Today is the one year anniversary of my blog. When I mentioned that to my husband, one of my biggest fans, he said it couldn’t be a year already. I feel the same way. Where did the time go?
I don’t know what I expected when I began this blog. All I know is that my daughter (My Pajama Days) started a blog about six months before me, and she was having a great time with it. I wanted a piece of the action, so on one of her visits, she helped me get set up, and my blogging life began. I said I would continue as long as I was having fun. Since that’s still the case, I’m shooting for another year.
I think it is high time you got to know me by my real name, Susan Okaty. When I get a chance, I will redo the “About Me” and put that in there. It was my sweet husband who came up with the name of this blog. I had been wracking my brain trying to think of a title. One night, when I was nearly asleep, my husband suddenly sat up in bed and said, “I have the title for your blog!” And he did.
What have I enjoyed about blogging? First, it’s made me a better writer because it’s forced me to write nearly every day. It’s made me more observant, for a writer needs to pay attention to what’s going on around her so as not to miss subjects worthy of writing about. Best of all, blogging has connected me with people from many different states and from all over the world—the Philippines, Wales, Canada, and New Zealand, to name a few. I’ve made friends with so many incredible people, read fabulous writing from other bloggers, learned new things, stretched my mind.
What don’t I like about blogging? I will never meet any of these people I care about. They’ve invited me into their lives, shared their families and dreams, joys and heartbreaks with me, and I can’t even sit down with them over a good cup of Earl Grey and cookies. As my students would so eloquently say to me, “That just sucks, Mrs. O.”
The second thing is that blogging is addictive. To do it well, you have to write regularly and post at least once a week, though every couple of days would be ideal, and you have to read, read, read other blogs. I love reading people’s blogs, but all this reading and writing is time consuming, and I’m neglecting other writing, playing my instruments, cleaning the house (okay, this doesn’t bother me so much), and getting outside. I need to find a balance. So, if you see that I begin slacking off the blogging a little, please forgive me. There’s an ocean down the street and I’d really like to see it before the leaves start falling.
Finally, I had hoped that blogging would lead to a lucrative writing career, but as I seldom get more than 100 or so hits a day and none of them seems to have been an agent, I’ve developed a plan. If you like my blog, every time you read it, please put a penny in a little jar marked “Coming East’s Writing Fund.” At the end of each month, you can send me the money (I think it would be tax deductible if you declare me a charity case–that’s charity case, not basket case) via PayPal (I have no idea how that’s done, but I’m sure My Pajama Days can help me set that up.). If I write twenty posts a month, you’re only out 20 cents, and I think that’s a bargain. Of course, if you don’t like what I wrote, I suppose it would only be fair for you to take a penny out of the jar. Anyway, we can figure out the details later.
Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with me. I will try never to disappoint you. From time to time, when I feel I need to take a quick break, I just might rerun some of my earliest blogs since very few people read them in the beginning. If you were one of them, my apologies!
I started blogging two months ago, and your blog has always been so inspiring! I have not missed reading any of your posts ever since the day I found it through Freshly Pressed, even though this is the first time I am leaving a comment. I love your style of writing, so eloquent, full of wisdom and humor.
Wow! Thank you for taking the time to comment, Shanghai! Your sweet comment made my day!
Happy 1st anniversary!
I find that blogging helps to sharpen your writing (something that I need a lot of). It’s a great discipline that can only help any future writing that you do.
I enjoy reading Coming East!
Thank you, WS. I need to spend more time reading blogs for a few days and catch up. I’ll be visiting you.
Congratulations, Susan! I’ve always loved reading the wisdom and the humor in your posts and your style of writing. I’m so glad I found your blog through your daughter’s.
I didn’t realize you found me through My Pajama Days, Yen. I’m so glad you did.
Happy Anniversary Susan (though to me you are CE…) I agree that blogging and reading and commenting takes time! The answer for me is to blog and read and comment less during the summer months!
I’m looking forward to what your blogging persona has to say in the coming year. Do you ever wonder how close your blogging self is to your real self – in your eyes and in the eyes of the people who only know you through your blog? I’ve thought about that in regards to my blog, and think about whether I am taller in my blog than I am in real life…
I think you’re nearly six feet tall. Is that about right? LOL! I haven’t thought about what image I’m projecting. I just project me, I hope. I’m so glad I discovered you, Margie.
Hug and congratulations from your friend in NZ.. Do organise a convention and I shall start saving my pennies to be there.
You laugh, but it could happen! Thanks, Judith.
Ditto to your comments Susan. I enjoy blogging, but find I too neglect things at home, and have not turned it into a successful, lucrative writing career either. I’m trying to find balance by posting 2-3 times a week, but feel I must stick with my blogging community by reading/commenting on other blogs, so I guess I still have not quite found the balance either. We’ll figure it out together I think. Keep blogging.
If we got paid for blogging, we could feel it is our career and we therefore need to spend all this time on it. Since we don’t, it’s hard to justify without feeling a little guilty. Ah, well, when you figure it out, let me know so I can share in the joy.
You deserve a writing career…don’t give up. You really have a lovely voice, that is unique and inspiring! I look forward to reading every one of your posts, and I can’t say that for very many of the blogs I read.
OMG, you gave me a boost! I have to laugh about the writing career. I was being facetious. Sure, I would like to make a few bucks writing, but that would require me to take my writing seriously and spend much more time on it than I’m willing to. No pain, no gain, so I will remain painless and gainless. Thanks, J to E.
Happy Anniversary to you Susan! I’m thrilled to hear that you are giving this whole blogging thing another year. It would be so sad to see your wonderful stories disappear – I’ve become quite fond of checking in with you each day. I’ve decided to set aside a tea bag for each entry (Earl Grey, of course). Surely a tea bag is worth more than a penny these days! It’s my little wishing jar that someday we will actually meet and get to drink that tea together. Although, given how prolific you are, that may be quite a bit of tea! We may be forced to meet twice 🙂
Wow! I’m worth a tea bag a day! Infinitely better than a penny, I agree. I keep checking in with your site, too, and anxiously await each new entry, whenever you get a chance. Do we live anywhere near each other? You know what? This whole scenario has given me yet another great idea for a novel I will never write!
Unfortunately, I think Oregon and Virginia are about as far away as we can get from one another and still both be in the contiguous United States. Perhaps we should meet in the middle? You up for a road trip to Kansas? Now there’s a story 😉
I’ve never been to Kansas. Nowadays, I think the airfare might be the same, whether I go to Kansas or Oregon. Think I’d like Oregon. I’ve never been there either.
Happy Anniversary! Check out this link: http://www.middlebury.edu/blwc/bakeless_prize
They’re looking for essays.
I will definitely check it out, but are you sending me to that site because you don’t want to cough up the 20 cents? Thanks a bunch, Kelly.
Just checked it out, Kelly. They are looking for SERIOUS writers. That would mean I’d actually have to write something. LOL!
You’ve got some fabulous essays here and elsewhere I’m sure. Why can’t you submit those?
You are definitely a confidence-booster, Kelly, but my little blogging essays wouldn’t cut it with Middlebury College. There is probably a niche somewhere that I fit in, but I’m content with blogging for these little things. What I really need to do is finish some of the other writing I started and left, plus think about this new idea I just came up with a little while ago. Or…I could just keep on doing what I’m doing and be happy with it. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Kelly. It really means a lot, coming from a writer like you!
Congratulations on your anniversary! I really enjoy your posts…the sharing, the photos, the insights. It’s been obvious, at least as long as I’ve been a follower, that your husband has been right there beside you on this journey – even if he isn’t sitting at the computer. So, I love knowing the title is his inspiration. What a couple! And I vote yes for the Coming East Convention. I miss my childhood days in Maryland and plan to return for a visit someday. It might as well be to the CE Convention! Looking forward to reading those earlier posts!
Wouldn’t it be a hoot if we all decided to hold our own blogging convention? So many of us follow the same blogs. My Pajama Days would love to set something up, I’m sure. She’s the planner. We’ll hold that thought, and maybe it will really happen one day.
Congratulations on your anniversary. It’s been a true pleasure finding your blog and getting to know you. To me, that’s the best part about blogging. I love reading your writing, and always enjoy your comments as well. Keep writing! And by the way, nearly100 hits a day isn’t bad!
Thanks, Leah. It certainly is an improvement from the early days when I was excited if I got over 25.
Congratulations. So much of what you said about blogging is true for me, particularly how much time it takes from “other things.” I feel like we are kindred spirits as bloggers except you don’t seem to unleash an Inner Curmudgeon on the world. There haven’t been any agents hanging around Older Eyes, either.
But your Inner Curmudgeon is so lovable!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Woohoo! I love your blog, and I agree with you: blogging IS addictive and it takes a long time. And it has been a great place to meet writers, like you! But I don’t necessarily agree that I won’t meet in person any of the online writers I’ve met — I’ve already met one and have a chance to meet two others soon…. You can never tell! (p.s. I count myself lucky that my husband is also my biggest blog fan, too — and very understanding and supportive and encouraging of the time it takes!). Congrats again, xox, Julia
So far I haven’t come across any bloggers near me, but maybe I will in the future. Thanks, Julia.
Happy Blogiversary, Susan! It’s so nice to finally know your name (although I’ll probably continue to think of you as ComingEast for a while). 🙂
I like knowing your name is Robin so I don’t have to call you Bogs.
Well, Happy Blogiversary, Susan! I, for one, certainly enjoy reading your posts, so I’m happy you will continue. I have to whole-heartedly agree that blogging really eats up time and I also have been trying to find the right balance of cyber-world and everyday life – -I don’t mind either if the cleaning has to wait! 😉 The answer for me (because darn it, I still have to go to my part-time job) is writing a couple of times a week. Anyway, treat yourself to something special on this happy day and please sit at the beach, savor the ocean breeze, lovely sound of waves, and glorious sunshine for me too. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve made it to the shore, and I miss it!
Thanks, Mama. I think Wednesday just might be a rerun day and a beach day. Thanks for sticking with me.
Congrats on this milestone. There are many reasons why I enjoy reading your blog….good writing, interesting content, nice photos, good energy, to name a few. I was not here for the beginning of your blog and will look forward to catching some of your earlier posts now and then.
Thanks, Winsomebella. It will be nice to have a day off once in awhile.
I’m very new to blogging and have discovered that it does take a lot more time than I thought it would. I’m enjoying writing and discovering wonderful blogs like yours. I have to be careful, though, not to neglect my novel and short stories. It’s definitely a balance.
From what I’ve read, social networking is a must for writers, so you’re doing what you need to do. If you don’t already follow Kristin Lamb’s blog, click on her link in my sidebar. She has a writing website that is very good.
Congratulations! I enjoy reading your work, your observations, your stories and your insights. I wish you happiness in the next year of your writing! Enjoy the ocean! 🙂
Thanks so much! I actually won’t get to the ocean today, though I did go to the gym. I’m planning to take myself on a beach date on Wednesday. I’m going to pack a lunch, bring a good book or my writing tablet, tons of sunscreen, SPF 50, and enjoy the time outside. And I will try not to feel guilty.
Congrats, Susan! Blogs indeed connect people anywhere, anytime. Admittedly, I’m taking time to read blogs while I’m on vacation… Thank you so much for sharing your insights and eloquent writing! “Coming East” is a cool title.
I’ll have to tell my husband that you think his title is cool. That will make him happy. Thanks, Amy.
Happy Blogversary, Susan! That’s a great photo of you with your camera (and it looks like a fancy one, too). 🙂 Dip your toes in the ocean for me, will ya?
Will do, and thanks.
Happy anniversary to you, Susan!! I have to echo everything you said. Between the reading, commenting, checking of stats (hehe) I don’t have time to sit down and write! And the summer is winding down too fast, so I try to spend my time with the kids. But I always make sure to stop in here. 🙂
I am so happy to have found your blog and I wish you many more years of continued success!
Thanks so much, Mama. I’m determined to make it up to Maine for that cup of tea someday, so keep the kettle ready.
I’m brand new at blogging and you were my inspiration. Actually doing 2 blogs and the other is for a local gift store. It’s called VirginiaShopperDor. I know what you mean about blogging and social media becoming addictive. I have to make myself get up and out sometimes. I will love to read your earlier blogs and since it seems we may be in the same state, perhaps we will meet some day for a cup. On the other hand, maybe you should have your own Coming East Convention! I will save my pennies to apply to the registration.
Dor, you made my day, and it’s just beginning! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts, and who knows, we may just meet some day, my fellow Virginian!
Happy Anniversary! I’m wishing you many years of continued fun and blogging enjoyment. 🙂
Thanks, E.C. You are one of the bloggers I thought about when I wrote this. I so enjoy you!
Aw Thanks so much. I enjoy being your friend too. I agree the sad part about blogging is not getting to meet the people who become a special part of our lives. I’m glad we have an opportunity to make friends and share brief glimpses of life & heart through blogging. 🙂
Maybe some day we’ll meet at a blogging convention or hold a mini-one of our own.
“I will never meet any of these people I care about…” not true! Or at least, not necessarily so. I know many people that have met their “virtual” friends when they happen to be in the same geographical locale. I also actually know a few people that met their significant others that way too. Blogs, community forums, chat rooms– they are the new marketplace!
You never know, that’s for sure. I haven’t come across any bloggers yet who live in my area, though. Of course, maybe some of will meet at a bloggers convention in the future.