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Backstage at the Blog: Z is for Zero

April 30, 2014

Z Β© A Scenic RouteZero is what I started this blog with. In fact, it’s what we all started with.

Zero words. Zero posts. Zero views. Zero followers.

Honestly, I pretty much stumbled into blogging. (And novel-writing as well, but we won’t go there today …) WordPress makes it easy enough to come up with a name and sign up, so I did that. I mostly just goofed around with it, putting up pictures, writing silly posts.

It didn’t bother me much that no one came by to take a look (in fact, it terrified me a little to think about it!) because I was having fun just making blog posts. For some reason the concept that someone would actually be interested in what I have to say seemed incomprehensible. After all, I’m not really a writer

Little by little though, with the help of a side project called Write A Book With Me, people started to swing by. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group gave me another boost of followers and, post after post, month after month, building confidence, building writing chops, I’ve put together a blog I can be proud of.

I know that a blog with followers comes with certain expectations–things like regular posts of a manageable word count, as well as a commitment to check out the sites of commenters and followers once in a while–but I sometimes wonder what it might be like to start over with zero.

Imagine the freedom I would have! I could dream up a new blog name and create a whole new blogging bubble. No one would expect a certain kind of post from me, or a schedule, or anything at all. I could blog once a month, or twice a day. I could write ten word posts or three thousand word posts. I could post time-lapse pictures of my sleeping cat and quote random excerpts from my morning words.

But then, isn’t every new project, whether it’s a blog or a story, the beginning of a new adventure? Isn’t every zero the beginning of infinite possibilities?

The thing is, I’ve also come to realize that I would miss you guys, my patient followers. So, I think I’m in this for the long haul.

But if you ever stumble upon a really weird blog, with posts of wacky photos, odd character excerpts, punctuated by the unmistakable rants of a contentious muse, beware. It might just be me, having fun all by myself.Image courtest of 'Leonardini' @ stock.xchng

How about you? What made you decide to start a blog? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start all over with zero?

(Here’s your link back to the A to Z Challenge Sign Up list.)

Image courtesy of ‘Leonardini’ @ stock.xchng

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43 Comments
  1. April 30, 2014 6:16 am

    I’ve discovered that blog followers are a patient bunch. I’ve dropped from daily blogging to as and when I can think of something to say, and they still seem to be sticking around. I don’t have quite the traffic I had last year, but I’m okay with that.

    I’m looking forward to the cat pictures! πŸ˜‰

    • April 30, 2014 8:26 pm

      I’ve discovered how intense (almost) daily blogging can be! I’m glad I gave it a shot, but it will be nice to post on my regular slow schedule once more. πŸ™‚

      • May 1, 2014 1:38 am

        Daily blogging for fourteen months was (for me) exhausting, addictive and all consuming. I miss it but I do also feel free. I guess that’s why I haven’t actually figured out a schedule for blogging, apart from ‘a couple of times a week of possible’!

  2. April 30, 2014 6:16 am

    Congrats on finishing the challenge.
    Love this post. I can relate. πŸ™‚

    • April 30, 2014 8:28 pm

      Thanks, Melissa!
      It’s not easy being insecure, but at least I’m not alone. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. April 30, 2014 9:15 am

    I do sometimes think about starting a new blog, but I barely post on my current blog, so it probably won’t happen. I’d love to see time lapse photos of your cat! Congrats on finishing A-Z. I bet you are stoked to have an impending break!

    • April 30, 2014 8:29 pm

      Omigosh, it will feel like a vacation to not check the blog for a few days! I’m really glad I took this on though. πŸ™‚

  4. April 30, 2014 11:37 am

    Can’t quit now!
    I remember starting with zero.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge.

    • April 30, 2014 8:30 pm

      Thanks, Alex!
      And, likewise–fantastic job on keeping up with everyone else’s posts and comments. You continue to amaze me.

  5. April 30, 2014 11:54 am

    Such a quirky ending to your sensational month. I chuckle because I’m only 3 months into blogging and have already imagined starting over to try other “me’s”.

    I WILL find you πŸ™‚

    • April 30, 2014 8:32 pm

      If you think this is quirky, just wait until things get back to ‘normal’ scenic route around here! I’m glad you’re along for the ride. πŸ™‚

  6. April 30, 2014 12:03 pm

    great meeting you this month and congrats on completing the challenge πŸ˜€ it was lotsa fun.
    And I did start a new blog – this is it. I’ve been blogging for 3 years but when I published the Bench I decided a needed a more public blog. My other one is not meant for people who know me in real time. So I did start from zero

    • April 30, 2014 8:34 pm

      Your blog is really nicely done and a pleasure to visit. I’m glad I found my way there! πŸ™‚

  7. April 30, 2014 12:52 pm

    I thought for a long time about starting a blog (the “all writers MUST have a blog” mindset) before I finally got the courage to do it. I definitely wouldn’t want to start over at zero with a new one, though I do like to think about ways to improve the one I already have. πŸ™‚

    • April 30, 2014 8:39 pm

      I think if I’d felt that a blog was something I ‘had’ to do, I would have resisted it (recalcitrant Muse and all …) but it felt very much like play to me. Maybe that’s why I’m so enchanted by the idea of having a brand new one as a secret fun place to play.
      Still, having this blog where people actually read my words and interact with me is wonderful. πŸ™‚

      • May 1, 2014 1:33 pm

        So true! I don’t think I really saw my blog as “play” until I got drawn into A-Z and discovered a community I hadn’t known existed. Thank you for being my inspiration to join the Challenge!

  8. April 30, 2014 4:49 pm

    I agree with you, every zero is the beginning of many opportunities. Nice summing up post, I shall visit your blog again πŸ™‚

    • April 30, 2014 8:40 pm

      Hi Shine,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route! I’m glad you liked the post and feel free to swing by again. πŸ™‚

  9. April 30, 2014 4:53 pm

    You’ve come a seriously long way from zero, in a very short amount of time. Congratulations!!!

    • April 30, 2014 8:42 pm

      Hi Liz,
      Thank you! πŸ™‚
      I’ve actually been at this for a few years now, but I’ve learned a ton (and met some great fellow bloggers!) in the A to Z challenge.

  10. April 30, 2014 4:57 pm

    Congratulations on finishing your challenge, and thank you for this inspirational post for a newbie like me!

    • April 30, 2014 8:43 pm

      Hi Wendy πŸ™‚
      Thank you and you’re welcome. πŸ˜‰ I’m always happy to share what I’ve discovered on my journey!

  11. April 30, 2014 5:03 pm

    I started blogging in August 2010 after going to my first writer’s conference . . . I think starting over at zero at this point would kill me, lol. IWSG has brought me the most new friends for sure!

    • May 1, 2014 6:59 am

      IWSG was kind of a turning point for me and for my blog. πŸ™‚ I was finally able to explore some of the fears that are holding me back!
      From a marketing perspective, zero would certainly be a setback, but I think from a creativity standpoint I think zero would be a blast. πŸ˜€

  12. April 30, 2014 7:43 pm

    I also started with zero and things picked up after that. I don’t think I’ll be starting another blog anytime soon, as I want to develop my current blog further. Congrats on completing the challenge. http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

    • May 1, 2014 5:40 pm

      Thanks Michelle and welcome to A Scenic Route!
      Yes, I’m discovering that I enjoy sharing my thoughts and words with others almost as much as I love writing them. πŸ™‚

  13. April 30, 2014 10:25 pm

    Congrats on getting to Z, Kirsten. I know you haven’t seen me around on Holly’s site much these days, but I am lurking both here and there. Good job and keep it up!

    • May 1, 2014 5:43 pm

      Hi Adaram!
      It’s nice to see that you’re still around, even if you’re only lurking. πŸ™‚
      And thanks! Keeping up with all these daily posts was much harder than I anticipated, but also incredibly rewarding.

  14. May 1, 2014 1:40 am

    Congratulations Kirsten….WE DID IT πŸ™‚

    What an appropriate post! Up until the A-Z i hadn’t blogged for 3 months. This last month has made me realise i miss you guys so much, so i’ll be back to blogging at least 3 times a week after I’ve recovered lol

    xx

    • May 1, 2014 5:46 pm

      I’m so glad you’re back in the game, Vikki πŸ™‚ I missed you too!
      A to Z gobsmacked me as well, so it will be a few days before I post and visit, but before you know it I’ll be over for some cake and words. πŸ˜‰

      • May 2, 2014 1:55 am

        Ha ha ha, thanks Kirsten…go lie down in a dark room honey πŸ˜‰ xx

  15. Loni Townsend permalink
    May 1, 2014 12:58 pm

    You took to this whole blogging thing a LOT quicker than I did. I started writing a blog on Blogspot on black Friday in 2010, and that’s because I couldn’t sleep. I really only got one comment throughout that blog’s existence, and that was from my mom. πŸ™‚ It still lives out there, painfully unfocused with lots of rambling and old information. http://shinobi-no-risu.blogspot.com/

    I don’t think starting from zero would be much different from where I am now. I don’t have a niche, and my focus still sucks.

    It wasn’t until I’d met the wonderful Melissa Maygrove that I started taking blogging seriously. Through her, I’ve met so many wonderful people, and learned about the IWSG. It was through her that I met you, so for that, I owe her. πŸ™‚

    • May 1, 2014 5:50 pm

      That’s so cool we connected through Melissa M. (and the IWSG!)
      And I can relate to the lack of focus (which is reflected, I hope, in the name of this blog πŸ˜‰ ) I’ll let you know when I find it, but meanwhile, I’m having fun looking. πŸ˜‰

      I think I’m going to have to visit your other blog …

      • Loni Townsend permalink
        May 2, 2014 8:43 am

        I think your blog title is a fantastic choice!

        • May 3, 2014 5:34 pm

          Thanks! I’m not sure if people ‘get it’ sometimes, but regardless, I hope it reflects the laid back philosophy of my blogging adventure.

  16. May 2, 2014 7:13 am

    I think it’s great that the Insecure Writer’s Support Group brings everyone together. And the A to Z Challenge introduced me to so many new bloggers. I started blogging on MySpace, where it was already a tight-knit community, so once that ended and I moved to Blogger, I realized it’s very hard to meet new bloggers if you don’t have a core group to start with. ISWG and other groups give people that. Congrats on finishing the challenge!

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

    • May 3, 2014 5:37 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie and welcome to A Scenic Route!
      You’re absolutely right. Starting with something in common is a good way find like-minded bloggers who will stick around- even if it’s being insecure about one’s blogging. πŸ˜‰

  17. May 2, 2014 8:57 am

    Hey, Kirsten, congratulations on finishing A to Z. Your posts were great, informative, and tinged with your own special style.

    Start over again with Zero? No way. I started my blog to talk about HTRYN, and I’ve earned a wonderful bunch of writers to chat and commiserate with. (Didn’t you and I meet through HTRYN?)

    • May 3, 2014 5:42 pm

      Yup, I still remember the challenge you set up to finish the course by, I think it was, the end of the year. It took me a bit longer, but I did get through it! It takes a lot of stamina and determination to get through that course, so that makes us an elite group, don’t you think?

      I’m glad you enjoyed the posts, and really appreciate all your visits and encouragement! I was getting pretty weary in the middle there around the letter R … πŸ˜‰

  18. May 5, 2014 5:40 am

    Congratulations, you made it to Z. I’m very impressed.

    • May 7, 2014 9:20 am

      Thanks, Kristina! I’m very happy with how it turned out. πŸ™‚

  19. May 6, 2014 3:10 pm

    Congratulations on crossing the A to Z finishing line!
    You did well!
    I also started off blogging, then it branched out into writing… so I can relate… perfectly… πŸ™‚
    Writer In Transit

    • May 7, 2014 9:21 am

      Yes, it’s funny the small things can reveal all kinds of new possibilities!

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