Have you ever been so busy that you felt like your head and body were separated? Kinda like your head is going in one direction, your body in another, and you’re not sure which one should lead or what activity should take precedence? Yeah, well, that was me for the last month or so of 2016.
For those of us that don’t write for a living, we have to fit it in when we can. I’ve written at all times of the day and night, pulled over on the side of the road to meet a deadline, or wrote a blog post in class, all while my professor thought I was taking notes. Yes, the life of a writer. But, I wouldn’t trade if for anything, and neither would you. That said, I remember the days when I hoped someone, anyone, would read a post. I remember looking at other blogs that I thought were successful, and I would opine about the day that I, too, would have an actual comment on my blog.
I started out writing about politics, maybe that was the problem, but I digress.
Then came the day that my dear friend Marilyn asked if I would mind if she posted on my personal blog, Two Drops of Ink. As I recall, I damn near asked her if she wanted it…the blog. I rarely posted on the blog, and when I did, it was personal musings and bad poetry. But, the little site (on Blogger at the time) had a following of about 30 people. Bless those 30 little hearts. They never left our side.
As Marilyn began to post on a weekly basis, it motivated me to do so as well. Slowly but surely, the site began to attract followers and readers. We would even get a comment or two from time to time. I would stare at it, wondering if I was clever enough to answer it. I would write and re-write the answer, back and forth I would go with my response, I would swing between the sophisticated nerd to the laid back artisan in my attempt to comment. My wife said, “Just be you. Write what you know.” Kinda like Jo in Little Women.
Those times, those experiences, were painful when they happened. But now, I look back at them with joy. It was our humble beginning. I have to give Marilyn the credit she deserves; at that time, I was lost as a writer. I had two, basically, failed books that had sold about 2000 copies respectively, and I wasn’t sure where to go next. I had three blogs going at once, trying to find my voice, my niche. I loved politics, but, man, what a deplorable environment that creates – pun intended. I had Jihadists threatening me, and both political parties calling me a host of names. I snuck away slowly.
Then, I tried a religious blog. That’s basically it for that story.
By 2013-14, Two Drops of Ink began to grow, and grow, and grow. We made a huge decision to move from Blogger to WordPress in November of 2015. We were immediately in love with some of the aesthetics and features of WordPress, but we lost some numbers with the move. In January of 2016, we were recognized as one of 100 best blogs for writers. This was a much-needed boost for our team. We had begun to wonder if the move was a good choice. 2016, in many ways, was one hell of a year.
Then, going back to my story in the opening paragraph, came the end of 2016. Like I said, that was a tough year for a lot of us. I won’t go into the anecdotal stories in my life, but it was everything from unexpected deaths to sleepless nights trying to keep up with the pace of life. So, the onset of 2017 somehow felt like a good, hot shower.
The blog, it was doing fine, but I was feeling some burnout. Then, I opened two emails from a couple people with some great business ideas about collaboration opportunities (keep your eyes peeled for some exciting promotions for readers and writers), and then, Monday, we got the award for being in the top 50 blogs for writers. I have to say, it was a good feeling. And that is the real purpose of this post, to thank all of you. I wanted to give some context in this post so that you could feel the appreciation we have for you.
Let me just say (with a big verbal hug) thank you! Thank YOU, our readers, our contributing authors, our team, and our loyal followers. I can only hope that we deliver to you a product that you enjoy, and I can say that without you, we can do nothing, and we are nothing. I hope you’ll stay with us on this journey. Our site numbers continue to go skyward. The pressure is always on to deliver, but we try our best to meet that challenge.
To the writers and authors who have contributed to this site, we hope you will join us in this celebration of success – you are family. You’re a huge part of our success. Congratulations to you as well.
So I welcome 2017, the new stories from new writers, and some new opportunities that we are working on that may help authors find agents and publishers, and writers to gain even more exposure for their writing and their brand. Stick around. And, if you’ve never submitted to our site, we challenge you to do so.
Wishing you all much literary success in 2017,
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
Another perspective on our collaborative philosophy at Two Drops of Ink: