The Little Blog That Could

Reaching 7,000 followers is not something I could have ever imagined when I created my WordPress blog back in November of 2015, but that’s exactly what happened today. I’m not writing this to preen, but to thank each and every one of you for your endless support, whether that has been over the last three years, or the last three hours.

The blogger that ticked me over to this golden number was H.R.R. Gorman who blogs over at Let Me Tell You the Story of… But who was my first follower? Well… I tried to figure that out, but WordPress wasn’t having a bar of it, so instead, I found the very first person to comment on my blog: Nate Philbrick of You.Write.Fiction, an indie author who wrote the best WordPress article of all time.

It’s funny to think that back when Philbrick commented on my first blog post, I only had about 10 followers (if that). I was also working on my first draft of Mesmerise, had never been rejected by an agent or publisher and had only recently become acquainted with the evolving world of self-publishing. And yep, I had no clue what P.O.D. or KDP even meant. Ignorance is bliss!

Not only was I bright-eyed and hopeful, but I was also very innocent and naive. I had no idea how cruel the writing world could be – or how wonderful. I honestly thought back then I’d be one of the ‘lucky ones’ and get a contract for one of my books straight off the bat from one of the Big 5 (okay, just anyone!) But that was not to be, not to be at all.

I thank my lucky stars that through all my tears and sunken dreams, there was one thing that I had. This blog. This little blog that could.

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image via pexels

I honestly don’t know where I’d be without all of you. During those dark days when I was faced with an endless stream of scholarly rejections, it was only your kind messages that leant me any kind of hope. You are the ones who have been the light in the darkness. You are the ones who made me smile when I thought all happiness had deserted me.

Your messages always seem to come at just the right moment. Like that time my story, “Two Weeping Willows”, was dropped by a literary magazine who had gone out of their way to ask me to submit it to them – only to reject it due to an “influx of other (better?) stories”. Argh, talk about soul-crushing.

I don’t usually let myself cry (or admit to it), but on that day my body demanded I shed some tears. I think it’s healthy and normal to feel sad and it’s okay if the rejections sting. Not only that, I hope they always sting – for me and for you. To feel nothing would mean the end of hope, the end of dreaming, the end of cat gifs.

While I was experiencing the many trials and tribulations of the #WritersLife, I had you guys on the other end, telling me my stories were magical. Even though my writing may have been tragically bad… still you threw a glittering rope to a writer struggling to believe in herself. And sometimes that is all we need to dust ourselves off and keep going – one kind word.

I don’t know what I have done to deserve your kindness and endless cheers of support. If I could list you all by name, I would, but there are far too many of you (oh but I must mention my mum, who lovingly reads every post, hi mum!)

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image via pexels

I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and do things differently, but I can’t think like that. Because you know what? If I didn’t have all those mountains to climb and those God-awful rejection letters to overcome, my blog wouldn’t be where it is today. No one wants to read a blog about a perfect life. Because who can relate to that? Probably, mostly, no one.

People aren’t visiting your blog to read all about your ‘awesome’ life, but to read about the difficult journey you went through to get there, of the setbacks you bravely faced and triumphed over. Not only are they looking for help to understand their own lives, they are searching for an honest voice and a genuine connection.

Yes, it’s good to put your best face forward on occasion, but adding a dash of humanity and a pinch of truth to your story can be so much more rewarding. If I’d kept the ugly truth hidden, I never would have received the support I needed.

Every single thing I have gone through these last few years has played a pivotal role in moulding this stronger, wiser version of myself. And even though both my innocence and naivety have been taken away, some things have not and will never change.

I am still hopeful, still bright-eyed and still, unapologetically, me.

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image via pexels
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60 thoughts

  1. Hello i’d just created my wordpress account and about to start blogging. I am searching for blogs then i came here so that i have an idea on how to start. After reading i am so touched and became more inspired to push blogging. I just want to say thank you for inspiring me to start a blog, i’d learn so much just by reading this but i know that there are many things that i should learn. Congratulations and have a good life.

    Like

  2. I am a new follower but by just reading a few of your post and now this one I think you deserve to have 7000 followers.
    Writing takes a lot more effort than most people think and comes from the heart as much as from the head. This article of yours is a good example of what I’m saying.
    Congratulations and I hope all those that sent you rejections are now wishing they had not.
    Have a super wonderful day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. New follower here, it’s so cool that you managed to find success in the blogging world! I congratulate you on the 7,000 followers and I am now happy to be one of them! With that said, I guess I better do some digging on your old posts to see what P.O.D. and KDP are. I have lots to learn!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on reaching 7000 followers! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog posts so keep it up! It’s great that you have fought through adversity to get where you are now, you should be very proud of yourself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations!👏🏼 That’s an awesome achievement! You do know it says, up in the top right corner of your blog, that you have 12,893 followers, don’t you? I’m glad I’m one of them 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My beautiful Milly – yes I do read all your blogs. 7000 followers that is wonderful Milly. So proud of you 🙂 Milly started story telling when she was two years old. She would lull her baby sister to sleep with her stories every night. I would listen at the door and would be in awe of the stories she was making up. Often her sister would be asleep but you could hear Milly still chatting away. Mum and dad love you Milly and know one day soon your dreams will be answered. What beautiful caring followers you have to support you on your journey 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CongratZ on the 7k.
    From what I’ve been seeing is that you are nice to others. And because of that, you attract similarly minded people. So you have yourself to thank (in a way) for the readers’ support.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heh, funny enough, I’m at a very similar (mostly) new beginning over here. I think I’m somewhere around 13 followers at the moment, and I’m at relatively few rejections (mostly because I haven’t yet mustered the guts to submit to very many places yet, though I’ve written plenty that’s hidden away in my bookshelves). Your honesty and genuine voice are very much appreciated, as much for a reality check on the facts of being a start-up author, as for a dose of sustainable optimism in the face of all the hurdles yet to come. Congrats on the 7,000 followers 🙂 and cheers to all the good writing years to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a pretty new follower so I didn’t see you through but I really enjoyed your honesty in this writing. It’s kind of scary for me because I’m at that beginning with ten followers, I never imagined I would get one let alone ten but I’m still a little afraid of failing. I think that’s what keeps me grounded though it’s what keeps my writing real. Congratulations! You did it! Don’t stop. We want to come back for more. We will be back for more.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Congrats on 7k!
    You are really an inspiration. My story kind of mirrors yours. I’m in the process of self-publishing my first book, after a year of rejection letters and false hope.

    My blog is my archive: even if no one else reads it, it’s here for me. Like a digital version of a cork board to pin all fo my randomness. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Congratulations! First congrats on reaching 7000. But also on your commitment to your writing journey. It’s easy to discouraged early on in the game. Perseverance brings its rewards.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations Milly. I am very happy for you and echo the sentiment of many of the other commenters. You’ve done a great job on your blog and, obviously, you are an awesome person who has been able to transmit your personality and warmth through your words. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations!! As someone who just started my own blog at the beginning of the year, it’s lovely to see how you handle the trials and tribulations of both normal life and writing life. Thanks for sharing your grace with the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aww, what an inspiring post! So glad you have such a positive outlook, it’s lovely to read of someone who steps forward with, well, a positive outlook (for lack of a better word). Hope it always stays that way!

    Liked by 1 person

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