Blogging in 2020 seemed almost passé, even compared to when I first started the blog in 2013, but not only do I think blogging still has a lovely place on the internet — after all, look at the popularity of Substack, which is blogging, essentially — blogging was, in many ways, what saved me in 2020. Catharsis isn’t therapy, but blogging at least reached the level of catharsis for me. Returning to my blog after what was largely a four-year hiatus gave me an outlet to distract from my own mental state. That is, instead of focusing my energies on spiraling negatives thoughts, I turned my energies to food reviews, movie reviews, TV reviews, meditations on writing, poetry, haiku poems, food reviews, and whatever else I wanted to write about. After all, the blog is titled Milam’s Musings. And I think that helped, too? That I didn’t put too much pressure on myself to have to write some great literary screed for every blog post. Not that I wasn’t trying to write well or interesting or funny each time, because I was, but that I wasn’t allowing that pressure to bog my blog down, if that makes sense. Another factor I didn’t let stop me was the previous thinking that I couldn’t write for fun while also writing professionally. In 2020, I proved my old thinking wrong on that.
I re-started the blog with a revamped look in late June 2020 and didn’t look back. From re-joining the online Twitter writing community’s popular very short stories, to the daily haiku challenge, the return of Flash! Friday’s flash fiction contest, going through a variety of film franchises, and making my wacky food reviews, I’m thankful to those of you who followed the blog and liked and commented on what I posted.
Over that six month stretch, I believe I gained roughly 300 new followers (I’m not entirely sure where I started in June, so it’s a guesstimate), and posted a ridiculously absurd 619 times. Yes, 619 times. Believe it or not, when combining the years 2014-2019, I posted 617 times. In a six-month span, I topped that. That’s absurd. My average word count per post was 673 words, and I wrote 416,264 words total. What. I could’ve written about six books by now!
I’m also happy to say that even though I started six months into the year, I nearly reached the post views I had back in 2016 and 2015 before I fell off the blogging cliff. I had 24,429 views overall and 17,186 visitors for about 1.42 views per visitor. My top country is obviously the United States, but after that it’s actually India and then the United Kingdom. Hello, my Indian friends!
My top original posts (meaning, I made them in 2020), were two food reviews, Chipotle’s Smoked Brisket and Papa John’s Double Cheeseburger Pizza. I was surprised to see that the third one was the analysis of James Baldwin’s poems. Hooray for poetry love!
I share those stats because I’m proud that I restarted my blog and that my effort with the blog seemed to pay off. I want to thank everyone again who joined me on my cathartic journey! As I mentioned in a previous post, my 2021 has been off to a much slower start, but I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
So, here’s to another strong year with all the wonderful people I’ve met and interacted with on the blog!