In the blogging world, new bloggers often celebrate their one year anniversary of blogging by acknowledging it as their “blogiversary.” While it may seem a bit grandiose, it is kind of a rite of passage, and a nice opportunity to reflect back on the crazy journey that is the first year of blogging.
One year ago, after a slightly unpleasant but extremely memorable Father’s Day outing, I sat down and wrote my first blog post. I’m quite certain the only person who has read it is my mom, so everyone else, go ahead and read it. I’ll wait. Here it is: Father’s Day: Celebration of Family or Ironic Joke?
It is amazing to me how much my blog has evolved since those first few months. First of all, my blog looked nothing like it does now- it was back when I first started out on Blogger, two designs ago, and pretty much everything was different. Some of my first few posts kind of sucked, and I’m quite certain I had about 10 people who read my blog back then. I had no “network” of blog friends, no idea what social media promotion and networking involved, no knowledge of blog etiquette, no FB page for my blog, no Twitter handle, and certainly no Pinterest account! (I am still terrible at that one…)
I had no idea what I was getting into.
A bunch of my blog pals have celebrated their “blogiversaries” this past month, and I have greedily devoured their posts, eager to find some ideas on how to approach this epic (too much?) one year post. I’m afraid to say, even after reading their inspiring posts, I got nothin’.
I could write about all the things I have learned about blogging, but I already did that here on Julie’s Fabulous Blogging: First Year Bloggers series.
I could tell you about why I decided to start blogging and why I continue to do it, but I wrote that post a few weeks ago: Blogging: My Sanity Saver.
I could write about how unbelievably awkward I felt entering the blogging world, and how self-promotion made me squirm, but I did that already too, with The Awkward Blogger.
I could list my ten favorite posts of my first year, but that seems like a cheap, sneaky way to get you to go back and read all my old stuff. (Scratch that- I’m totally going to do that later this week.)
Huh. So how do I acknowledge this last year, and all that it has meant to me? It may sound hyperbolic, but starting my blog literally changed my life. In mostly good ways, but a few that still make me uncomfortable.
Blogging has helped me rediscover my voice as a writer. It has connected me with people that have become true kindred spirits. It makes me feel like I am doing something that matters to other people. Sometimes I worry that my posts sound too whiny, like a rant about how hard it is to be a parent. But I have found a genuinely positive result of this venting: I have realized that once I purge myself of my negative feelings about something I find challenging, I am often better equipped to cope with it.
For example, when I was writing that book I mentioned (I really think it might be time to dust it off again.) I wrote an excerpt about how much I hated taking my then-toddler to the bathroom, how much I loathed bending over, stretching wide the leg-holes of her Pull-Ups while she wobbled around and tried to stuff her feet into them.
Now, four years later, I am right back there with a toddler and a whole new set of Pull-Ups. And do I enjoy helping her put them on fourteen times a day? No. But I don’t hate it as much; simply giving myself the permission to acknowledge that it made me crazy alleviated some of the tension, increased my self-awareness, and somehow gave me the ability to cope. I find that is the case with most of the things I vent about that pertain to motherhood- it is a catharsis to express my ambivalence in writing, and it makes me a better mother.
I am still trying desperately to find balance; my one regret is that much of my free time is now taken up by blogging. Though I love it, and find it restorative and invigorating, it drains a lot of my energy. I realize that before I started blogging and writing regularly, I exercised more, meditated more, kept the house cleaner, read more books, and even stayed caught up with Grey’s Anatomy.
Meredith and McDreamy aside, I feel very guilty about those things. And I’m working on it.
So I will continue blogging. I never dreamed I would be where I am today, one year after I started. Am I a world-renowned blogger? Hell no. But I am doing things I never dreamed I would have the knowledge and skills to do (SEO anyone? Widgets? Buttons?) and I have “met” people I never dreamed I would meet. I get the privilege of going to BlogHer ’13 in Chicago next month, and I am eager to absorb all that there is to learn there.
As for this blogiversary week, I am going on vacation, and taking a much-needed blog break. I think I’ll post some of my favorite posts from this past year on my FB page and on Twitter throughout the week (hey, I am a self-admitted nostalgia junkie, after all!) and you can still link up here for FTSF on Thursday at 10 pm EST, but I am allowing myself to fall off the face of the blogosphere for a little family time and relaxation. (Yeah, I know. What an oxymoron.) I’m certain our adventures will inspire some amusing posts upon my return. Please forgive me if I am not as responsive this week! I’ll catch you when I am back in town…
OK, here is the part where I thank you. (Yes, I’m crying a little now. Dammit.) Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for reading my work. Thank you for leaving thoughtful comments. Thank you for inspiring me to do better. Thank you for being patient with me as I find my way. (I’m talking to you, husband.) Thank you for the honor of sharing some of my life with you.
It’s been a great year.
It has been a great year for great blogs! Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your time off. 😀
Thank you! I’m in good company, that’s for sure!
Yay! Congrats on your one-year celebration. You did it just right – in your voice, and that’s what people come here to read.
Thank you so much, Deb! I appreciate that! So glad you have you as a blog sistah! xo
Happy Blogiversary and seriously it has been a wonderful year for blogging. Hope you enjoy your week off, too and totally deserved!! 🙂
Thanks Janine- I hope I can keep my hands off my phone while I’m gone! 😀
Happy ‘versary, yo Been a pleasure…’
going to read the link to the primal Post… (not so good at following suggestions, plus I want to be able to come back with a follow-up Comment).
You write good.
Thank you so much, Clark! You write good as well. 😉
Congratulations Stephanie! Your blog is quickly becoming one of my faves! I love your honesty, your humor, and your willingness to share both the good and the bad about parenting. I am just starting the blogging journey, and it is amazing ~ I think it definitely makes us more mindful as parents, as we pay more attention to our lives and think more deeply about them in order to write about them and share ourselves with the world. And what a treat to the world that you are sharing YOU! Enjoy your well-deserved “vacation”!! xoxo
Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Sarah! I am so glad to have you as one of the recent additions to my blog world! Very grateful our paths crossed!
Wow even your “technically challenged” mother has learned things via your blog and later the website you created. I do love reading what you post and reveling in the fact, “That’s my daughter writing.” It makes me proud.
Aw, thanks Mom! Love you…
A year sure passes fast!! Happy blogniversary to you, Stephanie!! All the best to you, and in fact, everyone, in their blogging endeavors!
It does past fast! Thanks Michelle!
Ugh. Pass. Too much typing…
Big congrats & enjoy your blog vacation!
Thanks Lisa- I will!
Now I’m crying a little bit too, damnit! Happy, happy blogiversary to you, Steph. I, along with so many others I’m sure, am grateful that you started and continued Mommy, For Real, powering through the frustrations of what a time-sucking beotch blogging and social media can be. At the end of each day, it is so rewarding to find connections, share the triumphs along with the sucky moments and realize that we’re not alone in hating pull-ups (or whatever). I’m so happy to have found you in this huge blogging world and consider you an inspiration, an amazing writer, and most importantly– my friend.
Happy blog birthday, MFR! I’m glad you’re here.
Oh, thanks, my dear friend! I really appreciate your comment, and I may have to re-read it when I am having my next low-morale blog week, which I’m sure will happen again in the near future! My “blog world” would not look nearly the same without you in it. In fact, you make me NOT want to quit, when I am feeling discouraged. Thanks for being one of my best friends in this crazy blogosphere.. xoxo
Congrats, Stephanie! Although I’m still new to the whole blogging world, your blog is definitely an inspirational one!
Thanks Keith! Stick with it- it gets to be even more rewarding each month you keep at it!
Congratulations, Steph! You’ve come pretty far in just a year! And I’m so glad that I “met” you… I’m so grateful for everything that you’ve taught me and for the encouragement that you’ve given me during the last several months, both about HerStories and about everything else! You’re an amazing blogging friend!!! Here’s to many more years of fantastic writing — in whatever form — for you!
Thanks Jessica! I feel the same way about you- I am very grateful we managed to find each other in this busy blog world! You have definitely shaped both my voice and direction as a blogger!
Hey, girl! I knew we had a connection because my post today is totally about my first blogiversary too!! You’re one of the most talented writers I know, so I’m proud to know you! Looking forward to many, many more fab posts from you!
Ahhh! So exciting! I can’t wait to check yours out! Happy Blogiversary to you, too! Just one more blog connection we share! Thanks for the nice comment, too! 🙂
Happy 1 year of blogging!! I related to so much of what you said blogging has brought you, and also related to how blogging as taken over all your free time. I am amazed at how much I have learned from blogging. Especially since I did not even have an email address two years ago and now can do things I never thought I would be able. I also have found community and a voice. All things I love. But I’m really curious to see how your blog break goes, I keep saying I’m going to take one but still have not!! Congratulations! I hope you find the balance you are looking for!
Thank you so much Kathy! And, ugh, I kind of suck at blog breaks. I can’t ever quite do it- I have to at least check in on FB, RT some stuff… check my stats… I will do my best!
Happy, happy blogiversary! Here’s hoping someone buys YOU a $14 princess hat and you find that sought-after balance between life and blogging. If you do, bottle that shit and sell it. You’ll be a gazillionaire by year’s end.
P.S. Sooo happy we’ve “met” here in the world o’ blogging.
Isn’t that the truth? F-ing blog balance… And aw, the princess hat, you went back and read my post! You are so sweet. I too am SO happy we met here in the blog world- you are one of my favorites to read, and your comments always make me happy. Thanks, friend!
So glad to have met you in the blogosphere!!!! Happy anniversary! You rock 🙂
Thanks Julie! And I am definitely glad/relieved/elated that I found you; at the risk of sounding dramatic, you pretty much changed my blog life.
I celebrated my blog’s anniversary in May and it felt like an accomplishment that I wasn’t expecting to keep.
I enjoy reading your writing so thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much Kelly! It does feel like such an accomplishment, doesn’t it?
Happy Anniversary Steph! You know I love you! XXXOOO
I do, Cheryl, and I love you too! xoxo
Happy Anniversary and this was a great way to acknowledge it…my one-year blogiversary is coming up in August and I wasn’t sure I was even going to write about it. Still not sure, because well, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned, I’ve written about why I blog, but hmm, maybe I should at least thank the 15 readers I have.:)
Oh, pshaw! You’ve been on HuffPost and Scary Mommy- you are going places, friend!
I love how you approached this topic! You were worried about sounding too grandiose, which is easy to do when you are celebrating yourself, but in true Stephanie style, you didn’t. You’ve managed to be interesting, relatable, warm and funny – Stephanie style. The only thing that concerns me is how do I top this when it’s my time?? I am SO happy to have made your blogquantaince. You make my blogging world a much happier place.
Oh, thank you so much, my dear friend! That is such a lovely compliment, and you know it means the world coming from you! I feel the same way… xo
Happy blogiversary, Stephanie! You were one of the first bloggers I found when I started in January, and I’m so thankful for that! Enjoy your week with your family!
Thanks Dana- I’m thankful for that, too!
Happy First Blogiversary! Mommy For Real has blossomed incredibly over the past 12 months. For reals, not being sappy. Great to have met you here and IRL. Love checking in with your blog, thanks for being here:)
Thanks so much, Pam- I sincerely appreciate that. I too am grateful to have met you x 2!
Aww, that is so sweet! Happy Blogiversary! I’m so glad we both started blogging and met each other and developed an awesome friendship. You rock, lady!
I too am glad for that- you, along with a few others, have completely reshaped my blog direction. I would be in a completely different place without you- and that is NOT an exaggeration!
LOVE this post so much. In every way possible. You nailed EXACTLY what is good (and not so good) about being a blogger. Happy Blogiversary and we hope you have a nice break! :)-The Dose Girls
Thanks ladies! I am so glad I found you in this big old blog world! I am definitely looking forward to a break this week!
One Year! Congrats! I cannot (REALLY CANNOT) believe that you have only been doing this for a year. You are like my blogger inspiration, and I was totally sure that this was in your blood for a lifetime. I know that you have always been a writer, but I do totally look up to you as a blogger and I just want to thank you for giving mne so much inspiration. I will continue to read your blog as long as you continue to write it (oh and I loved your over sharing post on Crazy/Exhausted site today!!)
WOW! That is truly one of the nicest compliments I have received on my blog! You have totally made my day, and you have no idea how much those words mean to me! Thank you so much!
Aww, happy blogiversary! I feel like I should have gotten you flowers or something…:)
Comments are better than flowers in the blog world! Thanks so much!
Happy anniversary! I love you and your writing! You rock!
I love the treat that you are giving yourself for your anniversary! What a gift to yourself. And it’s summertime, so perfect timing. Congratulations on a great year!
Happy Blogiversary to you! Time goes by so fast … and the learning curve’s so steep but we learn so much! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Honestly, I’m a little SHOCKED that it has only been a year. You have built such a big following already. I can only imagine where you’ll be when it’s been 2.5 years (where I’m at now). Much further I’m sure!!! Wish I could come to BlogHer since getting to Chicago if easier for me than other places. It’s my son’s bday though. Just can’t do it.
Meanwhile, I nodded my way big time through this paragraph: “I am still trying desperately to find balance; my one regret is that much of my free time is now taken up by blogging. Though I love it, and find it restorative and invigorating, it drains a lot of my energy. I realize that before I started blogging and writing regularly, I exercised more, meditated more, kept the house cleaner, read more books, . . . ”
That’s just so true. Such a big part of (successful) blogging is keeping up with other blogs. For sure takes a lot of time! I love that part, but it takes the place of other reading, other EVERYTHING.
Thank YOU for inspiring me. I’ll be right there with you working on getting my life back a little. My vacation has made me realize how much I miss reading. Got to at least make time for that. Hope you get to relax, really relax!