Yesterday, after I hit post, WordPress sent me a message:
You’ve made 500 posts on The Life of a Conflicted Teacher.
Now, I know that there are people out there who blog every day who are thinking, “Ha. I warm up doing 500 posts,” and I’m sure for most people, 500 isn’t a huge deal.
But for me, 500 posts is a huge milestone. It’s half way to a 1,000. Can you imagine, 1000 blogs?? I’ve been posting, on a somewhat regular basis now, for six years. While I don’t think about the number of posts I have, I do think the more comfortable I’ve become with other people reading my writing, the more comfortable I’ve become pulling out my phone, computer, or other device and just writing about an experience. It’s very freeing to feel that you can do this, that you’ve earned that right (so to speak) to share experience, feelings, and just the day to day stuff that might seem boring to us, but might make someone else’s day (writing about calves or basketball anyone?). It’s not easy, as I look through my past statistics, I had months where I averaged zero visitors and had writing posted!
#yousuckman #giveup #thisistoohard
But, it’s not about the views, it’s about that feeling you have a voice. As I worked to find mine, I found Two Writing Teachers, I found people to share my blogs with, and I found the confidence to share, good, bad, or otherwise. If someone were to ask me why I blog, the answer would be pretty easy: to share my voice with the world and to do things that I ask my students to do. My voice will never a beacon of light for the masses, but if I can show my students how perseverance pays off, you bet I’m going to keep writing! 🙂 Plus, when I show my students where I writing, I show them the in the statistics which countries have visited my blog. Yesterday, readers from the United States, Canada, India, Switzerland, and Singapore stopped by! How freekin’ cool is that? And to an 8th grader, even more cool!! 🙂
Anyway, while I missed writing about number 500 yesterday, I feel that the “Random Stuff” post was fitting, because I try to be real with my voice. I’ve watched a number of blogs go from being real to losing their way, trying to monetize their writing. While I’d love to say, “Payment for blogging? Sign me up,” that will never happen. Unlike Seinfeld, people aren’t going to read a blog about nothing! 🙂
So, to my 14 readers (yes, the number keeps going up and self deprecating humor will always be a part of my blog), thank you for hanging out with me for 500 posts. I appreciate the views, the comments, and most of all, knowing that my voice, however small is reaching out beyond my little classroom here in Northeast Iowa!
March 26, 2018 at 8:45 am
Five hundred is impressive. I find that I express myself better through writing than speaking. Although my thoughts may not always be a blog post, it is good to get those ideas out of my head and onto a piece of paper…so to say..
March 26, 2018 at 10:29 am
Exactly. Some days are very thoughtful here. Others, like yesterday, a mind dump, just to get some stuff out of my head. Both are needed and it’s good to be able to share with someone! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by today!
March 26, 2018 at 8:57 am
Congrats on 500 posts! You are right: steady persistence and perseverance are two qualities we need to find ways to model for our students, and blogging can be an excellent way to do that. This piece was really a delight to read–full of voice and humor but with a serious reflection at the core. So glad I stopped by this morning!
March 26, 2018 at 10:28 am
Well, with comments like this one, I hope you stop by more often! 🙂 Finding our voice, whether at age 47 or 14, the more we use it, the easier it comes. This blog is a testament to how each post comes a little easier, a little bolder, and a little more from the heart. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 9:17 am
Congrats – that is a HUGE deal. Just signed up to follow your blog! Always appreciate your humor and totally agree about keeping it real. So many people ask us why we do not advertise on our blog – we never have a great answer – just doesn’t feel right to us. We want to write what we want to write. Advertising somehow makes it feel less pure to us. TWT is the BEST community – so glad you are a part of it. It changed me as a writer. Thank you for celebrating 501 with us- #toooldforeyerolls
March 26, 2018 at 10:26 am
Thank you for signing up, that’s 15 followers! 🙂 Seriously, it’s all about keeping on, keeping on. Some weeks, I miss my target, and that’s ok. Some weeks, I’ll have four blogs in seven days. It’s just about doing it. I’m excited to see where the next 500 pieces take me, and I’m glad you are along for the ride! 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 10:08 am
Congrats!!! That’s an amazing accomplishment. I am only on year three so I know how much dedication it has taken for you to reach 500. That’s a body of work you can really be proud of. I enjoy your voice precisely because you are so “out there” on your mini farm, away from suburbia. It’s a breath of fresh air. And, truthfully, it’s refreshing to hear a male voice in the crowd. So keep on doing it, brother. We need you!
March 26, 2018 at 10:14 am
First, thank you! 🙂 Living in a rural area does give one a unique perspective on everything! And, as my 8th grade team says, I’m just “one of the girls” around here! Having taught with women so long (and having three women at home), sometimes, it’s nice to write about being gross and dirty! 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm
It’s a wonder you’ve lasted this long surrounded my women. You must be a special guy! Gross and dirty is part of life, too.
March 26, 2018 at 10:38 am
Congratulations! While I can not claim to have read all 501 of your posts I have read many (and more than I have not commented on). I am glad to “know” writers from so many different backgrounds in my TWT circle and appreciate your perspective (and will now make that 16 followers).
March 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm
Reading all my posts might lead you to unsubscribe, and no one wants that to happen! 🙂 However, like you, I’m glad to “know” so many different writing from the TWT group. Each offers up their unique style and that is something worth it’s weight in gold!
March 26, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Congratulations! 500 is a beautiful number. Once it was 5 posts, then 50. Word by word the writing grows, and so does the joy of writing. Greetings from Estonia, fellow slicer.
March 26, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Hello fellow slicer from Iowa! Thank you for the kind words, and i’d agree, 500 is a beautiful number! I’m interested to see where it takes off to from there! 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm
Congrats! Stats are funny. Sometimes I’ll have one post that gets a ton of hits (so, like, 20) and none of the posts in between see any action. But, like you, I keep blogging and find it extremely cool to see the different places people are visiting from. And you’re right about it being a great model for students, too. YAY.
March 26, 2018 at 2:16 pm
For me, that view of where people are visiting from is the second coolest thing about blogging. I mean, come on, today, with this post, 8 different countries have visited?? To me, that just blows my mind. The coolest thing though, are the comments, so thank you for leaving one! So many like minded people, both in the education field and looking in from the outside! I love that interaction! 🙂 Thank you for your comment and for stopping by today!
March 26, 2018 at 4:26 pm
500 is definitely something to be proud of! (I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and haven’t even made it to 100 yet.) I enjoy your humor and will try to visit more often. Thanks for writing! 🙂 ~JudyK
March 26, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Way to go! Five hundred is huge and the number will keep on growing. I always enjoy stopping by and reading your thinking. The hashtags crack me up. Add another follower to your count. 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Whoa, I’m up to *gasp* 17 followers? 🙂 I will admit, I have too much fun thinking of hashtags to drop into my writing, but it’s all good in the end! Thank you for stopping by!
March 26, 2018 at 8:08 pm
500! Wow. I was excited last week when I wrote my 100th blog.
March 26, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Ps. You are a beacon to me.
March 26, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Wow, a beacon?? I hope I don’t break something and burn out! 😀
Thank you for the tremendous compliment though. It made my night! 🙂
March 27, 2018 at 4:14 am
Honesty is what I admire most in a human.
March 26, 2018 at 8:38 pm
Congratulations! Keep writing! I loved both the humor and the insight in this piece.
March 26, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Thank you, both for the comment, and for stopping and reading! 🙂
March 26, 2018 at 10:59 pm
“But, it’s not about the views, it’s about that feeling you have a voice.”
Yes, yes, 500 times YES! Thanks for reminding me about the importance of blogging. Congratulations on hitting 500. You are an inspiration to all writers.
March 27, 2018 at 8:03 am
500 is a major milestone. Congratulations. I enjoy reading about every day life because the stories are real, and so, enjoy your blog. Keep on writin’. 🙂