One year ago today, I sat nervously in front of the WordPress admin page and clicked “publish” for the first time. Would anybody read it? Would anybody care?
My first post was called I’m Just Getting Warmed Up, the title of which is a nod to Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a character played by Al Pacino in the 1992 film, Scent Of A Woman.
Reading back over that first post, I am pleased with how true I’ve been able to keep to the mission I laid out 365 days ago. I really had no idea what to expect from what I set out to do, but it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life so far. And yes, people read it and yes, they care.
To give you a little window into my process and what to expect next, here is some additional info about me and the blog:
I often get up before 5:00am to write.
With four kids and a dog, our house is often a chaotic place, except for the hours before sunrise. Of course I’m distracted by silence, so in the quiet wee hours I put on my Bowers & Wilkins headphones and disappear into some kind of music while I write.
I plan out my stories far in advance, except for the times that I don’t.
In the first eight months of the blog, I used a big planning board to keep track of my ideas.
Most of the time I pick one of my ideas, sit with it for a few days, do a little research and then write. Of course like most things in life, the best-laid plans don’t always work out how you expect them to, and sometimes a post just comes out of left field. The best example of this is a post called Recursion.
I currently keep a list on my iPhone where I jot down ideas when they come to me. If I don’t write them down in the moment, I will forget them. Every so often, I go through that list and transfer the good ideas to index cards. It is from these cards that I choose the next thing about which I will write. Except of course for the days that I don’t.
It is all true.
The majority of what I write about, are things that I have experienced first hand.
I was talking to a friend at a party last Christmas and at one point he turned to me and said, “Steve, I love all the stories on your blog. You have had so many adventures and interesting things happen to you in your life.” While his statement was true, he was implying that his life was, by contrast, boring. This of course is not true. This guy is in a band, has two kids and had enjoyed more than a quarter century of a successful sales career. He totally has stories, and the fact is we all have great stories to tell, but fifty-two weeks ago today I decided to start writing mine down, and to share them with you.
There’s a lot more where these came from.
I currently have more than 100 stories in the pipeline to be written, and for every five or so, I will certainly insert something that comes to me in the moment. Based on my writing frequency so far, this means that the next year is pretty much already covered.
I’m still working on the book.
About six months ago, based on the encouragement of many of you all, I began the process of editing a chunk of my writing into a book. I am happy to report that the initial draft is complete and is in the process of being edited. Publishing and promoting a book is no small task, and in the context of my full time job, my full time life, and publishing here 2-3 times a week, there is precious little extra time to work on a book, but I’m getting there.
A few stats.
If I were forced to classify myself as a “words” or “numbers” person I would pick words (shocking I know). That said I do like numbers, so here are a few that illustrate what happened at stevenazarian.com in the last year:
- Total Posts = 118 (not including this one)
- Page Views = 19,000 (that’s 1,583 a month, or 52 a day)
- Direct subscribers = 120 (you know who you are)
- Total Comments = 300+
- Words Written = 150,000+
- Most Traffic In A Single Day = Wednesday, January 21, 2015
- Most Popular Posts (by total times read):
So, here I am on the first day of year two and it feels pretty good. I am grateful for, and humbled by you, my readers, and I hope that your ranks continue to grow and proliferate.
As always, your comments and participation are welcome and encouraged. Furthermore, word of mouth (or Internet) is the very best way to help this community grow, so I encourage you to share early and often.
I can’t say that I’m changing the world just yet, but I do have some evidence that what I’m doing is meaningful. With that in mind, I will continue on in the same direction, and since I’m now warmed up, who knows where it will go.
Copyright © 2015 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.(Happy Birthday To Blog)