It’s Not the Years, It’s the Miles

I got a notice yesterday from WordPress that I have had this blog now for seven years. Wow. Time sure flies when you are having fun. So I guess this calls for a little explanation as to how it all started.

Back in 2009, I was a traditionally published author who also happened to be working as a college professor. I had had a modicum of success publishing books, articles and stories within the publishing system of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But I wondered if there was more for me out there. Trouble was, it was convenient and comfortable for me to continue to do what I had done for the past 25 years. So I took a venture and tried out for an invitation-only writer’s workshop at Park City, Utah. To my surprise, I was accepted.

The week I spent there was an eye opener for me. I brought 50 pages of my latest novel and shared it with other would-be authors, including our moderator Julianna Baggott. I also got a chance to meet with an agent, who saw merit in my writing, but said that what I was writing didn’t fit her needs but was sure there was someone out there who would want it.

There was lots of advice that came out of that week as far as promoting yourself. Two of the many recommendations they made were: (1) get on Twitter (why? I wondered) and (2) start a blog. I did both, not sure what I was going to write or why. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Now it’s time for some statistics: On Twitter I have posted 9,325 times in the past seven years to 24,600 followers. And of course I know each and every one of them by first name by now….

As far as this blog is concerned: I’ve posted 776 individual blogs, received 516 comments, and had my blog viewed a total of 23,214 times in the past seven years. In 2016 so far I have had 2,148 views from 1,256 visitors. The individual blog posting that has been the read the largest number of times was “Character vs. Characterization,” read 233 times. My largest number of hits in a day happened on Nov. 24, 2013, when I had 441 hits. Most of my visits come from the United States (1,428) followed by the United Kingdom (96) and Brazil (90).

But these are all just numbers. When I am not writing books, articles and stories, I am a teacher. And my teaching goes beyond the classroom. It’s always gratifying to hear on this blog–or on Twitter, or Facebook, or Goodreads, or Quora–from someone that I have helped with their writing challenges or just questions about life. I’ve learned that the benefit of being a writer goes far beyond just selling another book.