Four Years of Blogging

Four Years of Blogging.

Today Bedlam & Daisies turns four!

When I started this blog at the beginning of 2016, I had no idea that I’d still be blogging four years later.

I mean, I thought I might, but I really had no plans around it. The blog was a place for me to try new things while discovering who I was underneath society’s determination of me.

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. e.e. cummings quote

I shared my journey in the hopes that someone out there might find a commonality with me or that I might inspire them to try new things as well.

Before we dive into my reflections on the journey over the past year, this is where I stop to say:

Thank You!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to show up and read my words. I am so grateful for this community.

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. - Jack Kerouac

This year the outside world was demanding of my time. The answer to that demand was mine to give.

And I gave.

While 2019 started out with me having quite a bit of time to dedicate to the blog, that shifted as the year went on. My availability (and inspiration) diminished as life became more demanding.

Blog Growth.

If you read my reflections from the blog’s Three Year Anniversary, then you may recall that I was stepping into bigger growth…expansion…trying more things with the blog.

I revamped the blog’s layout (which I may be revamping again). I shared blogging tips about things I had added and things I was trying. I shared my statistics.

And I shared that my word of the year was bloom.

Bloom.

And I did bloom.

I updated many of my travel posts. I joined travel groups on Facebook and Pinterest where I was able to market my writing. If you’ve come to know my personality then you can see how much I had to bloom in order to put myself out there in this way that made me feel raw & exposed. Marketing myself instead of hoping people would just find me was a large step outside of my comfort zone.

Travel.

My first trip of this year was the one my husband and I took down to Charleston, SC for our 20th Anniversary. While I have much more to share from that trip, I did write this post: 11 Things to do in Charleston.

We went in early March instead of over our anniversary in April because my husband was starting a new job. Remember in last year’s anniversary post where I shared that he was semi-retired? Yeah, that didn’t last. It made sense for our family but also meant that the things he’d taken over for me would again need handled by me.

Because of his new job, he did not travel on spring break with us. Big Mr. was also in college at the time, so I just went with the other two teens. We soaked up some sunshine in Cocoa Beach and whooped for joy on roller coasters at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure.

Miss Sunshine and I also went on our annual Florida trip after her school year was finished at the end of May. We visited family in Gainesville, we checked out the beaches in New Smyrna Beach, we met friends in Cocoa Beach, we spent tons of time with family in Naples, and we checked out the beaches in Venice and St. Augustine.

I did take some photographs while at these spots but far less than normal.

Motherhood.

Perhaps the reason for that is motherhood.

This year, by far, tested my strength as a mother. When I think about it, I think about quicksand. About the ocean waves in a storm.

About the feeling of drowning in either one. Not being able to breathe.

And yet waking up each morning and knowing that deep within me was the strength to go on.

Perhaps that sounds dramatic to you and perhaps it is. Perhaps another might have weathered it differently or walked through it easily. I can only tell the story as I felt it. Since they are not wholly mine, I can not even share the various stories (and there were more than one) that demanded I show up.

Every. Damn. Day.

And I did.

We have come to the other side of each of those stories. I have gained wisdom through all of the journeys. Maybe someday all of the wisdom I’ve gained in life will make me a sage. For today, I am content to be grateful that those specific storms are behind me.

It was not all despair.

There were also many joys.

Miss Sunshine got her learner’s driving permit.

Mr. D walked across the stage, graduating from high school with a golden tassel.

Big Mr. learned more about himself through school and life.

Mr. D turned 18.

Miss Sunshine turned Sweet 16.

But in those moments of traveling, I just wanted to revel in the moment.

I didn’t think about what I might say about this spot or that spot. I didn’t try to capture the perfect sunset. I just breathed in the scenery. Breathed it in deeply and tucked it away to draw upon when I needed strength.

Blogging Stats.

In turn, I wrote less this past year.

A lot, lot less.

Here are the statistics from January 9, 2019 – January 8, 2020.

  • Posts written: 49
  • Number of words: 18,964
  • Number of visitors: 18,196
  • Number of views: 24,509

As you can see I wasn’t exaggerating. That’s over 2/3 less posts than the 139 that I wrote last year.

Blogging Tips.

You may be wondering (or maybe not) why I still had close to the same number of views as 2019 with so little writing.

I think my Top 10 Posts of 2019 shows that the effort I put into updating my travel posts and moving outside my comfort zone by marketing them actually worked.

And even though my top two posts are not travel related, the traffic was driven by the efforts that I put into Pinterest (and I am not so naive as to not realize a good deal of luck as well).

It also had to do with time.

The posts have had time to be found by search engines, by people, shared by some in Pinterest. It takes time.

My number one tip about blogging would be: Don’t let life’s curveballs stop you. Don’t give up. Good things take time.

Next would be: Evolution is good. It means that you’re growing.

Blogging Vision for 2020.

So where do we go from here?

I know there is a lot of talk of 20/20 vision. And I really hope to have some of that this year. However, when thinking about my word for the year, I chose the first one that came to my mind.

Prune

I am not a gardener. Not even close. I kill almost all plants. However, I do know that in order to maintain the health of some plants, pruning is needed and typically done just after blooming.

In order to grow. In order to be healthy. I must prune.

I’m not sure all of the things that will be pruned in my life but I can share a few to start.

  • I have already pruned out alcohol. I’m removing it for an undetermined amount of time. I hadn’t even heard about Dry January prior to deciding that I would be taking a sabbatical. What I learned from 30 Days of No Alcohol was my number two most viewed post in 2019. I mentioned in my top 10 post that I would be embarking upon large swaths of sobriety in 2020 and that I would have more to say on the matter. And I do. And I will share those words as I move farther into the journey.
  • I will be pruning out what comes into my inbox and my mailbox
  • I will be pruning out even more areas of plastic consumption.

These are just a few areas that I’ve targeted. I’m sure that I’ll have more to share as the year progresses.

Do you have a word or vision for 2020?

And suddenly you know; It's time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings. -Meister Eckhart

Thank you again for being a part of this journey.

I can’t wait to see what 2020 and the new decade has in store.

Let your light shine!

Amy

p.s.- If you came to see tips about the tools I use(d), those can be found on the three year anniversary post. There I also shared the statistics for the total life of the blog and my reasons for sharing statistics. I don’t have the masses coming to view my blog. I think it’s easy to get discouraged when we see the number of views of large bloggers. In 2019, I averaged about 30-70 views per day. When I look at that, it was easy to become disappointed that I didn’t have a larger reach. However, if I stood before a room of the same size, I’d think “holy crap, that’s a lot of people”. It’s all a matter of perspective. πŸ™‚

25 thoughts on “Four Years of Blogging

  1. I am still having a hard time getting wordpress to perform for me! Hope you get this comment❀️
    Congrats on making it four years! I am at three and starting to think it might be time to end it😳Just struggling to stay motivated!

    1. I did get the comment, Dee Dee! It did stick it in pending or spam (I can’t remember which) so you may want to tell others to look there.
      Thanks so much!! I have ups and downs of motivation. The good thing is that it’s always there when you’re ready. xx

  2. Congratulations on four years of blogging, Amy! Two great quotes. The first one reminds me of the school system. And the second one of the β€œkiss” principle. β€œBloom” suited you.

    Just so you know, Amy, raising teenagers was a very challenging part of my life. You are responsible for people you cannot control. I have amazing kids. Yet, a very challenging time!

    You are making me think about the concept of pruning. It was necessary for me to be away from the blogosphere this past month due to a family crisis. Today, I am starting to catch up with a month of emails. Should I be pruning? The word that continues to surface for me is β€œTrust.” I will see where this goes. Thank you, Amy! OMG, I just now read your third quote. I do believe in listening to the messages I receive. Goosebumps!

    1. Thank you so much, Erica!!

      I’m pretty sure it’s the “control” or lack thereof that I struggle most with in the raising of teenagers. Ha!Ha! I know they are wonderful human beings and we will make it to the other side of each struggle, but boy can it get exhausting. πŸ˜‰

      I’m sorry to hear that you were dealing with a family crisis. I find that I sign up for too many email lists (not blogs, but various websites) and I need to prune through them to get it down to what I really want to read/hear about. I’m trying to open up space for “my highest good”. “Trust” is a wonderful word!! Through my meditation,​ I am learning to trust that life is unfolding just as it should. And trusting in the magic of beginnings is a fabulous feeling. I hope that 2020 is a spectacularly​ beautiful year for you, Erica! xx

    1. Thank you so much, Jonathan!! πŸ™‚ If I had a glass of champagne, I’d raise it in a toast to the next four years! It’s definitely been quite a year. Here’s to hoping 2020 brings us lots of smiles!! (and I think your idea about the sharing of stories is fabulous!!) xx

    1. Oh wow!! 10 years! That’s so amazing. It sure does fly by!
      Thank you so much, Deborah!! I’m hoping to have more free space to share more this year. Pruning should help with that. πŸ˜‰

  3. Happy Blogiversary, Amy! Life has a way sometimes of derailing our best efforts, especially when we’re forced to balance so many different roles at once. But you’ve got some great goals laid out for 2020, and I’m sure it will be a good one filled with more adventures and more growth. πŸ™‚

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Share them here.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.