Blogging From Zero to Twenty Thousand Views

Just over three years ago on the 9th May, 2012 Beyond the Flow was launched into the blogosphere. While I would love to say that the launch was heralded by all the fanfare usually reserved for a royal birth, it was, however, more of a mild-mannered affair. Indeed, the only attention my incredible launch attracted was one measly comment:
Mr WordPress May 9, 2012 at 5:35 am
Hi, this is a comment.
To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.
Indeed, it wasn’t even a real comment. How disappointing!!
Just to compound my woes, to this day, that very first post still has no likes and is still saying:
“Be the first to like this”.
If you feel like being nice to this poor, neglected post, or even taking pity on it, you can visit it here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/hello-world/

Can you believe it? This is hardly how you’d expect your entry into the new world of blogging to start out, is it?!! After all, where were the legions of fans just hanging off my each and every word?
Evidently, they were some place else…going for a walk or even washing their hair perhaps? Who knows? Surely, it had to be something exceptionally important?!
Well, I guess not.

Photographed with best-selling Australian author Andy Griffiths at the Sydney Writer's Festival in May 2012.

Photographed with best-selling Australian author Andy Griffiths at the Sydney Writer’s Festival in May 2012.

To read about my workshop at the Sydney Writer’s Festival with Andy Griffiths http://www.andygriffiths.com.au/ , click here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/busting-for-real-a-postscript-to-the-sydney-writers-festival-2012-3/

Anyway, from that incredibly lackluster and humble beginning, Beyond the Flow has finally reached 20,000 views. Good thing I’m as persistent as a dog chasing a ball! I never gave up and for awhile there, I seriously began to wonder but slowly but surely, the tide changed and I have forged something solid, strong and meaningful.
So, if you have just started blogging and you’re wondering whether your blog is EVER going to take off, take heart. With persistence, perseverance and dedication, your world will definitely grow and without having to sell your soul in the process. It just might take a bit…or a lot…longer.
I started blogging after a friend told me about her craft blog and I thought I’d give it a whirl. It was all very tentative back then… getting my head around how to set it up more than thinking about the content. I’ve never really struggled with writer’s block. It’s been more of a case of writer’s diarrhoea. The words and ideas just keep gushing out. For me, it’s more a matter of trying to contain the flow and weeding words out. So, I’ve never really struggled with finding something to write about and I’ve been blogging about a smattering of our experiences ever since.

Back in these early days, my blog was an outlet. Somewhere for me to direct my thoughts and feelings as well as getting my writing out there. For so long, all those words had just been building up inside my computer like a volcano set to explode. These thoughts, feelings, experiences were never meant to be shut away, especially as I had an understanding of deep suffering which could reach out and help other people, at the very least, to feel they’re not alone. That some random stranger out there in cyberspace “get’s it” and may indeed “get” them. That most of us don’t wear our battle scars on the outside but they’re usually hidden away deep within and we can feel incredibly isolated, misunderstood and alone…until we reach out.

Footprints in the sand.

Footprints in the sand.


That is why I called my blog: Beyond the Flow. In the past people used to tell me just to “go with the flow”. These days they don’t even bother. They know I’m out there, somewhat off the grid but that’s what it means to be “creative” and I feel much more accepted than I was in the past.
When I started the blog back in 2012, I was just getting over the shock of finding out that I’d developed fibrosis in my lungs as a complication of my auto-immune disease, dermatomyositis. I’d gone into a sort of shut down out after the diagnosis as I waited to see the lung specialist for the prognosis. This actually turned out a lot better than I’d thought and I’d won a reprieve. I wasn’t going to die any time soon. Well, not now anyway. However, the shock had really taken its toll and I felt completely wiped out and almost corpse-like. The prospect of leaving behind my kids who were then 7 and 5, was simply way too much and short-circuited every bit of wiring I had. I very slowly had to crawl my way back to the start again and get moving.

However, as time went by and I gained a few likes and followers and also discovered blogs which I was following closely, blogging grew from being a personal, individual pursuit into becoming part of a thriving, supportive and really rather loving community. I found so many people out there who also wanted to make a difference to the world. Not just as an airy fairy ideal but were doing something about it. This has particularly been the case of a blogshare I belong to called #1000speak I have received so much love, support and encouragement through the bloggers I’ve met along the way and it really does go to show that we don’t have to be nasty, bitchy and stab people in the back to get ahead.
I can’t emphasise enough how much our community means to me. In addition to my family and closest friends, it means the world to me!!
20,002 enormous thank yous!

I’ve really appreciated my family’s support and inspiration for the blog, even when they haven’t appreciated my extended “absences” and late nights.

Through the next week or so I’m going to share some of the best5 of 0 to 20,000 views and some of the blogs, posts and friends I’ve found along the way. Please bear with me. We’ve had a Sydney cold snap and my computer is at the cold end of the house and the kids are currently home on school holidays you the blogging has slowed down to a crawl. I should also mention that I’ve developed a nasty cold with a ferocious cough and given my lung status, I am having to take things easy…not my usual, or preferred, modus operandi I can assure you.

Our Family 2014- Byron Bay Lighthouse, Australia.

Our Family 2014- Byron Bay Lighthouse, Australia.

Many thanks for your friendship, encouragements, words, thoughts and beautiful images. I am so much better through knowing each one of you!

Love and blessings,
Rowena

Two my most avid supporters: Bilbo and Lady

Two my most avid supporters: Bilbo and Lady

32 thoughts on “Blogging From Zero to Twenty Thousand Views

  1. roweeee Post author

    My daughter took that shot back in 2012 when she was 6 with my Nikon SLR. We were at the beach with a very special school friend of mine who introduced me to my husband. Our beach walk was particularly special not only because it was a rare moment to catch up but also because she has two special needs children and at least at this point of the time, she couldn’t go for a simple beach walk with her daughter and walking with my daughter and I brought that home to her in a hard and poignant moment. My daughter isn’t always easy but that afternoon she truly was delightful as though she knew what this meant for my friend. Here’s a link to the original post. It makes me very emotional revisiting this moment: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/when-the-ordinary-becomes-extraordinary-3/
    Thanks, Laurie, by the way for sharing so many moments with me. I am treasuring the journey and need to catch up on my blog reading. xx Rowena

  2. Laurie Buchanan

    Rowena — Thank you so much for sharing the link with me. I hope other readers will avail themselves of the opportunity to read a tremendously INSPIRATIONAL post!

  3. derrickjknight

    Congratulations, Rowena. Another entertaining post. Would you believe that you and I began blogging on exactly the same day, on opposite sides of the globe? Perhaps that says it all. Shift that cold quickly.

  4. New Journey

    Another wonderful post….so sorry your not feeling well…I will send you some healing energy through this and wish you better immediately…I will even have a hot toddy for you…LOL I so enjoy reading your words…I went back and reread “when the ordinary becomes extraordinary” it was a very touching post…and how lovely to have such good friends….to have made her journey in life a little better with your friendship is something I am sure she treasures..feel better
    kathy.

  5. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, very much , Kathy. The kids have headed off to vacation care this morning. I always try to arrange a few breaks during the holidays so I can rest and keep up. Now, that I’m fighting this cold, I’m very pleased I did. It’s also meant that the kids haven’t been having the most exciting time and have been playing too much Minecraft. So, I give myself full marks for doing what felt like a bit of a wrench this morning as they left not long after sunrise at 7.00AM and I had a touch of the guilts while also feeling excited about my new found freedom. Last pick up is 6.30!
    I love my friend very dearly and I am yet to meet someone who fights so hard for her kids and I’ve been very touch by her love for them her perseverance and her strength. xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    That’s funny Derrick. What a coincidence. Must have been something in the wind sweeping around the globe that day xx Rowena

  7. roweeee Post author

    Yes, I related very much to your sense of humour too. Had wondered whether you were Australian but saw you’re from Texas. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff xx Rowena

  8. Norah

    Awesome! Congratulations. I have similar feelings about the lovely group of friendly supportive bloggers I have found. I have called us S.M.A.G. (Society of Mutual Appreciation and Gratitude). You don’t need to do anything to join. Just be you! 🙂 http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-sA

  9. roweeee Post author

    They came back exhausted. Turns out my son was sprung showing some younger kids how to look up swear words on the computer. I did speak to him about it but some things never change. xx Rowena

  10. roweeee Post author

    Must consult you more often after my son’s antics. My mother thought he showed initiative after a previous one. So often, I wish he could sit still for just one day and stare blankly out the window but I wouldn’t want that forever. Sounds like someone with severe brain injury and yet isn’t that the pinnacle of good parenting? Humph. I don’t think so.

  11. New Journey

    You would be up the wall with worry if he sat at a window staring out it with a blank look on his face, hell you would be worrying if he sat still for any length of time…LOL boys are boys and those of us whom were blessed with the 100% all boy…well lets just say they are special in there own little darling ways….LOL My son was all boy since birth….I came home one day, he was 16, just him and I living together….and there were Volvo parts coming out of his bedroom into my living room, tires a bumper…he was adamant they needed to stay in the house….I can’t even describe his bedroom…LOL needless to stay they went out into the garage….Humm what an idea…no matter I love my all boy and my daughter was all girl….nice to have the extreme on both sides….have you ever given him a box of band aides, it will keep him quiet for awhile…it works wonders in the car, however y our pulling them off the seats later…LOL or teach him make houses of decks of cards….they have to be still and quiet to build them….just a couple of ideas I used ….he sounds wonderful to me..,

  12. TanGental

    Hi Rowena; we’ll I’m glad i hitched a ride and well done on a mile stone (not mill stone). Sorry it and you are cold; we have Sydney temperatures just now – 36C last Wednesday. That’s just cruel.

  13. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Geoff. For a moment there I thought you’d hitched a ride home from your walk, taking the easy way out but then got the gist. We welcomed back a group of Scouts and Venturers last night who just returned from a 100km walk along the Great North Walk. The young man who organised it all is on the spectrum and has some degree of difficulty communicating but pulled this off and spoke to the group of families who’d gathered to welcome them back. He really did so well.
    Sorry for your hot weather. Yes, this time of year is one of nasty extremes. Either the heat or cool you’d been dreaming about comes in excessive amounts. When we were down at Patonga last night by the wharf is was incredibly cold. That was 9 degrees. We Australians just weren’t made to withstand the cold xx Rowena

  14. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Joanne. I think a few in the North would like that. I know I would have liked to do the same during our Aussie Summer. The days a re beautiful at the moment with a light sunshine you can enjoy without looking out for a patch of shade to hide in. Just chilly at night xx Rowena.

  15. roweeee Post author

    Thank you so much for those ideas. I can see him with the car parts going through the house and his father in tow. We currently have 5 cars and a small suburban block. Two are in storage off the road and one is about to be sold as we just bought a new one. Then there’s what my husband calls our “toy” We have a 1960 Morris Minor, which is registered and roadworthy.
    I like the sound of the house of cards. I am teaching them 500 at the moment and they love that, which is a God send.
    We had friends over last night and the two boys played with all his army gear and had a great time and there wasn’t even a grumble…unless the girls invaded.
    Our daughter is a blend of girlie girl and outdoors/sporty. She does dancing and loves fashion but also loves cub scouts and bushwalking, camping etc.
    They both seem to enjoy cooking but more as an occasional thing. Or, something they do when I’m having a nap and they make all sorts of creations. Not allowed to use heat but the rules aren’t always adhered to…what a surprise! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend xx Rowena

  16. New Journey

    Thanks…I have always wanted a Morris Minor, but instead my husband got a 1975 MGB convertible, the other mistress…LOL keeps him busy in the summer months…and even last winter with no rain, he was out and about in her….your children sound delightful….I enjoyed mine when they were young, now they are all grown up and have wonderful spouses…so really I couldn’t be happier for them…but I do find myself reflecting back to the day when little feet and wonderful giggling came from all the rooms…however I have a wonderful husband and we are doing our own thing…so life evolves….my daughter still loves to curl up with a good book, but instead of juice she’s gone onto champagne…LOL hope your weather is good……Blessed be Kathy

  17. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kathy. My husband was driving an Austen Healey Sprite when we met and it went off road about the time our son was born. My Dad used to have an MGB when I was a kid. They sort of feel like part of my genetic makeup. Like the sound of your daughter on the champagne. I can see my own daughter going that direction. She looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn and I cvan just see her having Breakfast at Tiffany’s xx Ro

  18. stuckinscared

    My word, your images are stunning! I adore ‘footprints in the sand’. Congratulations on 20,000 views, I did click to read your ‘poor neglected’ post, winced at the thought of violin screeching, (I think i’m quite glad now that mine chose drums 😉 ) and (a little disappointed not to be first), gave it a like 🙂 …

    Good luck with your next 20,000, all the best, Kimmie.

  19. New Journey

    LOL that wouid be my girl….her wedding rings came from Tiffany’s and of course her favorite color is Tiffany blue…LOL Yes and men and their cars….love that mine has a hobby he can enjoy…..both in and out of the garage so to speak….

  20. roweeee Post author

    Funny you should mention the Tiffany Blue but that is my daughter’s favourite colour not that she knows about Tiffany’s.
    Our family is also into kayaking and our backyard is full of kayaks, a laser sail boat as well as cars. Can’t wait for it to warm up and we can get back out on the water.
    Meanwhile, we are renovating the kitchen. Our main goal is to move the dishwasher out of the laundry into the kitchen but there’s been a lot to do in the lead up. So we have polished the floorboards, installed half the new cupboards and I’ve offloaded a lot of stuff off to the op shop and it’s starting to come together.

  21. New Journey

    No boats in my back yard…but my niece is an avid white river rafter…and a nephew and his family all kayak in Florida…..so its in the family, just missed my genes…LOl I do love to swim, but that’s about it….oh yes we do take ferry’s anytime we can when we are out RVing….LOL I can hear you about getting the dishwasher back into the kitchen area…and nothing more work than renovating, esp. the kitchen area as it is the heart of the home…look forward to finish pictures….I am stressing because we need to repaint the kitchen cupboards and that’s on ordeal living with a perfectionist…LOL FYI you can buy on line for Tiffany’s and they have some jewelry that is extremely reasonable, she needs a blue Tiffany box…LOL enjoy the day…..KAthy

  22. roweeee Post author

    Thank you so much for your beautiful heart, Kimmie. My daughter seems to have moved on from the violin, at least for the time being and I haven’t been practicing as much as I should. Thanks for the reminder.
    Yes, am definitely looking forward to the next 20,000 views. I love blogging and all the beautiful people I keep meeting. It'[s a different world! xx Rowena

  23. cozee warner

    I will be one of your next 20,000. you are such a good writer, I am glad to see your talents being used. The sunflower story is precious.

  24. Gerrie and Don Hearsey

    Hi Rowena
    The first 20,000 are a good start , here’s to the next 20,000 .
    Geraldine (Gerrie ) and Don Hearsey
    Nanaimo,B.C.Canada

  25. roweeee Post author

    Thank you so much for visiting the blog, Don and Gerrie and keeping in touch. Means a lot! Hope you are both well! xx Rowena

  26. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Cozee. As you know, I’ve been working on my writing all these years and still have my diaries, photos and poems from Europe. Getting into blogging has been a great outlet for me and I meet so many wonderful people as well.
    I was so touched to receive those sunflowers in the mail and am hoping to find a suitable place to plant this first lot where they get very good attention. I’d really like to see a whole field of them bloom in memory of those who died and their friends and families. Love & GOd Bless,
    Rowena

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