Yes, it was this week in 2016 that I shut myself away in a room and gave birth to my third child, The Annagram, named by my genius Dad.
It was the easiest delivery of all my three kids, mainly because I could smoke fags and drink wine through the worst bits. It was also the most terrifying because I didn’t know if you would like or loathe the product of my labour. (I didn’t know if I would like or loathe it either, but that’s the same as with the previous two hatchings).
I told myself I would write every day for a year and at the end of it, see what worked, what didn’t and decide if I wanted to carry on raising this beast or kill it with one click of a mouse.
I now have 926 followers via email and wordpress and 724 on facebook. These numbers stagger me. I have a curious desire to see if I can get them both to turn 1,000 by the end of the year. I think if you get 1k likes on facebook, something extraordinary happens like Richard Branson will stop trying to buy the NHS or Treeza will put the bins out…
As I consider whether to crack on or not, it seems like a good plan to review the best bits.
By far the most-viewed post was the one about school uniform which went kinda viral with over 200k views. I still have no real idea why. It made one woman comment that I was clearly a very unhappy person. A fella took the time to tell me I should never have had kids. Viral is as viral sounds: a yakky malady which must be recovered from. I no longer seek its epidemic.
Some of my favourite posts have been the ones where we’ve taken a pop at deserving arsehole celebs:
And I’ll always be fond of The one where I introduced you to my Gwyneth
Thanks should go to Cameron, Farage, Gove, Johnson, May, Corbyn and Trump for providing twelve months of quite unprecedented political arseholery for us to boggle over. Writing open letters has often been the best way to pin down feelings about world shizzle: Dear Europe, Dear Prime Minister, Dear Daughter, Dear Mr President.
This open letter is my favourite though: Dear Headteacher and I did send a version of it to the actual headteacher…
The biggest surprise for me has been the reaction to the posts about mentalism and grief. I never expected to write about these things so openly but it’s brought two rather wonderful asides: 1. a deeper understanding of myself and 2. a remarkable connection with mentalish people I’ve never met. I genuinely never expected this. They’re only words I’m making, and yet they’ve laid down little paths to people I never knew I needed to know and am so glad I now do. The first soul-barey post was probably The one about Wimbledon.
As I celebrate this first birthday, I am minded to remark that I still appear to know nothing solid or useful, and have no discernible ‘brand’ like other, more successful, bloggers do. But knowing that you also know nothing solid or useful and perhaps are not looking for a ‘brand’, has been a tremendous comfort and joy. Also, occasionally, I think we’ve hit on stuff that almost makes some sense and certainly clears things up a bit which is not nothing in this jumbly universe.
So my biggest thanks of course, goes to you lovely lot. You have brought me a glorious year of adventure and surprises.
If you feel at all moved to give me a birthday gift, may I direct you to the website for the Northern Blog Awards here where you can nominate me in various categories of your choosing (NB may I suggest NOT lifestyle blogger, unless you feel my lifestyle is to be admired and emulated). They ask you to include the URL for my blog which is: thedailyannagram.wordpress.com.
How I would love to rock up there in a frock and then tell you all about it.
So, shall I keep the Annagram or send her back from whence she came?
I think, in one of my favourite terms from the last twelve months, I shall persist…
Hip Hip Hooray!