May has slipped past in a flurry of rain and tumbled blossom, the acid-green leaves of spring expanding into the deeper green of summer. In some ways it’s been a long month, yet I wonder where it’s gone.
And, somewhere within the tangle of days, I passed my seven-year blogging anniversary on this site. Seven years! Another thing I find hard to believe, though I do still think the 90s were only ten years ago. When I was a child the days seemed to last for approximately 324345 hours, especially the ones preceding birthdays or Christmas or summer holidays, excitement curling through me so I could barely breathe, each second taking an hour or more. But now, the older I get, the quicker time seems to pass – a cliché, I’m sure, but such things do become cliché because they are true.
They say that you replace your entire body every seven years. Every strand of hair and skin cell, every bone and vessel, silently and quietly torn down and rebuilt, bit by bit, in microscopic stages. I suppose that means I’m a completely different person now than I was when I started the blog, way back in 2014. It’s true that blogging has changed me, improving my confidence as a writer, introducing me to people with whom I’ll be friends for life, and opening me to experiences I may otherwise never have had.
When I started this blog, I was in the initial drafting stages of my first novel, Oak and Mist. This blog was to be a place where I would discuss my writing journey. But it became so much more. A place where I could muse on life, share doors and travels and life events, delve into mystery and magic, challenge myself as a writer. One of my favourite blogging prompts was Sue Vincent’s #writephoto, stories seemingly captured in every photograph she shared. Sadly, so sadly, we lost Sue earlier this year. I was privileged to be able to say goodbye to her, but I was far more privileged to have known her – she is someone I will miss, always.
As for that first novel? It took its initial steps into publication in 2015, followed by four more novels in the series, plus an omnibus, and a standalone adult fiction novel. I’ve written three more books I’ve yet to publish, and fragments of several more. I’ve connected with readers across the globe, and become part of a wonderfully supportive and generous writing community. I’ve had setbacks, too – I’ve been querying agents for years now, had ten full manuscript requests from agents and publishers, but am yet to score that trad deal. I’ll keep trying, though, and sharing my journey along the way.
And I’ve written a LOT of blog posts. 830, to be exact, including this one. Here are a few highlights:
My very first post. God, I remember how nervous I was when I pressed publish on this post. What if actual real people on the internet read it? I was also incredibly suspicious of the first person who ever liked one of my posts – what did they want from me? Laughable now, but at the time I was so new to this world I had no idea what to expect.
My most popular post. Every year since I’ve written this post, it’s topped my most popular posts. I’ve found it shared on other people’s blogs (credited to me), and still have people contact me about it. If I’m honest, I wrote it as a bit of a piss-take in response to the increasingly overwrought author bios I’d been seeing, every element of their lives teased out for maximum interest. But the mad-lib style formula I came up with actually seems to work, hence, I think, the continued interest in the post.
My favourite post. Honestly there are so many. But this one, about my grandfather, stands out for me as one of my favourites (not the only favourite, though). And this one about Anais Nin. Oh, and this one, and…
It’s been seven years of work and ideas and walking and wanders, of poetry and prose, of opening my heart in black and white, of friendship and triumphs, of love and sorrow and life changes. It’s been a wonderful journey, so far. Thank you all so much for being on it with me.
Here’s to the next seven years of blogging. Who will I be then?
Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus you’ll find my books on Amazon (and A Thousand Rooms is available from all good book retailers). Visit my Amazon Author Page or my website to see more.
Thanks so much, Annette, and thank you for sharing the post on Twitter – I’m taking a break from Twitter at the moment but I do always appreciate you spreading the word 🙂
Huge congratulations, Helen! You are a fantastic writer, and I cannot wait to read more and more!! Big hugs to you from across the pond!! Cher xoxoxo
Thanks so much, Cher! Big hugs to you too xx
Congratulations on 7 years of bogging. Well done!!
Thanks Darlene! 🙂
Here’s to the next seven which will include an agent begging you to sign with them, rapidly followed by a traditional publishing house offering you a three book deal .It won’t change you the person, but Ho Ho, the celebrations. I shall say, I knew her when……….
I hope you have a crystal ball, David, because that sounds just about perfect 🙂 Thanks so much and big hugs to you, too 🙂
Kudos Helen and thanks for sharing your passion for blogging and writing. My blogging journey has similarly changed and enriched my life. To many more years of sharing our words and hearts. And kudos on all your books.
Thank you so much 🙂 And yes, here’s to many more blogging and writing years 🙂
Well thatakes us sort of twins. My first post was April 2014! Here’s to many years and a few more blogging meet ups, too. And here’s to you being optioned for a blockbuster series after the fabulous success of your series!! Who do you imagine playing the lead?
Thank you my almost-blogging-twin 🙂 It would be lovely to have a few more blogging meet ups too, it’s been far too long. As for my fabulous blockbuster series, I don’t even know who could play the lead – by the time it gets optioned they may be too old! 😀 Still, it’s nice to dream…
❤ Congratulations, Helen. It is lovely to be connected to you like this. Xxx
It really is 🙂 Thank you, Jane xx
Congratulations. It seems like we took one of your photos and turned it into a story using the comments one time.
Hi Craig! Sorry for the delayed reply, and thank you 🙂 We did do that! It was a blocked up doorway, we started the story and then people added to it in the comments, I think there were well over 100 comments on that post and it was a lot of fun. It’d be nice to do something like that again one day, I think 🙂
Happy 7th Blog-O-Versary! 😀
Thank you! (and apologies for the delayed reply 🙂 )
Congratulations Helen I have loved your posts and hope to read many more. Beautiful pics and it’s so lovely to connect with other kind, like-minded folks on here one of the best parts of blogging I think
I don’t remember the first post I read by you or when that was, but I remember how that moment felt. Your writing is very engaging, and you’re still one of my favourite bloggers. However I came across this delightful corner of the Internet, I am grateful for it. 😊