Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, Blog!

Today is this blog's fifth birthday. Hard to believe. It's in kindergarten now.

I try to mark every blog birthday a little differently. It's another year that I've kept writing.

This blog wasn't opened to the public until more than a year after I started it. In fact, it may have been two years after I started it.

It is genuinely bizarre to think that I started this just to post up a story I was writing and now it's a bit bigger; several projects and adventures later, and I feel like I have a cuddly little blogging and writing community around me now. (Hi guys!)

But anyway...in honor of it being the fifth birthday, I give forth five top five lists for your perusal:


Five Titles This Blog Was Called Before I Started To Have a Steady Readership
1. The Book
2. The Book(s)
3. The Sunflower Snarks
4. The Sunflower's (Often Snarky) Scribbles
5. The Sunflower's Scribbles, which is just stupid now, because anybody can see that my name is Michelle and not Sunflower. Oh wells.
Mizzou Columns. First picture I ever added to this blog.

Top Five Favorite Fiction Bits Posted To This Blog
Because, of course, I write fiction. And sometimes I post it. I started this blog to post one story. I actually sorted this in order of which snippets I liked more.

1. Part One of the Once the musical fanfiction--August 16, 2012

2. NaNo '13: Day 29--November 29, 2013

3. Chapter Four of Book the First---posted February 20, 2009

4. A Downton Abbey ficlet scene--August 17, 2011

5. Part of the 2010 NaNo project--January 11, 2011


Top Five Favorite Blog Posts (Of All Time)
Some of these could totally qualify as rants. Actually, most of them are. Rants have a focus and passion that other blog posts may not have. What are some of your favorite posts on your blogs?

1. "That's What Happens When an English teacher has you reading Hamlet for four months. I kid you not. Four months."---September 28, 2011

2. The rant about race--August 11, 2011

3. Why I Like Tom Branson--October 1, 2012

4. Things I've Learned About My Writing/Revising Process--May 22, 2012

5. Too Modern?--March 24, 2013

Dido Belle and her cousin, Elizabeth Murray. Very loose inspirations for characters in my WIP.

Top Five Most-Read Posts on This Blog
A lot of these have gained hits through Google. It's interesting what topics rise toward the top. I never knew people were so curious about Edwardian mourning armbands before.

1. The Tower of London--August 21, 2012

2.  Downton Abbey Predictions--November 20, 2011

3. The Accents of Downton Abbey--January 21, 2012

4. Mourning Customs--June 2, 2012

5. A Guide to Writing About New York--April 1, 2013

Hmm. Oh! What was I researching at the time?

Five Things I've Learned About Blogs

1. Keep writing. You know that quote, "Dance as if no one's looking?" Blog as if no one's going to read it. Chances are, they won't. Doesn't mean you shouldn't write it. Be persistent. Keep writing/blogging/photographing. Don't be one of those people who lets their blog fizzle out after six months.

2. Read other blogs. Read them. Consume them. Comment on them. Sometimes, they'll come over and comment on your blog, too.

3. Be yourself. I've read quite a number of blogs. Here's the thing: I like an authentic blog voice. Not one that's too twee or too abrupt or too instructional. Not one that regurgitates information that you can find everywhere else via Google. Okay, so maybe one day you're blogging about Breaking Bad and the next day you're ranting about...I don't know...snowplows. It might seem moody and that you're not fitting a "brand" or a "niche." But you are showing me that you're a real person and that's worth a lot on a blog.

4. Pictures are nice. So are videos, random graphics, and GIFs. They're a nice illustration of your point or just amusing sometimes. They break up the text.

5. Share and share alike. This might go along with "read other blogs." Find something you really mesh with on someone's blog? Tweet a link. Have a long response to a topic? Write an entry on your blog and link to the post that inspired you. This is how you start building an online community for yourself.

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Also, officially began Draft Four tonight. Ahhh!

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  2. Wow, 5 years is big. Congratulations! May you have 5 more of the same. :)

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  3. Congratulations!

    (Looks like people really like Downton Abbey! ;) )

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    1. Thank you! And yes, they do like Downton. The funniest thing is that one old prediction post I wrote is still so popular.

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  4. Happy Blog Birthday! ^_^
    It's funny...I call you Sunflower whenever I talk about your blog or something you tweeted. That's awesome you've been blogging for this long. I see so many people burn out. This is proof that doesn't have to happen.

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    1. Thank you! :-)
      I have a couple of friends who started blogs--one was a food blog, the other was a baseball blog. The food blog lasted two weeks. The baseball blog lasted a couple of months.

      Sunflower is one of my many nicknames. For whatever reason, it's the one I decided to use as my screen name. It's like my hippie name or something ;-)

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  5. 5 years, wowza. Congrats, I hope I make it to 5 years and I hope that you make it another 5. Woot!

    Oh and great tips in the things you've learned.

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    1. Thank you soipondered! I like your screen name. Tbh, I wish I remembered or had noted down when I opened this blog up to the public (when I started blogging I had it closed to just friends) because that would be another blog celebration.
      I hope you make it to 5, too. It's interesting to go back and read old entries.

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  6. Congratulations on five years. I'd liked your five blog tips.

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    1. Thank you Ruth! Hope you're doing well.

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!