Today (well, yesterday actually, except yesterday wasn’t a Monday) marks the 10-year anniversary of my Monday Musings series. When I came up with the idea, and wrote the first post back on 9 August 2010, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be here ten years later still blogging, let alone still posting weekly Monday Musings.
My aim, as I wrote in that first post, was very simple – to promote Australian literature.
I have published over 500 Monday Musings posts, across a wide variety of topics – all of course relating to Australian literature in some way.
My first post was titled, simply, Making a start, and in it I shared five random facts about Australian literature. The first real post – 5 to get you started – came the next week, and here I shared five novels that I thought might attract newbies to Australian literature. Would I choose different ones now? Probably, but I still think my list from 2010 isn’t bad.
In terms of number of all-time hits, my top five Monday Musings posts are:
- Australian Gothic, 19th Century (2011)
- The lost child motif (2011)
- Unpublished manuscript awards (2014)
- Australian Christmas imagery (2010)
- The gum tree in the Australian imagination (2010)
Interesting, eh. These, however, are not the posts that have engendered the most comments. Those top five are:
- 5 to get you started (2010)
- Allen & Unwin’s House of Books (2020)
- Older men protagonists (2020)
- Teachers in Australian novels (2020)
- Australian novels titled with place names (2017)
I have tried to mix up the sorts of topics I’ve covered in Monday Musings, but there have have some threads, such as:
- Sixteen guest posts, with the first being Lisa’s on 15 November 2011 and the most recent being a little set co-ordinated by Bill (The Australian Legend) to support MM during my challenging times.
- Eleven posts for Lisa’s Indigenous Literature Week and/or NAIDOC Week
- Nine posts on new releases
- Eight posts on Australia’s writers centres
- Four posts for Bill’s AWW Gen series
I said, in my first post, that Monday Musings would “explore in more depth all sorts of writers, works and issues relating to literature in Australia. It will be rather serendipitous.” And this is how it has panned out. I have written on themes and motifs, forms and genres, individual writers, awards, issues, and, dear to my heart, on Australia’s literary history (inspired mostly by Trove. What a wonder – and help – that has proved to be.)
Keeping this series going has been challenging at times – coming up with the topics, and finding the time to research and write them, hasn’t always been easy. Many of the posts haven’t received the time and thought they deserve, but I’ve hoped that getting topics on the (web)page has some value.
Overall, Monday Musings posts have faired very well in my comment stats, which confirms that many of you are big supporters of this series. For this, I am hugely grateful. I love that so many people read the posts, and that so many of these posts stimulate discussion. That is the best fun for a blogger – and I learn so much from you all too. I feel very lucky. So …
To mark this anniversary
As I did for my tenth blogiversary, I’d like to do 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. Although this is not mandatory for the giveaway, I’d love to know whether you have a favourite Monday Musings post or whether there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in a future Monday Musings (though I don’t promise to do it!)
The winners. Late on August 17 (in my AEST-zone), I’ll draw from each list using a random number generator, and will announce the winners in that night’s Monday Musings (that is, next week’s MM post). If you win, you will need to provide me with your mailing address (privately) as specified in the announcement post. If you don’t, I’ll redraw, as I want someone to win.
Meanwhile, a huge thanks to you all for reading my blog – and particularly for supporting Monday Musings over all these years. You make it worthwhile. I look forward to sharing more with you – for another ten years? Watch this space …