Another Blogging Milestone

(C) 2020, JJ Shaun

Today marks another milestone for this blog—this is my 1000th post since beginning this weblog on June 5, 2016. It’s hard to believe it’s been six years, but here we are. A lot has happened, not all of it ‘good.’

I began this page as a way to share my (admittedly amateur) attempts at becoming a fiction writer after having spent more than thirty years editing technical content. While the first two-and-a-half years were sketchy, 2019 brought renewed energy. I was on the cusp of being laid-off from my high-tech job (ageism, but I can’t prove it) and knew I would need a focus if I was to keep my sanity.

I started out with weekly offerings. Within a couple of months, I added a second post for the week. A few months after that, I learned that pictures help grab attention. Because of my experience as a Technical Writer, I know about copyright infringement, so capturing images off the ‘net can be tricky and possibly result in bankruptcy for a ‘hobby’ writer. So, I started creating my own drawings and taking my own pictures. I also took an online writing course to improve my craft. I have already noticed an improvement in my writing. By the end of 2019, I made the decision to post daily. A quote would do if I didn’t have something to say.

I struggled to find just the right niche to get my words to readers. I wrote about building my fantasy world, creating my characters, looking up trivia, and defining words.

Then came 2020, and the world became a petri dish of disease.

Because First Reader and I live off the beaten track, the lock-down orders didn’t affect us as much as they did some people. (Except it was tough to find toilet paper, of all things.) It gave me an excuse to embrace my Inner Hermit. I had a chance to do some things I never had time for when I worked 60 hours a week. I walked our property with the dog and got to see areas I’d only seen from a distance.

During this time, my readership grew, albeit slowly. The Summer of 2020 turned into an inferno in the American West. By Halloween, we’d lost everything in the Cameron Peak Fire. As I wrote about our experiences following our loss, I saw a trend. In the six months after the fire, the number of followers of this page doubled. Everyone loves a disaster tale.

I want to thank all of you for encouraging me to keep writing our story. I don’t know if I would have been able to keep writing about our trials without your support.

If you have a mental health topic you would like to see addressed or a Word of the Day you would like defined, please leave a comment.

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