Two years ago today, I blogged for the very first time. Other than enjoying writing and having been told by a few people that I should start a blog, I didn't have much of a purpose for it. I think my first post said I hoped to be "fun, interesting, amusing, entertaining, and though-provoking," and have I accomplished that? You tell me. =)
It's been two years of posts I liked, a few I read now and cringe at, and some I really, really loved. Of course, I wish that they were all winners, but I know that having a few failures means growth is happening, right? I've definitely learned some things about myself and a whole lot about my writing over the past couple years, and there are some things I'd like to implement moving forward.
-My biggest regret after all this time is not having a prettier blog design. I mean, I know I'm not exactly trying to sell anything, but I reeeally want things to look nicer around here. It's going to happen, eventually!!! (I guess the lesson here is I'm cheap and a procrastinator. Nice.)
-You'd think that after two years I'd have a more focused approach to this thing, but I still continue to write about whatever strikes my fancy. Sometimes I envy those whose blogs have a very specific theme (hair! clothes! food!) but mine just isn't one of them. I enjoy not being "in a box" but to me, it's difficult to have a personal, "write what you want" type blog because when you have so many options.... it's hard to narrow them down. Ragan and RA do this really well.
-Even though I'd like to be more scheduled and focused, I want to not feel guilty every day I don't post. It's not a guilt like, "I'm depriving my readers" but more like, "Good grief, Ashley- there's a whole world out there and you can't come up with enough content for a new post... get it together!" kind of guilt. (Both are crippling, I assure you.)
-This kind of goes along with the last one, but I want to be posting about things that I care about or are interesting or funny to me. I know that I'm not writing for myself (that would be a diary) and if you're not interested, then who's reading along? But if I'm not interested, it's going to come off (at least to me) sounding manufactured and forced. On the other hand, if I genuinely want to share something, I don't want to avoid it simply to be more appealing to a few people. I've learned that I can't please everyone. (Anyone on any kind of social platform knows that.) I've been extremely fortunate not to have had any real "trolls" around here, but there are definitely people who prefer one type of post to another or who don't prefer any of them. =) That's okay! People come to my blog to read about all sorts of things, and it would naturally follow that some people would prefer some posts over others. That makes me a little crazy sometimes (but some people hate my outfit posts! Some people don't care at all what we did last weekend!) but I'm slowly working on being okay with it. A very varied group of people visits around here and trying to appeal to them all in every post would be a little nuts. (And do I look like I need to be more crazy?)
-Looking back at the posts I cringe at, I can see that I was usually trying too hard in some way- either to be serious, funny, or something I'm not. (The whole batch of hand-on-hip poses is in its own category of embarrassment. Lesson learned.)
With all this learned, here are my top ten posts (judging from my stats):
#10- "Shakes and Stage Fright" (about my painful quirks)
#9- "Ice and Snow" (about facing trials)
#8- "It Could Always Be Worse" (about perspective)
#7- "Why This Isn't a Fashion Blog" (self-explanatory)
#6- "Lessons Disney Taught Me" (one of my favorites)
#5- "Oh, the Places You'll Go (For a Cute Classroom)" (Thanks for the traffic, Pinterest!)
#4- "I'm Over It" (this is pretty representative of why people like my blog, I think.)
#3- "Farewell, What Not to Wear" (In this spot no doubt because Stacy London retweeted it... SHUT UP!)
#2- Chambray 5 Ways (thanks to Pinterest and a link-up this one shot up to the top)
#1- "When This Boy Meets World" (it's the highest because TOPANGA/ Danielle Fishel SHARED IT... I still can't believe that!)
Wow- there's a little of everything here! Based on this list, people really like serious posts, they like clothes, they like movies/tv, they like self-deprecation, they like bulletin boards, and they really like a little loving snark. Apparently, I really like to share whatever my little heart desires. It looks like it's worked out pretty well. =)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, messaging, texting, or telling me that you enjoy what I share here. Like I said, it comes with a certain sense of insecurity (does this matter? does anyone care?) and you remind me regularly that it does and you do. I appreciate it so, so much. Having a place to share what I love and a place to have found my voice (in writing, that is) over the past couple years has been a real gift. And gifts just happen to be my love language.
We understand each other, don't we?