I started the first Professor Beej on blogspot on Christmas Eve 2008, but I never really posted to it; to be honest, I had no idea what a blog was other than an online diary of “I did this today” or “guess what my cat did this morning? OMG!” I would throw a post here or there—sometimes months between posts–but it really took me until late April/early May of 2009 to settle into a regular posting schedule and settle into my niche.
So it’s been a year now, and this place has made me exceedingly happy. All of you have made me exceedingly happy. I never would have guessed I would have as many commentors and readers as I do in just a year. I never really thought anyone would care about what I had to say.
So from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. (And tell your friends about me! Tee hee!)
In celebration of my first year, I decided that the blog needed a visual overhaul. With my newfound mindset focused on writing and platform building, I thought my blog needed to look more professional. So I spent some time shopping themes and Thesis skins, eventually settling on this one. I think it’s pretty.
I did away with the Featured Content Gallery, and streamlined the sidebar widgets. There will now be a single highlighted post under the header instead of a rotating panel of 5. The Amazon Affiliate-based “Current Picks” have been moved up to a more prominent position,too, so you all can see what I’m currently enjoying/recommending more easily.
And soon, I should be able to debut a new header image courtesy of one supremely awesome graphic designer who works with my wife.
Content-wise, I hope to get more fiction up. “Beej’s Fiction” is a pretty lonely tag with just Foggy Memories sitting there with it. I think that should change.
As for other areas of pop culture awesomeness, what do you all want? More movies, games, film, TV, or books? Should I focus more or less on any particular subject? After all, what good’s writing something no one wants to read?
I’ve written a lot this past year. 176 published articles as of this post. I never thought that would be possible. Starting out a year ago, that number seemed absurd. But now, I can easily see myself breaking 500 and not thinking too much about it.
Quality for my writing has increased dramatically. too. I have always considered myself a good writer, but making the act of writing a daily habit has increased whatever skills I had 10x. Really. So if you’re ever wondering how to become a better writer, I’m living proof that the answer really is that simple: “write.”
On top of simply writing better, I also learned how to blog. Initially, my posts were fairly dense walls of text. Over the past year, I’ve learned how to use paragraph breaks and images. It might not sound like much, but for someone as inherently wordy as I am, it’s comparable to tearing down the Berlin Wall.
I figure I’ll end this by showing off a brief list of my favorite posts from the last year, in no particular order. So if you’ve got time, join me in my little jaunt down memory lane. (And keep in mind what I said about my writing and blogging skills getting better, too!)
- Review: LOST Season Five (5) Season Finale: “The Incident” – While it’s not technically the first post on the blog, it was the first post I wrote as I decided to make a real attempt at blogging. I count this as one of the best because it’s the one that sparked my interest.
- Essentialism in Science Fiction and Fantasy – I think there’s a conference presentation somewhere in this essay.
- True Blood – Wait, Who’s Doing Those Bad Things, Again? – Like I tell my students: a single word can change the meaning of an entire work.
- “Are You Sure This is the Movie?”: The Utter Awfulness of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen – Jennifer’s review of the IMAX travesty.
- She Said Yes! – Potentially the best day of my life.
- Subversion in Mindless, Silly Fun: Why Neutral Art is Impossible – This may be my personal favorite I’ve ever written. It pretty much touches on what I dislike about mainstream media and Twilight all in one.
- Anti-Twilight Week – So many good posts and so much good discussion. I still appreciate all those guest posts. Heck, I’m still looking for good Anti-Twilight guest posts.
- The Best Three Books in Existence – What are yours?
- Looking for New Authors to Read – Still looking, too!
- The “Writing My Novel” Series – By journaling my thoughts and discussing them with other writers, I find myself much more motivated to actually finishing the project.
- When Students Will Not Read – Love the discussion in the comments; I have truly taken it to heart and restructuring my courses based on it.
So again, thank you for making my first year as a blogger a total success. And again, too, I ask you: what, my dear readers, can I do for you in the coming year? More or less of certain type of post? What do you like and/or dislike about my blog that I can work on to make the second year even more fun and productive than the first?