Listen, this utterly kills me. I can’t tell you this. If you copy/paste what I said to my dad? You’re doing it wrong. WRONG.

This cat disapproves of you not speaking from the heart.

This cat disapproves of you not speaking from the heart.

Only you can decide what’s right to say to your dad on his birthday. Only you can make this decision. My relationship with my father is not YOUR relationship with YOUR father. That’s what’s beautiful about us as the human race, my little strawberry shortcakes. We’re all different, and no one has the same relationship with anyone in their lives.

I appreciate the clicks and the reads, sure I do. I like this post, even if Dad never read it because “you tell the internet too much of your personal life on there and you’re going to be murdered, Amy.” But it makes me sad you can’t just be honest with yourself, and your father, and just say to him what’s in your heart to say.

And if you can’t think of anything else? How about telling him you love him? And you appreciate him?

Stay tuned, jellybeans. Much more to come. More sage blogging advice. Or at least blogging advice, I can’t promise sagacity. More perplexing “really? This is the post you guys like most? OK, then.” More bloggiversary week antics. ALL FOR YOU, DAMIEN!

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