Looking Back

I began my blogging journey on August 14, 2013. I placed the word journey in italics to emphasize the fact that prior to blogging, I never used the word journey in any way that didn’t include actual travel. In fact, when I hear people say (or read that someone’s written) that they are on a (fill-in-the-blank) journey, I throw up a little bit in my mouth. And yet, here I am, referring to my blogging journey. Something apparently takes over one’s mind when one is responsible for a blog. I’m sorry.

Anyway, I posted my first Nana’s Whimsies blog on August 14, 2013 – over three years ago. Imagine that. For three years I have come up with something to say each day, except for Sundays. It has evolved over the years, as things do. My regular Saturday Smile, for example, didn’t show up until February 1, 2014. Since then, each Saturday I tell my readers about something that amused me or made me happy that past week.

As I look back, I realize that early on, my blogs often included recipes. That’s because initially I considered doing a cooking blog. I ditched that idea when I realized how many cajillion cooking blogs there already are, and when I remembered that I’m not really all that good a cook.

My Friday book reviews began almost immediately. That means I have reviewed somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 books. From Nana’s Whimsies’ very beginning, my brother (one of my most faithful readers) has nagged me about my book reviews. “I already don’t get to read your blog on Sundays, and now I don’t get to read it on Fridays either,” says he. He has consistently urged me to substitute pizza reviews on Friday for my book reviews. I don’t intend to do that, however. It is true that my lowest readership is consistently on Fridays, but I get the most likes from strangers on that day as well. Besides, despite the low numbers, I have faithful book review readers. I know this to be true because a number of people have told me they read a book based on my review. Besides, my blog is designed to be, well, whimsical, and one of my whimsies is reading.

My sister Jen, who originally encouraged me to write a blog and is my informal (and unpaid) blog manager, consistently warns me that she’s afraid I am going to eventually run out of ideas. I wonder if that is true. There are only so many stories I can tell about my grandmother. Most of my readers don’t find my grandkids as adorable as do I. How many anti-pumpkin-spice posts can I get away with? But the reality is that if you pay attention (and that’s the key), life is pretty darn interesting. A blogger whom I follow, Melanie Shankle — who writes a very funny blog called The Big Mama Blog – gave this advice to those of us who want to write a blog: “My best advice is to write more, read more, listen more. Observe the world around you and figure out what it is you want to say and what you really care about. For me, that’s trying to find the funny or the absurd or the offbeat, but it’s different for every single one of us.”

And so that’s what I try to do.

Originally I had hoped that through advertising, I would be able to make a little bit of money by writing this blog. That has not proven to be true. My readership simply isn’t high enough to warrant any advertising. At first I was disappointed by this reality. But my readership has consistently increased, bit by bit, and I seem to be reaching the people I want to reach. I have connected up with friends and cousins I haven’t seen or heard from for years. I have made new friends who comment consistently. And, quite frankly, I am so annoyed when I have to deal with ads on other blogs that I am kind of happy my readers don’t have to deal with it.

As of this day, I have shared 950 blog posts with you all. In the years since I began, I have gotten over 46,000 views. I currently have 104 people who have signed up to get my blog each day – mostly other bloggers with topics ranging from movie and book reviews to recipes. My viewers come from all over the world, literally. I have consistent hits from Brazil, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom. I, of course, have no way of knowing if those hits are from the same individuals each day, but in my world, they are. I envision, for example, a reader sitting in her Cotswold cottage in central England eagerly awaiting the bink! that tells her I have posted my daily blog! When a friend was living for a time in Qatar, it pleased me that I got consistent hits from that Middle East country. Likewise, as of late, I have noticed consistent hits from Australia which I attribute to my brother-in-law who has been visiting there for the past few weeks.

I tend to get somewhere between 60 and 100 hits a day – sometimes more. The most hits I ever got in one day was on January 11, 2016, when I posted a blog about a woman who donated her kidney to an acquaintance. That particular blog post received 371 hits. I’m thinking of asking her to donate another kidney so that I can again experience the exhilaration of hundreds of hits.

For the next few days, I am going to repost some of my favorite blogs, beginning with the aforementioned post about the generous organ donator. On Friday, I’m going to post my regular book review just to annoy my brother.

For those of you who are faithful readers, I am tickled to share my life with you.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

11 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. I enjoy your blog so much. I love getting to know you and your family through your writing. Thanks for putting yourself out there!

  2. I love your blog every time I read it! I laugh out loud and smile throughout. But, no plans on donating the other kidney 😂 At this point in time.

  3. I am so glad you are keepin’ on with the blog. I read every day even if I do not comment. I like the book reviews…never would have found Inspector Gamache without you! By the way I just read Sorrow Road by Julia Keller and was disappointed. I thought the suspense just wasn’t as good this time out.

    • I agree. I struggled with the relationship between the maintenance man and her daughter as well. I’m not sure I’m going to like the daughter being an important character. We’ll see.

  4. I love beginning my day with your blog post. I agree with Heather, thank you for putting yourself out there.

  5. I truly enjoy your blog and love your sense of humor! I do not have a lot of visitors on mine either but I feel like I have made friends and learned so much from others that it does not matter. I have won many recipe/cooking contests, been a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-off 3 times, had recipes published in several magazines but did not want to do a cooking blog either! There are so many. I love being a grandmother and want to share that part of my life. You keep on writing and we will keep on reading.

  6. First, I really want to let you know, even though I don’t live in a foreign country…I really enjoy your blog. No other blog makes me laugh out loud as much as yours does. I have even retold some of your stories, more than once. Sometimes my husband hears me snort at my computer and asks if I am reading that ladies blog from Colorado again! I doubt you will run out of material because you are just looking at life from the funny side. p.s. I don’t mind hearing stories about the grands….but geez I am still trying to get over the fact that you warm the pool water for them! I told my husband and he said, “why don’t you do that?” Seriously??!!! Ahhh….that is a hard NO. 🙂

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