Posts Tagged ‘thankful’
In the first year, I published 55 blogs. In the second year, 59 blogs. And in the third year. I published 30 blog posts. And yet, the third year was one of the best years in my blog’s history because of two separate, but connected events – speaking at WordCamp Seattle and WordCamp Portland.
I started this blog to find my voice and have a place to write. But it quickly turned into a hub around connecting with people. From random conversations with people I meet on Twitter to coffee shop dates with bloggers I admire, or three-degrees of separation that turn into job offers, most of the people I have met over the past three years have been connected to this blog and the doors that it has opened to me. And for all of the specific and vague connections I have made over the past three years, I am grateful.
My blog’s third year started off with more momentum, posts, and excitement than I could imagine. But after the second speaking event at the end of summer, everything went into a quiet hiatus. I still wrote and published blogs, but things slowed way down over here as I focused my creative energy into a new fulltime job I started in September. But when I look at the past year as a whole and ignore my goal of publishing more posts than I had in the previous year, my blog’s third year was a momentous one.
And to commemorate its birthday, here’s a little roundup of lessons learned, best posts, and the random ways that people find my blog.
The Three Most Important Lessons I’ve learned in Three Years of Blogging
1. You never have enough time to blog as you want to. I laughed when putting together my slides about blogging every day because I knew someone would ask, “How do you find the time to blog?” and the answer I prepared the following answer: you just do. For whatever reason, this fall I really understood what it meant to not have enough time to do anything other than go to work, eat, and barely get enough sleep to be energized to tackle the next day. I’ve had fulltime jobs before, but the one I started was different and I could not (still cannot) explain why. And while, for the first time in my life, I’m happy going through the motions and just being that person who goes to work and comes home, the writer inside of me is aching to write more. And the only way to satisfy her is to steal that time from somewhere else and, sit down, shut up, and pound the keyboard until words appear.
2. The post you pour your heart and soul into writing will never resonate with readers as much as the one you write and publish in the moment. There is a time and a place for epic blog posts that you spend hours researching, writing, editing, and perfecting. And while it feels good to write those essays, when it comes to blogs and writing content that people (you) care about, are posts that are written in an hour’s notice based on the ideas that you’ve been chewing on over the past few days. Stop thinking. Start writing.
3. Numbers alone don’t measure success. I’ve been struggling to write this recap and feel good about my third year of blogging because I haven’t been blogging lately. I didn’t blog every day in November. And I didn’t post at all in December. But when I think about all the people I have met and the opportunities I have had because of the work I have put into my blog since the beginning, it has been a damn successful year. (more…)
Today is the last day of November which means that all of the men who grew ‘staches for Movember can finally shave, we all flip our calendars and freak out about the goals we have left to meet in 2011, and it is the end of National Blog Posting Month. This is my second year at posting one blog post every day for the month of November and – woah – what a month it’s been!
Goals and Milestones
On November 1st I made six goals for myself to keep this month. Here’s how I did:
1. Post at least one blog every single day
By the time I publish my recap, I’ll have published 27 blog posts in a month with 30 days. I skipped three days; one was because I was out with friends and forgot and two were because it was the first week of my new job and I was tired.
This weekend I read Om Malik’s list of lessons he learned from ten years of blogging and he shared something Doc Searls said: “Blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time. If you respect their time, they are going to give you some time of their day.” And while there are a few blog posts I wrote this month that I categorize as “throw away” posts (meaning that I could have gone without writing them because I was too exhausted from life, uninspired, was unwilling to write, or had plain and simple writer’s block), every single post that I wrote and published went live before midnight and that’s an awesome accomplishment.
2. Stick to the content calendar
Who was I kidding when I wrote this? My blog is the place where I can write about “life according to Laura,” and this life says that content calendars are great, but mostly irrelevant for whatever I’m feeling right here and right now.
Okay, okay, so I probably stuck with the content calendar 30% of the time, like today and this recap. I’ve had this recap blog post planned for an entire month
3. Be fearless
Yep, did that, but not without hesitation.
4. Increase traffic
I totally nailed this goal and my traffic for the month of November 2011 was up 56% from November 2010. I’m proud of achieving this goal.
5. No epic blog posts
I made sure not to write or publish any “epic” blog posts this year. Epic blog posts are essays or articles that could honestly be a senior-level college thesis. They include a very strong point of view and research to back that up. And they take a lot of thought to write and a lot of time to edit. Epic blog posts should not be cranked out in 2-4 hours, but days or weeks.
While I technically didn’t write any epic blog posts this year, there were three blog posts that were about timely subjects and I wrote them a day or two in advance. The problem, you see, is that NaBloPoMo isn’t about writing everyday, it’s about posting every day. So there were a few nights where I cranked out that day’s post, published it, and went straight to writing the next one. That was a little hard, but it sure was fun to relax and not write the next night.
Oh, and the best part about not writing epic blog posts is I’ve been listening – to what you’re responding to in my posts, to what other bloggers are writing and asking about – and I’ve put all of those ideas in a queue and I’m very excited to dive deeply into those topics. So get ready.
6. Read one new blog every single day
I’ve been reading a lot this month, but I haven’t been commenting as much as I wanted to. Why? I quit my job and started another one. Oh, and I’ve been blogging. A lot. So suck it. It happens.
Milestones and big announcements
- I came out as a writer, a real writer (and my first writing professor responded to it)
- I quit my job
- I started a new job
- I started a new weekly-roundup series
- My husband became an artist
- My friend launched his daily art project
- I started a Facebook page for my blog (Toss a girl a like?)
- Yesterday, I published my 100th blog post on lamiki.com
- 500 Words or Less – I wrote a blog post about something that a writer said at an event and he wrote a response back. That was pretty awesome.
- Hipster Generation of Entrepreneurs – I I wrote a response to the New York Times article about the Entrepreneurial Generation and I was quoted in an article on GeekWire in response to the same NYT article – big win in my world.
Blogs I had the most fun writing
- Happy Thanksgiving Eve – I had the most fun writing this post and telling you not to listen to every other blogger and Tweet during Thanksgiving (Okay, ‘fess up, who stayed online all weekend?)
- Picturing My True Identity – Because who doesn’t love sharing photos of themselves from high school?
- That Blog Post About my Cats – Even though cats may rule the Internet, being a cat lady is still does not. This was one of the most creative posts I wrote and, let’s be honest here, I have cats, two of them, and they’re pretty awesome.
So long, NaBloPoMo, we’ll meet again!
I had fun this month. And while I really think that the 2010 NaBloPoMo experiment was my breakout year, I kicked ass this year and I’m emerging from the 2011 NaBloPoMo season as a better writer who is pretty damn good at blogging. And as a result, I know you and myself a lot better. Thank you for being with me on this journey.
What’s next? Not a new blog post on Thursday, December 1st, but you will see a new post this weekend.
Stay tuned boys and girls. And thank you for being here with me.
Photo Credit: Lorena Cupcake
This year, like every year, has been one filled with ups and downs, events that went down as planned and events that went awry, things that happened for a reason and surprises that revealed themselves at the most opportune times.
Today was perhaps the most perfect Thanksgiving ever. It started by John and I going out last night to the 10pm showing of The Muppets and coming home to finish making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (thanks to a delicious recipe from Bill the Butcher). Then this morning started by going to CrossFit and doing a team WOD with two of my best CrossFit friends. Participating in today’s WOD was a big deal since I’ve been doing solo workouts and rehabbing my shoulder due to tendonitis and bursitis that I’ve had for a year and a half.
For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my in-laws’ house. They were the hosts and we dined with them, my sister-in-law, her fiancé, John, my parents, and a family friend. The feast was complimented by laughter and now I’m home on the couch, blogging, while John and I are watching Harry Potter, which is kind of a tradition in this house.
It was the perfect Thanksgiving Day.
Thirty Reasons to be Thankful
In the tradition of last year, here is what I am thankful for this year:
- John – my support, my rock, my heart
- Building strength, physical and psychological
- New friends
- Old friends
- Friends who have moved from professional to personal friends
- Twitter BFFs and blogging buddies
- You, my reader
- My blog
- My new job
- My old job
- My family – my parents, my in-laws, my sisters, my brothers, my nephew
- Going to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday next week.
- Having control over my own schedule
- My acupuncturist and my chiropractor
- Celebrating hump day
- Being a writer
- Hipsters and the hipster-way-of-life
- Dancing, just because we can
- Cooking and baking at home
- Cuddling (even though my husband has dropped 50 pounds in the past year thanks to CrossFit, his hipbones are still fun to cuddle with)
- Listening to my gut
- Putting things in motion
- Not settling
- The ability, drive, and ambition to fix things that aren’t right
- Big ideas, implemented
- Being comfortable in my own skin and appreciating who I am.
That last one is probably the biggest way to summarize all that has happened so far this year. 2011 has been a “building” year – personally, professionally, physically, and psychologically.
Thank you – for reading and being here; lamiki.com would not be what it is without you.
Now, I’m going to do what I told you not to do yesterday and log off to spend time with the first item on this list.
When I read last week’s #reverb10 prompt on friendship, one person entered my head immediately. But I don’t want to pull out and highlight how one person’s friendship has really ignited me this year because 1) I don’t want to sound gushy, and 2) I’m a nice person. And in keeping with the trend of thank you speeches at the Oscars, I don’t want to leave anyone out.
Let me tell you a story. You know that I admire people who open up, are vulnerable, and share their ideas about world domination with me. Ideas are infectious and inspiring. When I see someone I care about achieve greatness, it launches me down the same kick ass adventure as them. No one does it alone, and that is so true, especially in my life.
It takes a village
It takes a village to lift an individual to the next degree of greatness. A village made of people who share common interests, speak the same language, and weave in and out of each other’s lives. There are the regulars, the newbs, the tourists, the every-once-in-awhile’s and the causal acquaintances. This village may also be known of as a community.
Every once in a while, the every-once-in-awhile’s and casual acquaintances drop by the village on a more frequent basis. They take a liking to you and you to them. You open up to them and they open up to you. You reveal ideas to them and they reveal the most honest feedback back to you.
You become better because of your conversations with them, or worse. Either way, you’re different from how you were before and a stamp of them is left on you (whether you realize this or not). (more…)
In every family, there’s one thing that is your “thing” and it’s a right-of-passage to learn how to do it and how to do it well. It’s usually a trade secret and something you can whip out at parties and impress your friends with. Something that is passed down by generations and a mad skill that is like nothing for you when you do it. In my family, this thing is making pies from scratch.
These pies originate where my roots do, from the Midwest. One year when I was in high school, my parents, sister and I spent Christmas with our family on their farm in Iowa. My grandpa wasn’t doing so well, so all the aunts and their families came to spend some quality time together. We turned my grandma’s kitchen into a pie-lover’s dream.
We are pie-making machines
We had three stations: crust, filling, fruit processing. The first few pies went straight into the oven and straight into our mouths. The rest were slid into gallon zip-lock bags and stacked in the deep freeze in the basement, to give Grandma something quick and easy to give Grandpa if he was being finicky. Since that winter, it’s been an unofficial contest between my cousins as to who can mass-produce the most number of pies in one pie-making session. One summer they made something obscene like 15 pies due to a healthy crop of homegrown rhubarb. I can’t compete with that. (more…)