In comparison to the length of time many writers have devoted to their blogs, mine is in its infancy. But since I never plan to birth a child, I’m going to consider it my baby, take a page from first-time parents everywhere, and celebrate Awkward Laughter’s milestones in months this first year.
Don’t worry. I won’t bore you with a post each time. I already skipped January. But this one, or more specifically, the 60-day mark jumped out at me.
Sixty days is:
- Twice as long as I spent training for my first 10K
- Ten times as long as my last vacation
- Sixty-plus times as long as my last bad date (although that one felt longer)
In my book, 60 days of sticking with anything that doesn’t pay my bills is something worth celebrating. Plus, I like any excuse to open a good bottle of wine.
I came up with the idea for Awkward Laughter three years ago, but I didn’t follow through until Dec. 29, 2013. That’s when I dedicated 2014 to achieving two objectives: becoming a more disciplined writer and overcoming my aversion to having others read my non-work-related writing.
Timing couldn’t have been better. My first post came just days before WordPress launched its Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog challenge. I hate to think what this site would look like without the editors’ expert advice – awkwardly awful, no doubt.
While still a work in progress, those daily tasks pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone and follow through on my commitment. Nothing like peer pressure to ensure you write regularly.
One mental limit I placed on this endeavor was to keep it simple. My blog would be a virtual warehouse of writing. I’d let a few friends and family members know about it. That’s it. Period.
That mindset is why I balked at WordPress editors’ day 18 suggestion to publicize on social networks. But remembering my second objective, I knew I needed to rethink my attitude.
A few days later, I set up a separate Twitter account and Facebook page, although it would be a month before I finally published them. And a few weeks later, I posted this on my personal Facebook account.
Sharing with friends and family on a large scale horrified me, yet their kind words served as inspiration to keep going. But if I likened posting on Facebook to ripping the band-aid off, what came next was the equivalent of inviting the world to pour salt on the wound.
That’s when the completely unexpected email, notifying me that “An Open Letter to Cat Check Boy” would be featured on Freshly Pressed, popped up in my inbox. I went from jumping up and down in my living room to wanting to vomit in 30 seconds flat.
Ultimately, excitement won out. From the hilarious comments to the dozens of new bloggers I discovered in the process, it’s one of the coolest experiences of my writing career!
My Surprises Part 2
And that last bit brings me to my final point. The best part of the last 60 days has been the folks I met and blogs I’ve found along the way.
Introductions to Samantha, Lee, Susi and Dee came through Zero to Hero. They and many more encouraged me through the first days and weeks of angst.
I found Deanna, Natalie, and Aisha and other amazing bloggers by participating in Yeah Write (one of my favorite weekly writing challenges).
Twitter led me to Squirrel Thoughts and New York Cliché, and follows, comments and likes steered me toward The Culture Monk and Nest Expressed and countless other interesting blogs.
While meeting writers was not among my objectives for starting Awkward Laughter, it now tops my list. That sense of community distinguishes blogging from other writing outlets, and it’s one of the reasons I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next 275 days.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have champagne to uncork.
How about you? What’s your favorite part of blogging? And was it unexpected?
February 27, 2014 at 12:50 am
Yay!!!! I’m so glad you’re still blogging, and I enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up! We can do it! 😀
February 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm
Absolutely, we can. Right back at ya!
February 27, 2014 at 1:57 am
Thanks for the mention…. Great you are still blogging. It’s such an interesting and supportive world isn’t it….
February 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm
Yes, it is! And you were my first commenter on my first post. 🙂
February 27, 2014 at 4:41 am
Bravo on being Freshly Pressed! I really enjoy your writing style! And thanks very very much for the great mention above about finding me and the others having so much fun over at YeahWrite!! ;^) Aisha
February 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm
Thanks, Aisha! And Yeah Write and you and the others who contribute there are fantastic.
February 27, 2014 at 5:03 am
Aww, thank you so much for the mention! And that piece was so deserving of being freshly pressed. It was hilarious AND well-written. The encouragement I’ve received from other writers/bloggers is definitely what has helped lead me to pursuing my writing. The support and connections you can make astound me on a regular basis. And the nervousness of publishing a new post combined with the high of receiving comments and feedback is my new addiction. I’m glad to have met you along the way!
February 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm
Thanks, Deanna. Clearly, the feeling is mutual. And I don’t think I’ll ever get over the anxiety of clicking publish.
February 27, 2014 at 7:55 am
Congratulations on 60… I’d say the most unexpected thing about writing a blog for me has been the nonfiction. Writing creative nonfiction posts on my site has led me to a nonfiction book proposal. I’m not sure that would have happened otherwise. Thanks!
February 27, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Thanks, Justin, for both the congratulations and for writing posts that make me laugh when I come across them. And big congrats on the book proposal!
February 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm
Thank you, too! I appreciate it.
February 27, 2014 at 11:03 am
Happy mini-blogiversary! Thank you for mentioning me – I’m Internet blushing. 🙂
February 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm
Thank you! I really enjoy reading your blog. Was happy to share it with others.
February 27, 2014 at 11:50 am
What I expected was to better my writing, which for me I’ve done, and I look forward to bettering it.
What I didn’t expect was the blogger community. That’s been better than just my writing. I started writing as a way to have the type of conversation with people that was more in depth than everyday talking, and writing seemed the only way to do it. I didn’t expect anything from it, and I didn’t realize I was trying to reinvent the wheel. So to find this already thriving community of conversations was a delight.
February 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm
Sounds like we’ve had similar experiences so far, Dorothy. I’m glad to hear you’ve found the community as great and unexpected as I have. Thanks for sharing!
February 28, 2014 at 4:40 pm
So glad for still having you. 🙂 I love reading your posts! :*
February 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm
Thank you! That means more than you know!
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February 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You are doing an awesome job with your blog, I hope to have the privilege of reading your stories for months and years to come.
February 28, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Thanks, Lee. I feel the same about your stories.
March 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm
Thanks for the shoutout, Kim! I’m also glad Twitter brought us together! On an extremely serious note, is there a way I can subscribe to Awkward Laughter via email? I can’t seem to find that option anywhere, but since I am known for suffering from intense refrigerator blindness, it’s entirely possible I suffer from subscribe-by-email-button blindness as well.
March 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm
Ahaha! I know the feeling, Allison. There should be a follow-by-email widget at the bottom of each page.
March 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm
I found it, yessssssssss! Thanks!