Humans reflect at milestones, they make changes, evaluate their goals, celebrate.
Today is a nexus: the 100th blog post. The Fourth of July – American Independence Day. A few days after the middle of the year 2013, and the 10th straight month of posting. The week of the 21st posted scene for Pride’s Children. The second birthday of the chinchilla, Gizzy.
I’ve been thinking all day how to mark it.
I started this blog to get an outlet to the Internet, an online magazine which would think each and every one of my posts was acceptable – and publish it.
My first post was on September 29, 2012, https://liebjabberings.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/taking-the-plunge-a-writers-worst-fear/, in which I promised to take into account that fear: being irrelevant.
I started this blog for the more important reason, for me, of finding a place which would publish my novel-in-progress, Pride’s Children – a mainstream story of love, deceit, and betrayal. I am proud to say that since I posted the first polished scene on February 12, 2013, and announced it on Tuesdayserial.com, I have posted every single Tuesday without fail. Twenty-one in a row, to be exact. That is huge for me, and I won’t tell you how near I came to missing that deadline a couple of times – best I keep that little secret to myself, but is was less than ten minutes before midnight.
Before I started blogging, I did my apprenticeship by reading other people’s blogs, and quickly came to a core set I still read every day, most of them on self-publishing and ebooks in general; a few in the continuing set of things I need to learn to be a decent human being. I read, and when I felt confident enough, I started commenting as ABE.
I will update this post to fill in the up-til-now vacant blogroll. It is a big commitment, to publicly state who you read, who you admire, who you consider your online mentors.(Tomorrow – I don’t want to miss the midnight deadline I set for myself!)
Here are the milestones:
The first Like.
The first Spam.
The first Comment.
The first Follow.
The first Pingback.
The first time I linked to another post of mine.
The first time I linked to someone else’s post.
The first time someone else linked to me.
The first time Google found me from a search term.
The first time I reached 10, 50, 100, 150 views in a day.
My first BEAT READER!
The first time…
You get the idea.
At the same time I was learning how to do things – all documented somewhere in the first 99 posts, just in case anyone else needed a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.
I am grateful for it all, and I’ve had a ball.
I have not done a single thing to force traffic – it has grown organically with time and posting, as I hoped it would do. I didn’t want to go the route of following and commenting to get followers and commenters – not that there’s anything wrong with that in principle, but that was not the path I chose to go down.
Today I am extremely grateful not only to be an American, but to live in the United States of America (I grew up in Mexico), where things aren’t perfect, but they’re better than any place else. I will let better writers extoll our country’s virtues and flaws; for me, I’m just glad I get to be here.
I am grateful in extreme that the agents who liked my previous novel enough to send personal rejection letters didn’t take me on way back when I started writing: those self-publishing blogs? They have convinced me that self-publishing will be the only way for me to go, at least to start, and probably forever (never say never – but an acceptable publishers offer seems more remote every day).
The writing – it is going well. Slowly, but well. I have confirmed my working process, and dug myself out of holes enough time that I have a variety of successful methods to use when I get stuck. It hasn’t made me not love writing. Whatever ability I have has solidified more or less into a personal style and voice – and I am comfortable with it.
My goals remain the same: finish Book 1 of the trilogy before year’s end, and the complete trilogy by September 2014, when I can publish. I got confident and posted somewhere that my goal is to sell 600,000 copies (but I wisely didn’t state by when).
My interim goal is to keep polishing those scenes – roughly 100 of them in Book 1 (20 chapters with an average of 5 scenes per) – and keep posting them every Tuesday. And to write more short fiction – and publish that, too.
And to create, at some point, an ebook of all the crazy personal ways I have found to keep on track, writing fiction, within the limitations of energy and brain fog that live with me daily.
If you see this, and get to this point, please serve yourself a virtual glass of champagne – and celebrate with me.
~ ~ ~
PS Gizzy got a few extra apple bits (a plus for her) and too many fireworks (she’s hiding under the furniture – hates the noise).
It’s amazing how encouraging milestones are. I’m glad you have so many, and that you don’t not love writing. I’d be very sad if you didn’t!