Miles, as in the old folk song?
Laps, as in the Indianapolis 500?
A Fiat, as in the Fiat 500?
A win/loss percentage, as in having a 500 season?
All of the above are well-known 500s. Today, however, I’ve got another 500 on my mind. For today I am offering you Nana’s Whimsies’ 500th blog post!
Five hundred posts. I can hardly believe it. Who would ever think that I could come up with 500 stories to tell you?
In 2008, Bill and I took a trip to Europe, cruising across the Atlantic on a ship. We spent the next three months traveling around Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, enjoying the various cultures, eating the delicious indigenous foods, seeing spectacular sights, and meeting amazing local people. As we prepared to leave on our big adventure, I began thinking about how I would stay connected to my friends and family from across the ocean.
“I’ll send you all regular emails,” I said, wondering if that would indeed be realistic.
No, said my much-hipper-friends. Write a blog.
Huh? It was late in 2007, and I seriously had never heard of a blog. Heck, I was happy that I even knew how to email. But my friends explained blogs to me and showed me just how easy it was to create your own. In particular, my daughter-in-law Lauren enthusiastically encouraged me to consider the idea. So, with her help and the help of others, I published my first blog, The Reluctant Traveler. I imagined a few hits a day. To my surprise, as the months passed by, I learned that a surprising number of people were following Bill’s and my adventures via my blog. That knowledge helped waylay my homesickness.
When we returned, I again was surprised at how many people told me that they think I should continue to write a blog. They missed reading my posts every day.
Seriously? Why would anyone be interested in the mundane life of a 60-something baby boomer? It’s one thing to be able to write about travel antics, but my days consist mostly of kids, grandkids, family and friends. No exciting plans to hike Mount Everest.
Now I must give a nod to my friend Megan, who convinced me that blogs were just the 21st century’s version of magazine columnists. And, she pointed out, just think how popular Erma Bombeck had always been because of her funny stories about her normal life.
Between Megan and my sister Jen, I was convinced to start another blog. I struggled a bit with what the blog’s focus should be. I didn’t particularly want to have a cooking blog because a) I’m not a particularly creative cook and b) there are 10 cajillian cooking blogs already out there. Plus, I didn’t want to be stuck with just one focus. I have a lot of interests. And sometimes I just want to tell a story without having to come up with a recipe.
Thus, the birth of Nana’s Whimsies.
Though the idea of making a bit of money from my blog was, and continues to be, appealing, what really keeps me posting every day is connecting with people. I think most of my readers are associated with me in some way – a relative, a friend, the friend of a friend, etc. On the one hand, I would like to figure out a way to garner the interest of people unconnected to me. On the other hand, I am so very happy that Nana’s Whimsies has become a part of a lot of people’s everyday lives. When I was recently in the hospital, for example, a number of people commented on how they missed reading my blog. One reader, a cousin, said she missed her “daily dose of Nana.” That makes me smile.
I plan to continue Nana’s Whimsies as long as it is fun to write my stories. Because I so enjoy writing, I think that will be a long time. I continue to try to find ways to build my readership, and I appreciate any help you all can give me in that regard. Share my blog on Facebook. Tell your friends. Read my stories every day. Give me feedback and/or ideas. Comment on my blog.
Over the next few weeks, I plan on taking another kind of scary step – that of self-hosting my blog. I would explain what that means, but it’s way too complicated for unsophisticated minds. (The truth of the matter is I haven’t really the foggiest notion of what that means, but it’s what everyone tells me my next step should be.)
What I do know is that it will allow me to become part of blogging networks which should help with my readership. I’m telling you all this so that if you log onto my blog and there is a glitch of some sort, know that it will be worked out. Be patient. Let me know any problems you encounter.
Thanks for all of your support and your faithful readership. It means more than you will ever know.