Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Year of Vanilla

My Dear Reader,

Apparently, I was so caught up in graduation mumbo-jumbo that I completely forgot that Plain Vanilla's one year anniversary was coming up. Well, Gentle Reader, I am sorry to say that the time has passed. It's been an eventful year though, hasn't it? I've been a blogger since 2003, but I got the idea for Plain Vanilla sometime around February 2007, and after a couple of months of preparation, I first published on April 10th, 2007. It seems like a long time ago.

For me, Plain Vanilla was always a lot more than just a way for me to get my thoughts out there; it was a way for me to create a voice and share it with others, even strangers. It was a kind of experiment in progress, to see if I had the ability to document my life in a way that would be interesting to other people, whether they knew me or not. If I could do that, I could prove that every life has value and is worth writing and reading about, even if they just happened to be middle class and white. At the same time, I do consider myself a writer, and creating a blog and promising to update every Tuesday was a way to force myself to continue to write on a regular basis. By now, I have 61 more writing samples to add to my writing portfolio, which have been well-received as far as I can tell.

Plain Vanilla hasn't exactly catapulted into the stratosphere or anything, but it has certainly done well for itself. My first and most supportive fans have been my family and friends, without whom I probably wouldn't have continued. (There's no point in writing if you don't think anyone is reading.) Of course, other people have stumbled on the site through one means or another, whether it was a random search, word of mouth, or the recent and very generous mention by Bloggernacle. That means that even though I only update once a week, I get an average of 20 site visitors a day. Sure, it's not hundreds, but it's not that shabby either. These visitors come from both coasts and everywhere in between, and even outside of the U.S., including such countries as Canada, Brazil, Korea, and Norway.

This next year should be promising, as I have a lot planned for Plain Vanilla. A new site design will definitely pop up in the near future, hopefully by the end of the summer. By that time, I would like to have a professional domain name site and move the entire blog there. The site would have biographical information as well as a portfolio of writing samples, Plain Vanilla included. It's even possible that I might start posting more than once a week, with the added content in either the usual format, or possibly as videos or a podcast (PetiteSoeur has suggested that the two of us start a radio show, but she's going to Paris in September, so we'll see). Nothing is certain, but the future is certainly limitless. My goal for this year was to create a base of readers, and since I think that this goal has definitely been accomplished, the next step would be to move this blog into a larger sphere. And since I am now a college graduate in need of a job, hopefully this blog will eventually aid me monetarily in some way or another (I tried putting Google Ads on the site, but I pulled them after I realized that they were less than praiseworthy). If that doesn't happen, though, I'll keep going, as I've come to find these weekly entries incredibly rewarding.

I have one short term goal that is definitely going to be good news for you, Gentle Reader: posting earlier in the day. I managed to get a post out almost every Tuesday last year, but you may have noticed that some were posted at 11:59 P.M. Hopefully this will soon be a thing of the past, especially since Blogger has added a new feature that allows me to finish my posts early and schedule them to be automatically posted at the appropriate time. It's a lot better than trying to figure out what to write at ten on Tuesday night.

So, to celebrate a year of Plain Vanilla, I'd like to list my five personal favorite entries so far. Hopefully they will give you a taste of where we have been and where we can go:

Laundry Memories

My Secret Identity

Thank You, Mr. Spock

Sister Moment #4: "Help, I'm Dying!"

The Break-Up

Regards, best wishes, and milestones,

-Cecily Jane


~Stappsters~ said...

Happy blog anniversary! Congrats to the graduate!

Chris said...

I look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the year to come! Congrats on your Graduation, it was wonderful to see you!

Stephen & Cindy Jensen Family said...

Congraduation! on both your blog and college graduation. I think your amazing

Raymundo said...

YAY!! Good Job Cecily :)