Life in progress


The WordPress Stat Nobody Talks About

…or at least I’ve never seen anyone talk about it. I think of it as something like “tax free” day – the day the government tells you that they’ve collected every cent you’ve earned so far but the rest of the money you make in the year is yours. At that point you can sit back and not worry about losing anything. How in the actual heck does this relate to WordPress stats? Let me tell you.

If you’ve been blogging for more than a year, there comes a point if your second calendar year is better than your first that you hit the total number of views you had the year before. For instance, in my first year I had one view. I surpassed that number in January of my second year. My third year, however, was a little more difficult since in the second I had over 14,000 views. I didn’t get to my “tax free” point in my third year until June. Why in the actual heck am I talking about this now? Let me tell you.

In about 300 views I’m going to reach the same number of total views as I had last (my third) year. After that I’ll be able to sit back, put my feet up, drink a glass of wine and not bother writing another thing on my blog because I know from here on in I’m coastin’. Just soakin’ up the glory…

I’m kidding. Of course I’m still going to post. 😀

Have you been blogging for more than a year? Have you hit your “tax free” day yet? Let me know in the comments!


Three Years Later, My First Post

Twice now I’ve been nominated for the First Post Challenge. The first time by the lovely and talented Joey (you can find her challenge post here) and the second by the lovely and talented Willow (you can find her challenge post here) Yes, they’re both lovely and talented. You should get to know them if you don’t already! Thank you both so much, my lovely and talented friends, for thinking of me. 😀

I thought since today is my official 3rd Anniversary of Blogging (as opposed to my unofficial one, when I actually started writing posts on a regular basis) I’d choose this as the day to accept the challenge.

The rules are:
Copy-paste, link, pingback, etc. your first post.

Identify the post: introduction, story, poem.

Explain why it was your first post.

Nominate five other bloggers.

My first post, written July 26th, 2012:

Whatever am I doing here?

It’s a question that is asked by everyone once in a while, by some more often than others: what in the world am I doing here? And oh how we struggle with the answer!

My answer for the moment is, I am here to write, to please myself.

How about you?

That’s it. Short and sweet.

It was obviously an introduction post; more to introduce me to blogging than to introduce bloggers to me. I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have any clue what I would eventually get out of WordPress. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement of epic proportions. I do remember being told once upon a time that if I wanted to be a published author I had to get out of my room and onto social media. This blog was the first thing I ever put my real name on. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in terms of being online. Now I’m very happy I took the plunge.

So now how do I choose five blogs among the hundreds I adore, and whose first posts I’d love to read? How about the last five people to comment on my blog? That works for me. 😀

They would be my dear friends:

Jeanne Owens

John W. Howell


Hope Floats

and Dale Cooper

Of course anyone else reading this who would like to participate, please go right ahead. It’s on me!

So there we go! Here’s to another three years of glorious blogging. Cheers!


Random News and Kitties

First up, it’s time for a happy dance! My Facebook author page hit 100 followers today! If you’re not already following me, I’d appreciate it if you’d contribute to my new goal of 200? 😀 Here’s the link:

In other news, I decided to go ahead and make another WordPress site. I took the advice of several of my commenters on the previous post and downloaded Chrome so I can keep the two identities open at once. Finding followers is going slow, but it’s infinitely better than at Blogger, where I’ve started writing a parody of sorts. It’s enjoyable for the moment, but with no one reading it, it’s going to get boring. I’m sure I’ll eventually post it here at WP – where it won’t be boring, natch.

So, my new persona. The name came to me as sometimes names do and you just know they’re right; no rhyme nor reason for it. My profile picture is a selfie I took of the back of my neck… which was fun with my sore shoulder. Why a picture of the back of my neck? You’ll see when you get there. I’ve created a twitter account to go along with the blog, just for the hell of it. As it says on the little twitter description of me, “Beware: utters expletives without warning” – there will be more swearing over on my new blog than there is here. To give an example, I’m thinking about doing A-Z April over there with the theme, “A-Z imaginative cusses.” Because I can.

Anyhow, I plan to have fun over there. My address is and my twitter is @izzymorganblog. This may be the only link to the new blog here at Life in Progress (except for the edit I plan to do on my previous post), though I might advertise it once a year as an anniversary thing. There won’t be any links over there to this one. I just want to keep the two separate, but if you comment over there, don’t be afraid to call me Linda. I’m not going to advertise, but I’m not uptight about keeping the two secret from one another. It’s really just a way to keep this blog more professional while having the freedom to write whatever I want, whenever I want.

So what other news is there? Oh! A cat,



or two.



What random post would be complete without cats? These two are boarding with the troll (aka my eldest son) in my basement. They came upstairs for a visit so I thought I’d shoot a few piccies.

See you on the flipside.


Oiling the Creative Machine

I’m looking for input on an idea. It all started like this…

I decided to play with a pseudonym, but I didn’t want to have to keep signing in and out of this WordPress account to keep my name a secret, so I went to … hold on to your seats … Blogger. Don’t everyone gasp at once. I’ve been there for a whole four days and not a single peep out of any one of the maybe three people who have looked at my blog. Needless to say, it’s frustrating. SO much harder to follow people over there – I swear I can hear crickets. You may be wondering just why I would want a pseudonym. Easy. Yes, that’s right, I want something easy to write – short, sweet, random, funny snippets that don’t take away from the theme and goal of this blog, which is to talk about my life in a reasonable manner and to further my career as a novelist. I can’t see shooting out the occasional random crap as a stop to reaching that goal. The other, more important reason for my Blogger blog came up in relation to my shoulder. I’ve been told to bend over and let my arm hang, swinging every once in a while to keep the joint lubricated. Just like I need to lubricate my creative joint by writing… But writing things like decent fiction and grammatically correct articles takes up so much time!! So here’s my crazy little idea.

What if I created another WordPress blog, just for this purpose. I could keep the pseudonym, only everyone will know it’s me, because when I write and comment my gravatar will be there. Would you follow me? Some of it will be semi-fictional, some will be more like a tweet only longer… all of it will be just random amusing crap that may well culminate in huge discussions. Most of all, it will be for me.

So, input? Have you ever considered doing something like this? Your opinions will likely have a lot to do with whether or not I go through with it, so please be honest.  Here, I’ll make it easy for you.

The poll is no longer active. Thanks for voting!




Followers vs. Readers

Okay, so you have a WordPress site of your own and your site has followers. When you started out, you got your first few notifications that someone had hitched their wagon to your blog and you thought, “Great! I have someone reading what I write!” But then as time went by, you realized that maybe they weren’t reading after all.

Fast forward to where you are now. You have tens if not thousands of followers. How many of those numbers do you figure actually visit your blog?

What brought this up in the first place was the municipal elections we had yesterday across the province of Ontario. Voter turnout at most elections is far below the numbers of of eligible voters. The difference between running for election and blogging is the people running for election are putting out money to advertise themselves. At least we bloggers don’t need to go to that length to have our sites viewed. But I digress.

From what I’ve gathered over the last twenty-one months of blogging, it seems that any of us are, at any given time, being visited by 10%-20% of our followers. The 20% is if you’re either very lucky or if all of your followers are friends and family.

I have just over 2,100 blog followers at the moment. I would estimate that over the course of my blogging career, I’ve had between 10-15% of my numbers actually reading my site on a daily basis. Which means that people have come and gone, and some have come back again, but on an average day I have around that many regular followers, not including those who show up once and I never see again. My regular followers don’t visit every day, but I know they’re out there by our interactions. On my fiction blog it’s even less – I have over 600 followers and would guess there only around 20 or 30 people who regularly read. That’s only about 3-5%

I’m far more frustrated with my 3-5%, obviously, than with my 10-15%, but as I said, at least it doesn’t cost me anything but the time I put into writing.

If you had to guess just going by feel and judging by the number of followers you chat with in a day, how many of your followers are reading you?


WordPress’s Own Welcoming Committee – HarsH ReaLiTy

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I roamed around WordPress marveling at all the people who seemed to have something to talk about. I knew I had words inside me that I wanted to get out – but how to start was the biggest question, followed closely by, how do I get anyone to read what I’ve written?

So I began, rather lamely I might add. A few people followed me, most of whom when I looked at their sites were simply trying to sell something.

I read up on a few hints from WordPress themselves; things like click on people’s avatars and follow them, or comment on other people’s blogs. It didn’t get me too far, but it was a start. Then one day, someone who called himself “Opinionated Man” followed me. I made one of my bolder attempts at commenting on his site, particularly frightening as that was since he had something like 1,000 followers. 1,000! Just imagine! I didn’t for a second expect a blogger with stats like that to reply to my comment.

But he did.

Following his blog, and his lead, I began gaining confidence in myself as a blogger. I found out it was okay to be at the top of the commenter’s list on my own stats page. (Silly me thought that was a faux pas – an egotistical nightmare if there ever was one.) But most of all, I discovered through HarsH ReaLiTy that there was such a thing as the WordPress community.

Now Jason, author of the blog HarsH ReaLiTy, follows as many new bloggers as he can. The ones who take heart from what may be their first follow and click on his site may at first be a little overwhelmed. But the ones who take their time and read what he has to say rather than judge him at first glance for his numbers and his moniker, are indeed lucky to have found him.

I’ve come to think of Jason as the one-man welcoming committee for WordPress. While his motives may not be readily apparent, there is nothing on his site that cannot be learned from, whether it’s how to get fifty comments out of a single sentence, or how to go about expressing your own opinion no matter how badly received it might be. Any one of us can follow his example and succeed. Which is not to mention the advice he gladly dispenses in the articles he’s worked hard to compile for us, his followers.

I honestly can’t imagine a WordPress without HarsH ReaLiTy. Thank you, Jason, on behalf of myself and all the people you have shown the way. You’ve built something truly great, and upheld it with grace, a well-toned funny bone and a set of opinions that are undeniably all yours. Thank goodness one of them is that it is gratifying to help others discover what you enjoy – blogging.

Find Jason by clicking here. Enjoy!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Anniversary (Question)

According to WordPress, today is the official second anniversary of my blog. It’s the day, two years ago, when I decided to see what WordPress is all about. I wrote one post and promptly forgot about it for the next six months.

So this morning I decided to go back and take a look at it. At this moment it has three “likes” and no comments. But I’m okay with that – it’s nothing to write home about. Hell, it’s nothing to write WordPress about. It’s four sentences of basically question marks. It’s the same first post I see on many blogs, to varying degrees.

But let’s face it – this WordPress thing is a tough thing to get into at the start. None of us really knows what we’re doing, and most of us don’t understand what the follow/like/comment thing is all about. How many people here had no idea that there was such a wonderful community here? Come on, put up your hand if you’re one of us.

Once we’re in, and I mean REALLY in to this mode of communication, it’s astounding what it can do. We meet people with similar tastes, we share invaluable information with one another, and we find a place to sound off, to practice our craft, and to feel a part of something so large!

And it all started somewhere for each of us. When was the last time you read your very first post?


This post is part of SoCS:

Click on the link and join in the fun today!


A Blogger’s World

Have you ever considered that, when you started your blog you created a world for others to visit? You gave it an atmosphere with your chosen theme, with your words and your pictures you provide it with a feeling – is it like coming home? Or does it give the sensation of exploring a strange planet? Is it exotic, or down-to-earth? Has it changed since you began?

I started my blog, naively perhaps, with the intention to showcase my work for potential employers. I was going to write only long, well-thought-out articles and people would visit and “like” my posts and comment with words like, “Nice article,” or “Good job.” At first I hung on every click of the like button, and sponged up the positive feedback like it was a clear spring in the middle of the desert. In short, I had no clue what a blog could be.

It took me a while, but I started to make friends of the visitors to what I thought of as my little room. I found out that, even better than “likes” and faint praise, there could be actual discussion in them thar comment boxes. The “Nice work!”s transmuted from overgrown paths leading into my blog to highways full of people who related to what I was saying. And as they came back again and again, and we got to know each other, my room expanded. It evolved. It became a world.

With the expansion of my world, so too have my ideals. I appreciate this community so much that I want others to share in it. Rather than long, dry articles, I revel in the fact that I’m able to help people connect through their relatable experiences. I realised the potential that WordPress holds when I joined Dylan Dailey for “Every Damn Day December,” where I discovered how pingbacks work and how participating in a prompt can aid in the discovery of other bloggers – and in being discovered.

I launched “Just Jot it January” in a bid to keep the connections going between other bloggers, and I recently started “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” (SoCS) in order to keep the ball rolling.

It seems the more I perpetuate these connections, the more my blog evolves. A comment regarding the crappy little posts that I’ve been writing of late which seem more to bring in “likes” and less content, caused me to examine my reasons for blogging. Sure, I’ve given up the lofty goal of always writing awesome posts – but in doing so I’ve come to do what is more authentically me, and part of my nature, and that is to help people. I’ve realised in the last year that I don’t have the ability to write, much less come up with, long yet entertaining articles on a daily basis. I’m a novelist. For now, that’s what I want to concentrate on. That’s not to say my crappy little posts aren’t beneficial to me – I pay attention to views to see which opening lines get people’s attention, which is something I’ve been advised is essential to selling a novel.

By writing short posts that encourage involvement from my audience, I hope people are discovering one another. All they have to do is look around themselves in my comments – a warm, caring community is that close.

Welcome to my world. Feel free, anytime, to talk amongst yourselves here.


I Don’t Want to Intimidate You, but…

Do you remember how you felt when you started on WordPress? If you’re fairly new here, I would imagine it’s pretty fresh in your mind. Even I consider myself a bit of a newb, but after just a little more than a year I’ve come to feel comfortable here; I’ve found a great community, some wonderful friends, and plenty of people who I can joke around with.

What stands out most in my mind from when I started, however, is how intimidated I felt when I stumbled across a popular blog and I wanted to comment. Should I? They seem like such a tight bunch of people, bantering about things they’ve learned about one another…

So I was considering this, and I wondered if people who are just starting out feel that way when they stop by to read my blog.

In light of my pondering, I decided to change my comment box prompt from “Leave a comment” to what it is now.

How do you make newcomers feel welcome? How do you encourage them to join in the discussion?


JusJoJan 30 – Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today is unofficially my one year blog anniversary!

I joined WordPress in July 2012, wrote one post and promptly forgot about my blog. Then, on January 30th of last year, I began what has grown to what you see here. I had no idea what to expect at first. I remember being both thrilled and confused when I received my first ‘like.’ Who could possibly like me? I thought. How would anyone even know I exist?

The more I explored my reader and found people with similar interests, the more I learned. And then one day I took a chance. I made a joke in a comment on someone else’s blog. He was fairly new at the game as well and, as it turned out, he seemed as amazed as I was at how many people had noticed him. Granted, at the time I only had ten followers (he was one) and he had already 300. It won’t surprise some of you that that fellow blogger was the one and only Opinionated Man. I’m so grateful to him for teaching me so much about blogging, and especially how to form friendships here in our WordPress world. Thank you, Jason, my dear.

In celebration of my anniversary, I’m re-posting my first post. I’m putting it up on my fiction blog, since my foray into blogging started with my semi-fictional series about a boy: a poor boy who survives abuse and rises up to become a star.

Click here to find One Poor Boy

While it’s not fireworks; nor anthems; nor parades, it means something to me. I hope you’ll go today, and each day to read it and to celebrate with me the life of a character I care so much about.

Now pass the champagne!


Post on your site, and join Just Jot it January. The rules are easy!

1. It’s never too late to join in, since the “Jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to WordPress that day, great! If it waits a week to get from the sticky note to your screen, no problem!
2. If you write a JusJoJan post on your blog, you can ping it back to the above link to make sure everyone participating knows where to find it.
3. Write anything!
4. Have fun!