I wrote my first post on July 11th 2016. Tomorrow that will be six months ago. Now, at the beginning of a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on my website history as well as look forward to the way the site is developing.
Re-reading my first post, I can remember my feelings of bewilderment and determination. It was like diving into a lake shrouded in fog. I knew I wanted to be in that lake – but was it safe? Were there unseen obstacles? Was it full of struggling swimmers who might pull me down? Would I sink without trace?
Even though I’d set up websites in the past – one that I paid to have designed, another I’d created myself on a template – this WordPress one seemed almost too easy. I hadn’t set out to make a blog appear on its home page, but hey presto! a blog appeared: an easy forum for passing thoughts. What was I going to call it? The term used in the menu to describe this page was ‘Posts’. In the whoosh of my first dive-in, the phrase “First past the post” came to me. Well, it was the first post and I was past it. Then I discovered how ripples appear some time after a post. A few days after my first dive into the lake, there were people – unknown people – reading what I was writing. They were commenting on “First past the post.” I began to wish I hadn’t chosen such a numerically definite title. First is only first when it is first. But never mind the wording, I told myself; I was getting responses from unknown people who seemed to appreciate what I was saying.
Then, among the genuine responses came the useless ones, intent on selling their own wares. I haven’t yet learnt how to stop these coming in. Perhaps it’s inevitable that you’ll receive unwelcome visitors when you offer an open forum. So far they are not harmful, just a nuisance.
The comments which I welcome are from people who want to learn something new. However, I’m not sure exactly what the something new might be. Perhaps they simply like to read of my experience as a long-term writer dealing with the opportunities and obstacles that exist in present day publishing. It would be helpful if any readers of this post would present a specific question. Even without such prompting, I find there is always a new thought that pops up and inspires a post.
Looking back at my first post, I’m reminded of my reason for setting up the site. I thought I would – with a fair ration of good luck – reach new readers for my work, particularly for “Alive in World War Two, The Cousins’ Chronicle”. There have been sales, but no more than there might have been without this website. I know the thing to do is to stay put, keep with it, not give up. So I’ll carry on. I’ll continue with this First Past the Post as many times as it stays worth it for me and for – I hope – others.