Friday, November 28, 2008

A year of blogging

Around a year ago, I wrote a post about my favourite reads of 2007 and then – holding my breath and peering out one eye – bravely hit the upload button.

It was the first instalment of a blog I’d optimistically titled Great stories, having no idea if anyone other my friends would read it or be interested in what I’d have to say on the subject of books, narrative and storytelling.

I decided to start this blog as a way to talk about books (and, at times, films and television) with anyone who might share a similar – or contrary – view on what worked and what didn’t when it came to telling great stories.

I found I was having discussions with a number of my book-loving friends on similar topics, and thought a blog would be the perfect way to have those discussions at the same time.

But what’s grown from that has been even better than I’d hoped. Who knew the blogsphere was such an interesting and generous place?

I still remember the excitement the first time I found a comment from someone I didn’t personally know (thank you Salty Letters!).

To be honest, I still get a buzz whenever anyone leaves a comment on my blog, even more so if they’re a new contributor (and aren’t you always curious how someone comes across your blog?).
Over the past year there have been some witty, insightful, clever and - yes, Ink-stained Toe-poker - cheeky comments left on my posts. All have been appreciated.

Some posts generate lots of comments, some only a few, and I still haven’t pinned down the differences between the two.

And then there was my brief addiction to meme, when I was first introduced to Booking Through Thursday (BTT).

When I found myself racing home from work to knock up a response to that week’s questions so I could make it in the first dozen comments, I realised I’d moved away from my aim of writing posts that were thoughtful and well considered. The only answer was to go cold turkey… If I was posting daily, or even a couple of times a week, the occasional BTT response would’ve been fine. But when I only post around once a week, those abrupt posts seemed out of place in the context of the rest of the blog.

Still, Booking Through Thursday remains a fantastic source of topics and bloggers, and I will be forever grateful to that meme for helping me find a whole new world of literary bloggers to exchange ideas with – on their blogs and mine.

Great stories has given me a chance to express some of the thoughts, ideas and questions bouncing around in my head, and I'm so so appreciative of those people who return to the site on a regular basis to join discussions.

I’ve met some wonderfully intelligent and thoughtful bloggers in cyberland, and blogging has added a new dimension to friendships with people who also inhabit my life away from the computer.

So, for fear of this sounding like some sort of Oscar speech, I’d just like to thank all of you who post regularly, and those who just visit.

I’ve got quite a few extra projects going on my life at the moment (in addition to my full time job), but I love writing this blog and reading other people's blogs, so I’m going to attempt to keep this going.

My posts my not be exactly weekly, but they will be regular.

And, hopefully, they’ll be worth waiting for!


BooksPlease said...

Congratulations, Paula - Happy Blogaversary. I love reading your blog and I do hope you'll carry on writing it. It's interesting if rather puzzling why some posts get far more comments than others. Sometimes I really enjoy someone's post but can't think of anything interesting to add or contribute to the topic, or if I did I'd only be repeating what another person had already written.

Anyway I always enjoy your posts and come away from your blog with food for thought even if I haven't made a comment.

Yes, I also find BTT addictive.

Linda Jacobs said...

Happy First Blogoversary! Isn't blogging amazing? People from all over the world can read what we say and connect in a way we never would have before.

I know I, for one, look forward to your posts so here's wishing you many more blogoversaries!

Anonymous said...

Well I am very glad I found you by chance..thank you google!

Who would have thought Jane Austen could bring people together after all this time? :)

the ink-stained toe-poker said...

If it wasnae for you I wouldnae be doing mine and I wouldnae have made friends in places like the NY Times. The blogoshpere really is amazing - thanks for the introduction and the inspiration. Keep up the good work an all that pish. Seriously Paula there's some great work here, you should be proud of yourself.

I also wanted to introduce you to another blog - The Word Gardener has a way with words and books and literary miscellany. I believe you and the lovely peeps who frequent your blog will enjoy her work.

oh and of course, Congratulations Westie!

Jade said...

Hi Paula, thanks for visiting my blog! Bec's told me a lot about you (all good of course!).

I feel a little pressure now that you've mentioned she's been talking me up on her blog :P

Oh and happy blogaversary! I look forward to reading your stories :)

Gustav said...

Happy Anniversary Paula and here is a toast to Great Stories!

There are certain blogs that make me think and challenge my views on life and the art of living.

Your Great Stories blog posts are well written and are a part of my neighborhood, my garden of thoughts.

So thank you Paula and have a happy day.

Bec said...

Damn it, I left a big long comment here and just lost it....DOH!!!!

Think I'll go for the succinct version this time and say that I really enjoy your blog, and the discussions you throw up (even if I am often tardy in contributing to them).

Hope you're having a nice lead-up to Christmas, and I'm looking forward to catching up some time in the new year!!


Paula Weston said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely and thoughtful posts. It's bloggers like you who make the blogsphere such a great place to inhabit, and who inspire me to keep wanting to be part of it.