You may have noticed some updates to the This Is How I Do It website over the past few weeks. I have been in the process of changing the look of my site and I even wrote a long overdue, much more current version of the Cast of Characters (2013). Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
I started writing This Is How I Do It just about two years ago. Sheepdog and I were out to dinner (alone!) about a month before and I was complaining that I still wanted to write a book, but I could never find the time to actually write. ”It is a process, ” I whined to him, “that requires focus and discipline, but I have all of these distractions – namely Kid A, Kid B, Kid C, Kid D, Kid E and even you – that are constantly requiring my immediate attention.”
“Um, that’s your job, so suck it up and stop whining. If you really want to write, then start with something small. Write a blog. Write about us. Write about all of these kids and the distractions and our crazy lives. People will want to read that. And they will keep reading because you are a great writer,” said my biggest advocate.
So I sucked it up and I created this site.
I can’t believe that it has been two years. I remember how scared I was to press “publish” on the very first day… it was a Sunday and I was doing a bunch of yard work. I didn’t tell anybody, not even Sheepdog, that I was actually starting. I just did it. Afterwards, I went outside and got to my task at hand, listening to some good, angry, weed-pulling music and distracting myself from the inevitable judgment that I envisioned as people read my first real post (Guess Who’s Pregnant). Shit, is it “who’s” or “whose?” Do I even know proper grammar? This is so scary!
I did not do a very good job staying away from the computer at all. I left flowerbed dirt footprints in the foyer each time I came back in to check the web traffic (WordPress tracks everything for you so you know how much love you are getting… just like Instagram “likes,” but for blog hits). Once I saw that I was getting good numbers, dare I say really good numbers, I didn’t stop yelling periodic updates to anyone who would listen. By the way, no one at my house was listening.
“One hundred people have read my post! That is one-freaking hundred hits on my first day! On a Sunday with nice weather! They love me, they really love me!” I yelled from my office, even though everyone else was outside and no one was paying attention.
“I’m up to one hundred fifty-seven now. I’m on a roll!” echoed through the empty hallways a little later on.
But my enthusiasm would not be deterred. It was like crack and I was an addict. People were really reading what I had to write and I loved the feeling. I had no measure as to whether they liked it or not, but I didn’t really care about that yet. The numbers just kept on climbing and I was immediately hooked on blogging.
All in all, I got one hundred ninety-eight hits on that first day. Over the next two years I have watched as thirty-two thousand more people have visited my website. Some even commented, which made me feel really special. My favorite part is that people can often relate to what I am writing, and it is truly why I continue to do this. Nobody wants to feel alone or weird or like they suck at stuff. So I share my stories and hopefully remind everybody that nobody is perfect and we’re all just making it up as we go along. Life is crazy and scary and messy. But it is also a huge gift. So suck it up and do your job.
And if you’re really lucky, somebody will tell you how awesome you really are.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…