A few weeks ago, I told one of my best friends that I published 60 blog posts in 2017. Her eyes bulged out of her head. I thought her reaction was comical because, while 60 is certainly a large number (especially considering my posts fall in the range of 500-1,000 words and take a while to write, edit and promote) I don’t think of it as a huge number. Last year, blogging once a week felt very natural to me.
At the end of the year, I wrote about my favourite posts of the year. I had lots to write about, from posts about my life to posts about political news. Thinking back to my winter semester at school, I realized I had a pretty regular blogging schedule. I don’t know how I kept up such a consistent routine of posting but, like I said, blogging became a pretty natural part of my routine.
Towards the end of April, I had a sherinaspeaks first—a photography post! This was really exciting for me because I had a lot of fun taking photos. I continued the trend of photography posts throughout the year. I remember thinking it was really cool that, although I had been blogging for almost four years, I was still finding new aspects of blogging.
In June, I had another exciting blogging moment. A post I wrote largely on a whim was selected for WordPress’s Discover page, resulting in lots of new followers and comments. This traffic continued into July. It was really nice to know that other people connected with my writing and wanted to read more of it!
Since last year was my first year studying journalism at university, I wrote a lot about journalism and what I was learning at school. These are some of my favourite posts because I had the opportunity to connect with other young journalists. I think writing about journalism also helped me learn that I’m really passionate about the inner workings of the field. I’ve continued analyzing journalism through my writing, so I’m glad I developed this interest last year through my blog.
I also really liked the post I wrote for my 19th birthday. Instead of writing hundreds of words about my life so far, I challenged myself to write 19 things I’ve learned. This is probably the blog post that I find myself re-reading the most. As strange as it may sound, I love reading the advice from my past self.
In 2017, my follower count surpassed 1,000. And then it kept growing. Numbers are not the most important part of blogging, but I was (and am) still very proud of, and humbled by, the growing number of people who follow my blog. I still remember the dance I did when I got my first follower, back when I started this blog for a school project. 2017 felt like an amazing year to look back and see how far I’ve come.
I also had two really cool experiences relating to my blog in the fall of 2017. In two separate cases, students reached out to me to ask if they could interview me for a school assignment. I had the chance to speak with a fellow journalism student about my thoughts on journalism and blogging, and I also spoke to a high school class about my journey as a blogger. These experiences felt surreal to me, because I remember being a student in high school and listening to journalists come in to share their experiences. I’m so happy that I can share my knowledge and passion for blogging and journalism with other students.
You may think it’s strange to reflect on 2017 two months into 2018. But as I read back this post, and scroll through my blog’s homepage, I’m incredibly proud of—and inspired by — the growth of my writing in the last year. Reflecting on that growth makes me even more excited for the year ahead. I truly can’t wait to see what comes next.