Happy 1st Birthday Blog

I can’t believe that it’s October already and it made me realise that it’s over a year ago since I started my blog. I set myself a personal challenge to blog once a week or so and I’m chuffed that I’ve achieved my goal and reached a milestone.

Since starting the blog, I’ve racked up 51 posts and 27k words! I’ve often questioned whether it’s worth the time and effort but I’ve had lots of positive feedback from family and friends and I enjoy writing the posts, regardless of the number of hits.

Before I began blogging, I wasn’t even on Facebook, never mind Twitter. What a difference a year makes! I’ve really got to grips with social media now and despite my initial fear of the unknown, I feel part of a small group of like-minded aspiring writers who’ve offered me support and advice during the ups and downs of my writing journey and life in general. I’ve gained a great group of virtual friends through blogging and Twitter and I’ve even met up with the lovely Anne Glennie in person.

There are hunners and hunners and hunners of blogs out there written by writers all trying to break through but I’ve found a few gems worth following.  One of my favourite blogs, On the Literary Sofa is written by Isabel Costello’s and she also celebrated the first birthday of her blog recently.

Zadie’s latest novel is described as depicting the modern urban zone.

Isabel ran an anniversary competition with the first prize of a literary lunch with her in London. I didn’t win this prize but I hope to one day meet up with Isabel to talk books and put the world to rights.I never win anything except an argument so I was delighted to win one of the runner-up prizes of a copy of Zadie Smith’s new novel, NW.  Sandy the postie delivered it this morning and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to Isabel’s review as being, “definitely worth reading for the realistic depiction of London in all its aspects, not just of place but situation and dialogue, which Smith does brilliantly from pretentious dinner parties to confrontations between strangers in kids’ playgrounds.

If you’re an avid reader or looking to share your writing aspirations and have a laugh along the way, as Dermot would say in the X Factor finals, “In no particular order…”, up there with Anne and Isabel, the others who make up my top ten writing bloggers  are Wendy Storer, Cath Bore, Louise Walters, Teresa Stenson, Kristin Celms, Anne Stormont, Anita Chapman and Josephine Corcoran. Enjoy checking out these interesting and entertaining blogs- you won’t be disappointed and you don’t need to be a writer to enjoy the book chat etc! Do you know any great blogs for writers that I’m missing out on? What would be in your top ten?

P.S. I’ve just noticed that all of my favourite bloggers are women. I’ve not got a conscious gender bias but maybe it’s simply that I can relate more to these ladies who’re busy juggling family and work commitments alongside their writing aspirations. But if anyone knows of a male blogger who’s worth following, please let me know.

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27 thoughts on “Happy 1st Birthday Blog

  1. My own blog is coming up to it’s first birthday too. I couldn’t agree with you more about feeling part of something. When I read your blog – and others too – it’s great to know I am not alone and even without direct contact, there is support to be found on the writing journey. Here’s to another year of blogging, and hopefully a few publications on the way. Cheers!

  2. Happy Bloggy Birthday Writing Buddy! My own blog will also be a year old next week… but unlike you I haven’t managed to keep it going at all… not even enough posts to have one per month! (In fact I stole my last post from you and re-blogged it!!!) So also am not worthy to be mentioned in the same blog as all of the top ten real bloggers… Seriously, congrats not only having a super blog with lovely follwers, but on keeping it going every week… that’s real writerly resilience and commitment. *bows and sweeps out of room backwards* x

    • Thanks Anne. Your excuse for not blogging as often as me is that you’re a very busy lady! I on the other hand was at uni for last year so had much much more time to dedicate to my writing. You’re worthy of a mention for being a great support to me- it is very much appreciated x

  3. Hi Helen, Happy 1st Birthday to your blog-a blog I’ve enjoyed reading over the past few months. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog and for visiting and commenting on it regularly-very kind of you. As I said on Twitter-my blog is coming up to its 1st Birthday too-amazing how the year has flown. Maybe we should have a joint party…with loads of fizz. I’m now racking my brains trying to come up with an interesting male blogger. A website well worth looking at run by a male is Paragraph Planet (have read your brilliant paras on there). There is also Jake Barton who can be very entertaining. By the way-love ‘Writer in residence at my house’ (me too)-very funny!

    • Thanks for your kind comments Anita. How spooky, Wendy, Anne and Isabel are all celebrating our blog’s first birthdays too. There must’ve been something in the blogsphere this time last year which prompted us all to get started. Hope your blog goes from strength to strength in its 2nd year.Cheers! x

    • You’re very welcome Cath. Your blog is one of the ones which makes me smile. I love your fashion posts for those of us who’re curvy and your Liverpudlian humour. P.S. Love the new slippers 🙂 x

  4. Ah, thanks, Helen. And well done to you. Sticking with the one-post-per-week isn’t always easy so I’m very impressed.

    Next time I have a cuppa and a catch-up with blog-reading I’ll take a look at those other lady-blogs.

    As I just said on Twitter, I know a man who blogs. Short story writer Dan Purdue can be found here: http://lies-ink.blogspot.co.uk/ He’s interviewing Scott Prize winner Jonathan Pinnock in his most recent post. Jonathan does blogging too. His is here:http://www.jonathanpinnock.com/

    Thanks again.

    • Thanks Susan, Where’ve you been hiding? I haven’t seen you much on Twitter recently, have you been too busy editing? When I tried to look up Novels and Onions to add to my favourite blogs I got an access denied message??? Have you closed down your blog? That would be a shame as I enjoyed the combo of writing and gardening news.

      • Hi Helen; yes I closed down the blog the other day as hadn’t been able to post for a while, and my garden like everyone else’s has been a weather-affected nightmare, so very little to write about except moan, moan, gnashing of teeth. I’ve been doing a mentoring scheme for publishing proofreading (I have a qualification in this, which I probably didn’t mention before) as well as setting up a proofreading business, and have also had some major family issues which I won’t go into. Have had ten rejections for my novel and recently started another – 10k words into first draft so far. I’ve just paid to go on a writing mentoring scheme (‘Gold Dust’, don’t know if you’ve heard of it http://www.gold-dust.org.uk/) to get some intensive input on improving my writing. I’m about to start working with a published author over the next year, so really looking forward to that. I have been reading all your blog posts though; just haven’t left any comments.They’re always interesting!
        P.S. Was also getting a bit fed-up with Twitter consisting more and more and more of self-published authors pushing their books (even though I don’t have many followers/following) and realised I needed a rethink about who and what I find interesting on it (still thinking …).

      • Ah, that explains a lot. I’m not surprised that you’ve not been on Twitter or blogging with so much going on in your personal and professional life.I hope the proofreading business is a success and the Gold Dust scheme helps with your writing. I know myself how hard it is to keep the faith but it sounds like you’re giving it 100% so the very best of luck with your writing goals. Keep in touch and take care. x

  5. Wow, thanks, Helen! I’m honoured and very chuffed to be in the top ten. Happy blog birthday. Your posts are always worth reading. You’re a natural. All the best 🙂

  6. Helen, I’m so honored to be mentioned in this post and so glad we met over the Internet this past year! I love your blog and read every post you write. Here’s to another great year!

  7. Thanks for mentioning my blog and for regularly commenting there Helen. The feeling is mutual, yours is one of my absolute favourites. You are a great writer and a lovely person. Hope we get to meet some day. (I’ve met tons of other cyber friends, so it’s not impossible!) congratulations on a great first year!

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