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.
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Whispering Gums has been archived on the National Library of Australia’s web archive, Pandora, since 2012, which means it will be there, along with other litblogs, for researchers of the future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.
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.