Today is a special day. I am celebrating the two-year anniversary of Connie’s Corner.
It pretty-much snuck up on me, and seeing this milestone date pop up on my calendar caused me to pause and take a moment from my busy schedule to reflect a bit.
Why did I start my Connie’s Corner blog website? What was I hoping to accomplish? Have I reached any of the writing and speaking goals that I set for myself two years ago when I when I started down this pathway? Have I improved my quality life and affected the life of those around me in some positive manner?
These were all questions that have been churning around in my head all week as the anniversary date crept closer and closer.
The easiest question to answer, is the why. Why did I decide to start a blog page? First, there was this somewhat insane idea that I might have an interesting perception to share on a variety of topics. Even more insane would be that people might want to read and learn about my thoughts and ideas. While on the outside, this might seem a bit egotistical, deep in my heart, it wasn’t high accolades that I wanted to achieve, but that my blog would be open up an opportunity to touch someone’s heart. To share thoughts that might uplift someone’s day and give them some encouragement to keep on…keeping on. It was, and continues to be, a platform to share, on an intimate level, my message of love, hope, faith and family.
Second, since I was no longer bringing home a paycheck to contribute to my household income, I naively thought I could make a bit of money by implementing some affiliate partnership links within my blogs. For those of you that may not know anything about this process, to be successful it requires you to write in a very specific manner so that search engines pick up on key words. This then drives people to your page or blog, where hopefully they click on a link and are encouraged to purchase some item as it relates to the text of the article. Sounds easy, but I found it was not. At least not for me.
Did I accomplish what I set out to do with my blog? I would have to say, “yes” and “no”. Yes, people do read what I write and occasionally I get some wonderful and touching comments or emails from people telling me how encouraged they are by what I wrote. I have made some great “blogging” and “writing” friends from all over the United States. I am part of a much bigger writing community since starting two years ago.
With my more informative blogs, on travel specifically, it is obvious to me that people are reading these posts, as I continue to climb up the search engine ladder. Reaching people with meaningful messages – Check! Making money from my blogs – Nope! And you know what? I’m OK with that. One of my primary reasons for retiring early from my much loved, but stressful job, was to start enjoying life more. To spend time with my grandson and family. To challenge myself to do things that I had always dreamed of but never had time to attempt. That includes writing. So, I am cutting myself loose from my affiliate partnerships and focusing totally on what I want to write, not what I need to write to earn commissions.
The other aspect of my writing goals includes an effort towards publishing my manuscripts. I currently have three children’s manuscripts that I’ve been aggressively submitting to publishers and agents through a variety of avenues. Since there are still no checks coming in the mail; it is a life-lesson in perseverance and patience. Every time I submit my work for consideration or participate in some type of pitching event, I learn more about being a writer. I learn more about myself and my ability to stay focused in my writing career. To keep my goals always in front of me. That is a good thing.
I recently challenged myself to complete an adult novel, which I had started two years ago. Magnum Opus is now a fully finished rough draft manuscript of 67,000 words. The manuscript is currently in the hands of some close and trusted family members and friends who are reading it and giving me feedback on story content and character development. This story is near and dear to my very soul. Will it ever be published? I hope so. However, even if it is not, it is a story that evolved from deep within my heart. I had to write it! I’ll keep you posted on progress as that project moves forward. Novel writing goal achieved – Check! With more to come!
Upon reflection, I would have to say, the only thing that I feel I have not been able to fully realize or bring to fulfillment from my list of goals, is my desire to be speaking and teaching on a regular basis to women’s groups and retreats. I have over the past twenty years acted upon this intense calling and gifting in my life to serve in this capacity. I have completed several very intensive training workshops and have developed a variety of wonderful programs. Goals achieved in this area – still waiting.
Oh, and there is one more thing that has had a huge impact on my life this past year and in the coming years in Connie’s Corner. The Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast! Many of you may or may not know that our family (my husband, son, daughter and grandson and I) purchased a little Bed & Breakfast last year. Five years ago, if someone had told me that I would be waiting tables in a patio café, cleaning guest rooms and getting up at five in the morning to bake fresh rolls and scones for a group of total strangers, I would have said you were crazy! Nevertheless, I am doing that and more, and I could not be happier. Quality of life – Check! Getting to be in business with my family – Check! Getting to meet cool people that visit from all over the United States and the World – Check and Double-check!
Connie’s Corner Goals for this coming year:
• Continue sharing great stories, blogs and articles that uplift and encourage my readers
• Continue striving towards being a published author
• Continue reaching out to let people know that I am available for speaking, teaching and sharing
• Continue working with my family to make the Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast the best little BnB in the Gorge
• Continue to reach for my dreams and never forget to take time to be happy!
To celebrate this two-year Connie’s Corner anniversary, here are my top five blog posts (according to google). Enjoy!
- Travel Walking Sticks, Trekking Poles and Canes: Pros and Cons
- Top Ten Tips for Traveling to Spring Training in Phoenix Arizona
- Passport Photos: Do and Don’t
- Yield to a Smile
- The Naughty Pen
And in closing…here is my personal favorite blog post of all time. Coffee Culture is Alive and Well
So, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. I’ll see you in Connie’s Corner.