Once again it’s NaNoWriMo eve which means I’ve been blogging for precisely two years.
It’s interesting for me to look back on my first ever post and to remember how determined I was to succeed, how much was at stake. Completing NaNoWriMo 2008 meant that my decision to ditch seven years of study to pursue a career in writing was somehow justified. Reading that post again now, I can see that I was writing it just for me, not really expecting any one else to read it (hardly anyone did). In the beginning, the blog was just a way for me to chart my NaNoWriMo progress. I remember the cold feeling I got in my stomach the first time someone left a comment. Who had been reading my blog? Did they disagree with what I had written? Now I absolutely love it when people comment on my posts. I’m disappointed when they don’t. And I check my stats regularly, always hoping to beat the previous day’s hits.
It’s funny, the posts that I like the best are not necesarily the ones that draw the most traffic. By far my most popular post, alarmingly, is How to Poison Someone. My Interview with Daisuke Takahashi is also frequently viewed, but I suspect that that is because there was an ice-skater by that name competing in the Winter Olympics. I do like all my Interview with a Star posts though, and also the posts about various book festival events. (I’ve also written about some Edinburgh International Book Festival events at Suite101.)
The posts that have generated the most comments are the ones that don’t really have much to do with writing, St Ives and Cyberpunk for example. Posts that I liked that I wish had been more popular / commented on are Notes from the Continent and Carry a Poem.
After all this analyisng of post popularity I guess I’m going to have to think about how I approach blogging over the next year. I guess my strongest posts are the anecdotal ones, the less popular ones are the ones where I’ve tried to give writing advice. I’ll try to bear that in mind when writing future posts.
As for NaNoWriMo, that is just as much on my mind now as it was this time last year and also two years ago. What I learned last year was that the “reckless approach” absolutely does not work. Only thorough planning will get you to the 50 000 word mark by the end of November. This year my mum is going take part in NaNoWriMo so I felt that I should do it too to support her. Unfortunately I have left the thorough planning to the last minute. Luckily we got that hour back today; I know how to put it to good use.