Monday, December 31, 2012

The State of the Blog - 2012 and my Top 12 Posts of the Year

This is weird. I've never done this before. But since I posted so much less in 2012 than I have in previous years, it wasn't that hard to scroll through and find my most popular posts of the year.

But first, a word about the lack of posting.

See, I've never set out to make money at blogging. I've never really had blogging goals at all. I've just enjoyed the space to practice writing, and I've had the double blessing of getting to know some really wonderful people along the way. You. The people who read here.

And then life crept in. I went back to work. My kids got bigger. And busier. And blogging took a back seat to the rest of my life.

It had to.

I was disappointed in what happened last year because as I blogged less, my readership also fell off. It was inevitable; that's what the so-called "experts" will tell you will happen. Even thought I knew it was right--blogging only when I had time and something worth saying--I was sad about it.

I've thought about quitting, but every time I do I'll get a random comment that keeps me going. Someone will say, "Gosh, I really liked what you wrote last week. It meant a lot to me." And I write some more.

What will 2013 bring around here? I have no idea because I have no idea what 2013 will bring in my life. And that's pretty much what I write about. Life.

What I hope it will bring, though, is better writing, better loving, and better living. Because that's what's important to me.

(Oh, and my friend, Lori, keeps asking for more recipes. So I'll try to see what I can do there as well.)

What would YOU like to see around here in 2013?

* * * * * 

And now, my Top 12 Posts of 2012.

I find this list so interesting and kind of anticlimactic. You'll see why in a minute. But I thought it would be fun to go through and see which of my posts got the most readers this year. Any surprises here for you?

12. Letters to My Daughters: Take a Stand. One of my favorite ideas from this year was to begin a series called "Letters to My Daughters." This is the first of the series.

11. Seeing Rightly: What I Learned from my Cleaning Lady Today. Life, death, and tragedy. It's all about having the right perspective.

10. Homesick. I learn so much from my students.

9. Letter to my 16-year-old self. This was written as a link-up to Emily's book launch, but it turned out to be rather cathartic for me.

8. Aslan's Country. Last year my dear friend, Laura, lost her daughter to cancer and our entire neighborhood lost a very special woman. This was my small tribute to Anna.

7. Deliver Us from Evil. My response to the tragedy that struck our nation just a few weeks ago in Newtown, CT.

6. Fabulous Friday Food: Julia's Soft Pretzels. Is it ironic that one of my top posts, a recipe post even!, would be a guest post by my daughter? I love that she got the most food readers of the year.

5. Top 10 Favorite Children's Books to Give for Christmas. I love these books. And I also love that I learned something from this post--that linking up to blog parties is a good thing!

4. To Work? Or Not to Work? Oh boy! Hilary Rosen's comment about Ann Romney prompted a whole slew of thoughts about raising a family and a woman's role.

3. Letters to My Daughters: Pressure. I linked this post to Richella's blog and got a great response. I kinda liked this one too.

2. Top 10 Lines from Downton Abbey, Episode 6. Truthfully, most of my Downton Abbey posts got more readers than the posts I've listed here, but I thought I'd just link up to one of them. I had so much fun writing these, which makes me especially happy because next week the fun will begin again. Oh yes, friends, I'll be writing my Top 10 (or 5) lines posts again starting NEXT SUNDAY!! Woo hoo! Can't wait.

1. Remember earlier when I said that the list might be kind of anticlimactic? Here's why. This post got twice as many hits as the Downton Abbey post, and, to be honest, I have no idea why. I didn't link it to any blog party. I didn't promote it. It was just a little post I wrote last spring about the warm weather. So weird. But, in the spirit of keeping it honest, here's my most popular post from 2012. Two Camps (or, yes, another weather post).


So tell me, what was one of your most-read posts this year? Feel free to link up to it in the Comments.

Linking to Jo-Lynne's 2012 Blog Recap Carnival.

2012 Recap Carnival with Musings of a Housewife


  1. I remember each of these posts and loved them. I, for one, am glad you write, when you have time and when you have something to say.


  2. Glenda, you're the best. Thanks!!

  3. You are my inspiration. As a mom, a friend, and a writer. Don't stop!

  4. I, too, thought that as my children would grow older that I would have more time to do things I love... writing my blog being one of those things.I dropped off the 2012 planet around April. I feel like I am just re-entering. It was an absolutely crazy year with two graduations, a wedding and sending my last son to college. On the flip side, and looking was the best year ever. I am so ready for a slower pace, however!
    Please don't stop writing. I enjoy blogs like yours. When the blog gets too commercialized, I lose interest. Keep On Going!!!!

  5. Hey Shelly, Do you even remember who I am? My last name is different -- my brother is Eric Potter and I used to babysit for you when I was in college -- so crazy how long ago that was already! I stumbled upon your blog through my niece Anna. And, I have just recently started my own -- and when I say recently I mean 2 days ago. I've been really enjoying this new adventure, and I beg you to please keep writing! I need all the good inspiration I can get out there -- and I too am a mom of all girls -- I have 3. I just read your "Letter to your 16 year old self", and I just started crying! I can see how cathartic that would be -- you may have inspired me to do the same -- whether I post it or not -- it just seems worth doing. Anyway, I hope you'll continue to blog, and if you want to check mine out I'm at -- it's called graceland -- and it's no where near as nice as yours. But maybe some day. Would love any advice you can give me! And please keep going!

  6. HA! The most popular ones are often head-scratchers! And how did I miss that you were posting about Downton Abbey!? We love that show!

    I love your Letters To Daughters series, and I hope you keep writing! I am going to subscribe by email so I don't miss anything. :-)

  7. Thanks, Bev. I think I'll keep going for a while. And your year? Sounds insane!!

    Grace!! So happy to hear from you. Heading over to your blog soon!

    Jo-Lynne, you're amazing. I'm so happy you're following now. :)