Wednesday, April 3, 2024

IWSG - Blogging Memories & Old Friends

It's time for the April Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG brings writers together to share their insecurities. Anyone can join; simply click on Alex's name and sign up on the IWSG linky list.

This month's co-hosts are Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia. Thanks for co-hosting!

The optional question for April is: How long have you been blogging? What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I looked back and it looks like I've been blogging here since January 9, 2011. I did have a monetized blog called Not a Test Tube Baby in 2005 through maybe 2007 (it's long gone, so I can't check). The blog was about parenting a child conceived through IVF (which is no different than parenting any other child, lol, but certainly the experiences before birth were very different).

I had quit my job two weeks before my son was due, but had him about a week after quitting. I was working as a sub primarily in three schools at the time, as I'd narrowed down who I took jobs from, and the folks I subbed for were so awesome that they ensured they took their non-emergency time off to keep me employed nearly full time leading up to my last few days.

So when my son arrived, I wanted to have some income. I scrambled and got several work-from-home positions, on top of the Mary Kay business I already had (yes, I know - they roped me in while pregnant with promises of having an income...). The monetized blog was one. I had to send a pitch and once they accepted my pitch, I was given the URL matching my blog name and had to post consistently. I wish I still had access to those posts, because they were all stories about my son as a baby then as a toddler, plus pregnancy stories once I became pregnant with my daughter. I'm sure there were some gems.

I also worked for text answering services ChaCha and kgb, where people would text in questions and I answered via a portal on my computer.  

Those familiar with how busy I typically keep myself are 0% surprised that I also felt I needed to be productive as a new, stay-at-home mom. I was also volunteering for a local writer's group and starting my writing career.

Back to this blog, I started out posting weekly, discovered various blog hops, and at one point was posting daily, even outside the A-to-Z Challenge (which is currently happening)). There was a ton of interaction then, and I had more time to visit others, as well. Then I thinned to three times per week, with Wednesdays being something I called Wordless Wednesday, where I posted photos I'd taken since photography is also a hobby of mine.

There was a time where I helped with the A-to-Z Challenge, which all sprung from working with a friend I met blogging named Tina to create a road trip after the challenge to visit all the blogs and keep that community going. We did it from 2011 to 2015. Our graphics at the time were created by another friend, Jeremy. Both Tina and Jeremy are sadly gone now, but revisiting my past blogging brings back good memories with them.

This is from year 2, 2012

Here's one of the road trip posts from those fun times.

We were joined by a third person, Nicole, in the second year!

Then I was part of the IWSG! I don't remember when I started, but I handled the newsletter for a while and quit in 2019ish (may have been the end of 2018) while helping care for my dad, who had ALS, and dealing with a lot of health issues myself.

Ultimately, of course, blogging became less popular and people pulled back, including me. I went to posting once per month for the IWSG. Recently, I started blogging weekly while I work my way through The Artist's Way, though I skipped this past week and will catch up on the missed weeks next week.

Blogging introduced me to a fantastic community of folks where I've made so many friends. So while blogging has slowed, the friendships have continued, many of them on social media more than via our blogs. I wouldn't change any part of my blogging past other than to have saved my posts from the parenting blog for my personal memories and photos.

That ended up way longer than I intended, so I'll save anything else I was going to say other than to say a big thank you for those who helped with my book launch via your blogs, social media, and newsletters. I'm always grateful for this community! My debut novel came out last week, so now it's back to writing until the next book launch!

Universal Link for e-book and paperback

What are your insecurities? How long have you been blogging? Was it always on your current blog or did you have others?

May you find your Muse.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think we need to put this post in a time capsule as a great capture of our blogging past!
Sorry you don't have access to those stories about your kids.
You were part of the Challenge team and then I lured you to the IWSG. All good times.
Still really miss Tina and Jeremy.

Leigh Caron said...

I thought it was just me who slowed down on blog posting. All the ISWG posts I'm reading today say the same...they've slowed down. I guess life changes...and so do we. I wish I could bottle your energy and enthusiasm. You're amazing!

Liza said...

So glad you are doing The Artist's Way! It had a huge and positive influence on my writing.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi, blogging introduced me to a superp writing community. It was so nice to know more about you :)

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Shannon,
Congratulations! for your book launch.
You were the reason that I started submitting my stories. You gave me the courage to step out.
I hope you have a successful launch. Your book cover is great. It makes me want to find out what is between the cover.
All the best, and take care.
Shalom shalom

Loni Townsend said...

Yeah, sometimes I pull up my old blogger site (hidden from the public) just to reflect on the memories. Sorry you don't have your old posts. That sucks.

emaginette said...

I've kept copies of all my posts, because a wise soul told me once that one blip and all the posts could all be gone.

I've never had a blip, but I still save them. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Patricia JL said...

I've been blogging about that long as well, maybe a little less or a little more as I tend to forget to pay attention to dates of things I start or have happen. I made amazing friends as a result and it's always bummed me out how blogging has changed and now it doesn't seem as easy to make connections. I guess that is the way of things in life, though.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

It was a pleasure serving as a book tour point for your "Wendigo Nights"! I Wasc so glad to do it.

Most of my blogging has been done for A Far Out Fantastc Site. I had a blog that focused more on pop culture other than genre fiction. But it was so long ago that I can't even remember the name off hand! I had to stop writing for it though because I just didn't have time to manage both blogs.