"Happy Birthday," said my husband.
"But it's not my birthday!" I said, surprised. It's usually me with the bad memory.
"No, but it's your blog's... It's one year old today."
It's official - Wendy's Writing Now is a year old!
I checked and realised that a year ago this week, I wrote my first blog post. I had just had my first magazine sale and was over the moon. I felt I needed to tell someone... someone who would understand why I was running round the kitchen island yelling with excitement. What I needed was the company of other writers.
A blog was the answer - but how to do this when you are technologically inept? My usual course of action would have been to ask my husband to set up my blog for me but I was determined that it was to be my project. I decided to create the blog and have a few posts under my belt before showing him (when he eventually saw it, he thought it was great - bless him).
I was surprised at how easy it was to set up but what was harder was to think of what to write.
You might be interested to read my very first blog post here
Of course, at first, it was like writing in a wilderness. I had no followers, knew no one in the writing world and for the first few posts, was lucky if I had one or two page views (a year on and I have nearly 20,000).
I am forever grateful to writer Marianne Wheelaghan for commenting on my first blog post and to fellow womag writer Linda Lewis who became my first follower. It made me realise that there were people out there who might be interested in what I had to say.
The best thing about writing my blog is that it has been a way of making on-line writing friends. I was going to list them but that would take way too long and anyway, you know who you are. I just want to thank you all for supporting me though my first year of blogging and writing - I have been made to feel very welcome here in blog land. I will, though, give a special mention to talented writer Tracy Fells who I might never have met without this blog (we live in villages next to each other) - just think I might never have got to see the very large rucksack otherwise!
Over the year, I have written about my writing successes and failures, my bad dog Bonnie and her step-brother Bobbie, my love of dancing and singing and other random stuff. It is not the most literary of writing blogs but I hope that there has been enough to keep my readers interested or entertained.
Someone asked me recently what my favourite blog posts have been so I shall list my personal favourites (excluding guest posts).
1. Don't Feel Rejected It's important to remember that we all have rejections... often!
2. Not Made in Chelsea Another chance to look at my mum's beautiful garden.
3. Big Bad Bonnie Trap Such a bad dog!
4. Wendy's Story Timeline I use this all the time.
5. Wendy's Writing at the Woman's Weekly Writing Workshop includes the infamous assassination attempt! Part 2 is here.
6. First Story Published in Fiction Feast Lest I forget that exciting moment.
7. Mind Mapping Your Stories Link to a fantastic writing app.
8. People's Friend a Friend Indeed Why I love writing for this magazine.
Recently, I have written a series of posts showing the inspiration behind some of my published stories - these can be found here.
I have had wonderful guests on my blog: Della Galton, Douglas McPherson, Becca Puglisi (from the Bookshelf Muse) and My Mum!
Since writing that first blog post one year (and a hundred posts) ago, I find it hard to believe that first sale, a year ago, has grown to over thirty with stories published in The People's Friend, Fiction Feast and Woman's Weekly. You can read my story 'Paint it With Passion, Claire', in this month's Fiction Feast.
I know how lucky I have been and, yes of course, there have been a lot of rejections along the way but through thick and thin my blog and I are still here.
So, Happy Birthday Blog and thank you to everyone who reads it. I hope there will be many happy returns.