This is it, fifty-two weeks later and, count them, fifty-two posts completed. A full years worth of weekly blogging and as they sometimes say over at NASA mission accomplished or as I will be saying; Challenge, beaten! I know it doesn’t sound like a hell of a lot seeing as people are out there literally making thousands off this very format or on youtube or flogging goods, theirs or otherwise, on Instagram to an adoring community. Something which they’ve been doing successfully for years and here I am shouting about a paltry fifty-two blogs I’ve wrangled together for the sum of, and let the records show, zero dollars. That though isn’t what the intention of this blog was, it was never for profit nor was it to build an admiring fanbase. In all honesty it was done in the interest of self-progression and as well as hopefully being a little bit of fun. It was a source of encouragement, a space in which I could freely write, to try things out and despite what my parents say, fail. Trust me there has been a fair amount of that but there has also been plenty of success. Hence all the shouting about and trumpet blowing, success which far exceeds the realm of this blog.
Let me kick off this session of self-praise with a little number crunching. My subscriber base has increased by 60 people, my view to like ratio roughly levelling out at 3:1 and each post clocks in anywhere between 15-20 views. Small fry stuff I know but it has truly meant a lot to me. These interactions and the handful of conversations I’ve had with people about my blogs, often from very unexpected sources, no matter how brief or off-hand have been incredible, with each like, view or subscribe my encouragement to continue trying, to stick with my challenge has only grown. When I set out on this blogging challenge way back in January, which quite literally now feels forever ago, the intentions were simple; write to write. Add in the pressure of a deadline so that you actually produce something and that was it. For I’m well known for starting a project but then never actually producing something from it as I’ve either gotten bored or lazy with it or come up with something completely new. Write to write, try out styles and then publish it by Friday of that week, that was the mandate. All in the hopes of encouraging and improving my writing capabilities rather than them existing in pure fantasy. The point was to actually do something and now I find myself part of a very small budding community, a kind community unknowingly supporting and driving some strangers dream of becoming a writer. All doing so by simply clicking a link to one of my posts, or by hitting that like or subscribe button or fully blowing this small dreamers mind by leaving a comment or reaching out to me!
Doing this blog has pushed me in so many directions, it has improved my focus and commitment to projects even if I do continue to produce and pile up idea after idea of what I could and or want to do. It has helped me re-engage with social media and find greater positivity and enjoyment in it. It has allowed me to open up and explore certain ideas I would have never dared to in the past and in the process let people see another side of me or learn something about me. One of the most interesting things though that this blog has helped me achieve is in securing a new job in the new year. As of January 7th I will be becoming a Junior Creative Producer for the creative agency Recipe. Which I am incredible excited for and if not naturally a little nervous about. The job centres around the ability to edit and write and so as part of the interview process I was asked to provide samples of my writing ability. Where in the past I have had very few/next to no examples I was able to on this occasion offer a plethora of varying works thanks to my commitment to this site and the other writings it has helped fuel. Had it not been for your unknowing and passive support dear reader this blog may well have dried up a long time ago and with it my chances of ever progressing with my career. I owe a lot to this blog and to this self-imposed challenge but more than anything I owe it all to you, my readers, for silently offering up your support and filling a young dreamer with hope.
Over the past fifty-two weeks a lot has changed and I expect the next lot of fifty-two in 2019 will be no different. I hope and aim to continue to expand and grow this blog as ever much for my own sake as for your reading pleasure. Only the weeks will tell if I’m successful on this front. There will be no formal challenge this time around unlike fifty-one weeks ago today when I wrote The New 52. In which I thanked three unwavering supporters of my writing; my parents and my girlfriend Poppy whom have remained at my side throughout. As ever you three have my continuing love and thanks for believing in me but now I must also extend my thanks to you dear reader, be this your first time here or your fifty second, thank you. You have no idea how much your support means to me and to people like me trying to create something, express something or to better ourselves. Thank you and a happy 2019 to you all.