It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I started this blog. I originally considered writing some great retrospective with a side of holy crap, I kept this going for 5 freakin’ years!! But, then I found a tag to do instead. While I haven’t posted consistently for the full 5 years, I am pretty happy that I’ve stuck with it this long. Here’s to another 5!
1. Do you still feel the same about having a blog as you did when you started?
Yes and no. On one hand, it’s still a place to have fun writing about pens, books, etc. On the other, it feels like more of a responsibility now that people are actually reading, commenting on, and enjoying my blog posts.
2. If you could do anything differently when you started, what would it be?
I would have been more careful about tagging my posts. I keep having to go back and adjust tags. But, I acknowledge that a good portion of that is hindsight and a shift in blog focus.
3. How has your posting schedule changed since you started?
I started out with an idealistic posting schedule of 3-5 times a week. With a full-time job and a desire to enjoy life outside of blog posts, that just isn’t feasible long-term. Instead of trying to force out posts, especially on topics that I’m not feeling, I plan on one post per week, and add to that when I have more to write about. New pens, book reviews, tag and/or challenge posts, etc. all add to my weekly post goal.
4. What surprised you the most about having a blog?
How much work there is beyond writing the post. This one is partially on me. Technically, there’s no reason why I can’t just have text posts. But that’s boring. So I take and edit photos or make images. I create images for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And there’s often research involved in my posts. It’s significantly more than just writing.
5. What do you like the most and the least about having a blog?
What I like the most is the chance to write what I want, how I want. I get to be conversational in my writing. I think what I like the least is the guilt when I don’t get a post completed in time. It’s my blog. If I miss a week because I’m sick or feeling down, nothing happens — and I doubt anyone even notices. But I still feel guilty about it.
6. Are you able to come up with post ideas easily, or is that a challenging aspect?
Sometimes it’s easy. When I have new pens or see ideas that I can adapt from YouTube, it’s a cinch. But, sometimes, like earlier this year, I have difficulty coming up with ideas and have to ask my lovely readers for assistance.
7. How do you think you’ve grown as a creator in the time you’ve had your blog?
I think I write better. And I’ve definitely shifted my focus. When I started, this was going to be a book blog. Since then, it’s grown to include video games, pens, inks, papers, stationery accessories, cats, slices of life, and lots of onesie-twosie posts. For me, that keeps things more interesting. Hopefully it does for you all as well.
8. So far, which of your posts do you love the most (most proud of) and which do you like the least?
My least favorite post is easy, as it’s the only one I’ve ever deleted. Back in 2018, I signed up to write a review for a book blog tour, but the book was so bad I couldn’t finish it. Part of the agreement was that if you had a negative review, you would publish a different type of post during the tour and hold your review until the tour was completed. So, I just put up a basic post — rather like an advertisement for the book. I disliked doing that, as, in my opinion, simply by creating a post on my site, I was promoting a horrible book. As soon as the blog tour was over, I deleted the post and published my 0 star review.
My most favorite post is harder. There are many posts I’m proud of. I’m proud of the research I put into the recent TWSBI post and my vintage pen posts, the support to indie brands in my Indie Pen Maker post, etc. Choosing just one favorite is virtually impossible.
9. Do you think about long-term goals for your blog, or do you focus on the here and now?
I mostly focus on the here and now. Since my blog is completely unmonetized, and I have no plans to monetize it, I don’t really have to worry about future goals.
However, I’ve been toying around with the idea of creating YouTube videos of some of my posts so people who don’t have the time or interest in reading a ridiculously long post can listen to it instead. What are your thoughts?
10. Is your blog where you expected it to be after 5 years?
Surprisingly, I didn’t really have much in the way of expectations when I started my blog. I mostly thought it would be a way to promote my books, but, as they aren’t currently available for sale, and I haven’t worked on any other books, it’s fair to say that isn’t happening.
I am regularly surprised with how many views my blog posts receive, and how many people mention my posts to me. Clearly my blog has a wider reach than I ever thought it would, and that’s pretty cool. I hope I’m entertaining and/or helping those who come across my posts.
Thanks for reading this far, I hope you enjoyed my post. Do you think I should dip my toes in the video pool? How long have you been following my blog journey? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.