Ten Year Blogiversary for Whispering Gums, with a Giveaway

Today, my blog turns 10! I can hardly believe it. I really didn’t expect to be still writing it ten years on when I started way back there in May 2009, but it can become addictive, as many of you know yourselves!

I must say that I started shyly. I was nervous about sharing my opinions/ideas publicly, so I did very little to advertise myself, but you can’t be on-line for 10 years without becoming at least a little known, or so I’ve discovered. Fortunately, the responses have been positive and supportive. Litblogs, in fact, are remarkable for the absence of nastiness, proving that people can be polite on-line even when they don’t always agree.

Some highlights

So, I have written over 1600 posts, or, around 13.5 a month, which is not a stupendous number, but a comfortable rate for me. Of these, 442 have been Monday Musings’ posts which I started in mid-2010 as an experiment. Never did I believe I would still be finding topics to write about nearly nine years later, but the interest of readers here has encouraged me to continue. I have hosted a number of guest posts – and thank the generosity of those writers who wrote those posts – and I’ve guest-posted for others. I’ve taken part in other bloggers’ reading weeks and memes, and am also involved in administering or editing four or five other blogs.

Whispering Gums has been archived on the National Library of Australia’s web archive, Pandora, since 2012, which means it will be there, along with other litblogs, for researchers of the future who are interested in how we in the early 21st century shared books and reading, how we communicated on-line, and what we said about our literary culture and environment. I was “freshly pressed” in November 2010 – for a travel-oriented post (hmm) – resulting in my biggest single day of hits ever. (I don’t believe WordPress does this anymore.)

Because of my blog, I have been involved from the start, as a mentor, in the ACT Writers Centre’s arts blogging program. This is a joy, which brings me to the best highlight of all ….

My blog has introduced me to some wonderful people – bloggers, readers, writers, publishers – who have enhanced my understanding of literary culture immeasurably. I won’t name names because I’m sure to miss one, but you know who you are – don’t you? You mean a lot to me. Talking with other readers, as well as with practitioners and professionals in the arts, has added depth and breadth (too) to my own reading experience. I love that I’ve read and engaged with bloggers on every continent – oops, I lie, I don’t think I’ve ever engaged with a blogger from Antarctica! I’m not sure that Emperor Penguins read, though it would certainly give them something to do while they stand around nurturing those eggs!

Finally, for those who joined me later in the piece, here is a link to my first post which explains my name.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To mark this anniversary

To express my gratitude to all of you who have made this blogging journey such a fun and meaningful one, I would like to do a book giveaway, in fact, two book giveaways – one to an Australian-based reader and another to a non-Australian-based one. The book I send to each winner will be a surprise, making this a bit of a lucky dip.

The rules. Express your interest in the comments below, noting whether your postal address is Australian or not, and early on May 10 (in my AEST-zone), I’ll draw from each list using a random number generator. If you win, you will need to provide me with your mailing address (privately) as specified in the post announcing the winner. If you don’t, I’ll redraw. We can’t let a book gift go to waste, after all.

Meanwhile, a huge thanks to you all. You make this blog what it is – well, the positive things about it, anyhow. The rest, as they say, is mine! I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.


139 thoughts on “Ten Year Blogiversary for Whispering Gums, with a Giveaway

  1. Happy Blogiversary! I’m always interested in the books you review (whether I comment or not). I’d love to be in your giveaway. My address is not Australian.

  2. Ten years! Congratulations! I always eagerly look to see what you have to say, and I never cease to marvel at how much you read, and also at the length and depth of your analysis. 💐💐💐 Thank you.

  3. Happy Anniversary and thankyou not just for all the entertaining reading but also for your support. (We nearly met last weekend, at the Heysen exhibition, but mum wasn’t up to going in to town).

  4. Congratulations, Sue! You have made an enormous contribution to OzLit, and I for one never miss your Monday Musings and the wealth of info and ideas they contain.
    You are 100% correct about the LitBlog community, I think that the ink on the page gets from the fingers to the brain cells somehow and this ensures that the atmosphere stays friendly and supportive. It is one of the pleasures of my day to visit new posts and see what’s being talked about.
    LOL I think you’ll understand that I’ll pass on the giveaway because of the size of the TBR, but good luck to everybody!

    • Thanks very much Lisa – you know how I feel about our friendship! And yes, I completely understand you’ll pass on the give-away. I’d struggle to find one you hadn’t read (though I would have a few challenges up my sleeve if you changed your mind!)

  5. Congratulations, 10 years is incredible, here’s hoping you do another 10. I’m interested in the giveaway and based in Australia

    • Thanks Anna – it’s been great getting to know publishers like you – and reading some books I may not have as a result – through the blog. Are you interested in the giveaway? No need to reply if you are not.

  6. Wow!!! The number of your posts is astounding! Congratulations and thank you for running such a great blog about my first and last love, books! I’d love to receive a surprise, and I’m Australia based – still…

  7. Even though I prefer ebooks, put me in the draw. I trust once you’ve posted the prizes you’ll let the rest of us know what they were?! And congratulations on ten years of blogging, truly a great achievement. May you have at least another ten. And congratulations to everyone who has posted to this blog, and made it such a vibrant community. My address is Australia.

    • Thanks very much Neil. I love that you’ve joined this little blogging community. Yes, since you’ve asked I’ll try to remember to announce the chosen books when it’s all done. You are no. 3A in the draw.

  8. Congratulations, Sue! Ten years – that’s wonderful. I love your posts and always read them with great interest. I’m not much of a commenter, I’m afraid, but it’s great to come across someone who shares my interest in Australian books and writing. Here’s to the next ten years!

  9. Congratulations on your ten year anniversary, Sue! Over that time, you’ve helped many authors and Australian literature in general, and provided many hours of reading to so many of us. Thank you for all you do. 🙂

  10. Sue, if you want to engage with a reader/writer who has BEEN to Antarctica (although not there now, clearly), then you could talk to me! I’ve been down twice as a volunteer vet working on Crabeater seals on the pack ice and Weddell seals in the frozen fjords around Davis Station!

    • Oh yes, you have, that’s right, Karen. I saw that in your bio. Then I’m going to say I have covered all continents!! I’d love to talk about Antarctica one day – not sure I’ll ever get there.

  11. Huge Congrats, WG! Wonderful achievements through the past ten years! I as a blogger must thank you too for intro. Australian lit. to me living far, far away… not quite Antarctica, but close, the other direction that is. You’re right about blogging could be addictive. We’re all in it together, supporting and reading each other’s blog and thus sustaining this meaningful cultural activity. All best wishes for another decade in the blogosphere! Hope we’ll all be around still. 🙂

  12. Congratulations, WG! Ten years!! I’m in awe of your regular posts — how do you do it?? — and your commitment to supporting Australian lit. Always thoughtful. Thanks so much. I too have a long TBR list, but happy to go in the draw, if that’s okay.

    • Hi Agnes. Thanks. I enjoy your blog too, though I don’t comment much I know. (I think I read one recently that I meant to comment on and didn’t – I was too slow!!) You are no. 7A in the draw.

  13. Congratulations! Ten years is impressive. 13 plus posts a month is also very impressive. I am so glad that I found your blog. You have created a site that combines interesting posts about interesting books with excellent writing.

    A mysterious book sounds interesting. My address is non Australian.

    Here is to the next ten years!

    • Thanks so much Brian. I think I met you via Stefanie (now of Weeds?) I’m glad we’ve “met” too as I enjoy your posts. I look forward to deciding on the surprise for the non-Australian winner. You are no. 3N

  14. Congratulations on your ten year milestone of blogging! I’ve got to retire so that I can spend more time appreciating your insights.

  15. Congratulations Sue. You are a marvellous ambassador for Australian Literature and I thank you as a writer and a reader. You are so right about the respectful, supportive community that surrounds this corner of the blogosphere. I sometimes read posts on social media and am totally astounded by the rudeness…no fun at all.
    I’ve never been one to pass up a free book – especially a surprise one! Please put me in the draw.
    May you continue to blog for many more years. 🙂

    • Thanks very much karenlee. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via blogland, and now through the AWW Challenge too. Glad you want to go into the draw. You are no. 8A

  16. Many, many congratulations! I’m so glad I found you through the Six Degrees of Separation meme. I love reading your blog and you’ve introduced me to so many authors I’d never come across before. I’d love to be in the draw – I’m not in Australia. 🙂

  17. Hi and well done to you on 10 years. I started my own blog on all things reading and writing (and a few other things) only last year. I admire your ten year commitment!
    I’m an Australian reader

  18. Happy Blogaversary, Whispering Gums! Your Monday Musings are always interesting, and draw on such a wide range of genres and events. May you blog for at least another decade!

  19. Congratulations, Whispering Gums! May you enjoy many more years of commenting on our wonderful Australian literature. I’d love to be in the draw please (I’m in Australia).

  20. Congratulations, Sue. I just looked for my first comment and it was May, 2009! Although my comments are rare, I read every post. I have read many of the books you have reviewed and you leave me pondering many of the ideas in your Monday Musing posts. I am in awe of your research and reflections for these posts.
    Unfortunately, there is no postal service here in Mexico (people use DHL but I haven’t yet) but if you can ‘bend’ your rules I could use my Mum’s address 🙂

    • Really, was it back in May 2009! I knew you’d commented a long time ago, but that’s great. Of course, I can bend my rules, Glenda – rules are meant to be bent, aren’t they? If your Mum’s address is Australia, as I assume it is, I’d put you in the Australian draw, as my offer is to cover one local postage and one overseas postage. Just let me know.

  21. Hi Sue — I read your blog and every now and then I try to find one of the books and it is not available here, very frustrating! I am interested in your give away. Hope you and your family are doing well.

  22. Hi Sue I can’t believe it either. How fast 10 years has gone. Congratulations on your Tin Anniversary. I love reading your blogs, especially the Monday morning ones. Like tin you shine!. (“Tin has many uses. It takes a high polish and is used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion”) You will never rust out!

  23. Congratulations – what an achievement. It takes a lot of effort to keep a blog going which is why so many fall by the wayside after a few years. Here’s to the next 10 years…..

  24. And only for me to know about your blog after 10 yrs!! I dnt know where i have been, under a rock?, a giant rock not gonna lie! Happy Blogversary it made me think about my journey that is yet so fresh! Am i allowed to join the Intl giveaway? 🙈

  25. Congratulations, WG, on your decade of blogging about books. It takes a bit of nerve to begin such a venture, I suspect. Your labour of love has grown in importance over that time. Without the efforts of literary bloggers such as yourself, most readers would be unlikely to hear about books from small Australian publishers. Keep it up!

    PS No need to enter me in tbe draw. I’ve disappeared down the aged-care rabbit hole, and the book would only sit neglected on the ever-growing TBR pile.

    • Thanks very much Diana – it does take nerve I think. (At least it did for me as I prefer to be out of the limelight, but I wanted to make myself document my thoughts properly!) Thanks for letting me know about the draw – I completely understand.

      I hope you are still writing?! The cover of your book often comes to my mind though interestingly it’s mainly the piano I see!

      • Congratulations on 10 fabulous years! Australian literature is rather like Scottish in that it is a thriving suburb of the literary Anglosphere. You certainly have made that clear to your non Oz readers!

        • You have a great way with words Ian. I love the idea of our literatures being thriving suburbs in the literary Anglosphere.

          Anyhow, thanks very much for your support over the years. Your comments (and recommendations) always offer a new perspective to make me think.

          BTW, are you interested in going into the draw? Just say yes, if you’d like to. Silence will be taken as a no!

      • Short stuff at the moment, an informal essay in search of an organising principle. I hope the cast of my hibernating novel will wait for me. Characters have been known to grow impatient and bugger off into the ether.

        Chaconne must have had a few fans, because somehow it made it onto the Classic FM summer reading list.

  26. Happy 10th Blogiversary!
    I may not comment often (i.e. hardly ever) but I always enjoy and appreciate reading your blog posts. Your insightful book reviews in particular have inspired quite a few* of my reading choices over the past few years. (*I’m clearly not as good at data collection as you).
    Could I please be included in your book prize draw? Mine is an Australian address.
    Thank you WG and congratulations once again, from Jane

    • Thanks very much Jane – it’s lovely that this post has brought out readers like you. I understand people not commenting much, if at all, but it is lovely to hear every now and then that people find my posts worthwhile.

      Of course you can go in the draw: you are no. 14A in the draw!

  27. Such an impressive output — I don’t know how you do it! And always so thougthful and insightful. What would we do without you? CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Oh, you are too kind, thank you. I’ve loved getting to know you – and it was through blogging that that happened.

      Would you like to go in the draw – or are you too overwhelmed with reading? No need to reply if you don’t wish to.

  28. Wow! Congratulations, Sue, and thank you for your fabulous blog. (PS if you connect with my friend Robyn Mundy, author of Wildlight and The Nature of Ice, you would come close to your goal—she’s in Antarctica every summer—and she has an amazing blog herself!) x

    • Thanks Amanda… and thanks for the heads up re Robyn Mundy. I’ll check her put.

      BTW Would you like to go into the draw – or, would that be coals to Newcastle? No need to reply if your answer is no to the draw.

  29. Freshie to your blog post and to blogging but you had such a catchy content could not help but have a read! Congratulations, on the anniversary and blog. Makes me love books even more. I’m at an Australian based address, can I enter the draw too? Another read would not hurt.
    Kind regards x 🙂

  30. 10 years! Congrats Sue that’s such a big achievement and one you should be proud. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via your reading and your insta pics.

    Now that we have one of the boys (sorry, young men) happily ensconce at Canberra Uni, maybe one day we will meet face-to-face! I’m hoping to get to some of the wonderful exhibitions always on offer in Canberra over the next 3 years.

    I also have 10 yrs of blogging fast approaching (July). I had hoped to have more free time (for blogging and reading) now that both boys are finished with school, but it hasn’t panned out that way yet. Even though it was VERY tempting to say yes to the offer of going into your book draw, I will pass, as I’ve managed to knock over another one of the piles of TBR lying around my home tonight…the hazards of my work!

    • Thanks very much Brona. I would LOVE to meet you if you came to visit the young student here. I’ve met a few bloggers here over the years (including Lisa, the Resident Judge, Yvonne from Stumbling through the past, Louise of A Strong Belief in Wicker, Jessica White, and probably more because you always forget at least one don’t you?). I nearly met Bill of The Australian Legend, and Jonathan of Me Fail? I Fly! too, but it didn’t quite happen. (I met Yvonne during the time her child was studying here, btw)

      Good luck with the reading more. I thought I’d read more when I retired but it hasn’t happened – yet, anyhow though I still have hopes!! Haha.

      I look forward to seeing your 10 year post. It’s amazing how time goes isn’t it?

      Thanks for letting me know about the draw. I understand completely!

  31. 10 years – what an achievement! Congratulations!

    I love your blog because you and Lisa are my touchstones for Australian lit. I especially enjoy your Musings on Monday since they go into such depth about Australia and its books, laying bare for me nuggets I would NEVER have found otherwise. I haven’t commented much (anywhere) lately but I’ve been reading your blog faithfully.

    Here’s to the next 10 years!! (And, yes, I’d love to win a book, especially a surprise) Mine is a Canadian address. 😉

    • Thanks Debbie, I always love hearing from you but I’ve learnt that you come and go depending on life! I had noticed that you were in a quiet time but I think you’d said you might be on the move again?

      Anyhow, very happy for you to be in the draw. You are no. 11N.

  32. It’s my first time here. The title caught my attention, so I peeped in.

    Congratulations Wishperinggums.
    I am encouraged by your testimonies.
    I too can blog!

  33. Belated but hearty congratulations on ten years, Sue! You’ve been such an important contributor to the online conversation about Australian literature. I am amazed by how prolific you’ve been over so long. Your blog has been informative and stimulating for me.

    • Haha, yes, I will now, since I presume they have received them. Well, I’ll tell you:

      For the Australian winner, a non-Australian book which I thought might interest her given she writes about family: Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

      For the non-Australian winner, an Australian classic by an author I’d mentioned to her in a comment somewhere and whom I don’t think she’s read: Thea Astley’s The kindness cup.

      I chose the books after the winners were identified by the random number generator, because I wanted to choose something that I felt would suit the winners based on what, if anything, I knew about them. (So, if YOU’D won, you wouldn’t have got Astley.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s