“I had a theory that sometime between 36 and 40, you had to make a move that would
make you or break you. This was my time. I kept telling myself, I’ve got to lay the foundation. “
~ Humpy Wheeler
Growing Up NASCAR: Racing’s Most Outrageous Promoter Tells All
On September 13, 2010 I was mulling the decision to launch my own personal blog with the idea to “monetize” it as a way to bring income into our home without giving up my stay-at-home-mom status. I wrote daily at Rowdy.com, a social networking site for NASCAR fans that is now defunct. I had written nearly 500 blogs there since 2007. I knew I was prolific and I knew I was aching to write more than blogs about racing.
The date is emblazoned in my mind because it coincides with my middle boy’s birthday. While he watched a movie on television he desperately wanted to see I took the steps to open an account at Blogger, named my blog, and set about monetizing it. By the end of the boy’s movie I was up and running, post written, and my career as a blogger – outside the world of NASCAR – had begun.
I had come from a dark place. Issues in my life had left me feeling dark, saddened, frustrated, and negative. Writing had always been a way to work out my feelings. I figured that even if “nobody” read the page, I had a lot to get off my chest. So I wrote.
I decided from Day One that I would never quit once I began. That if I entered into this I would play it out until the end. I was 38 years old, staring at 40. This was my time. Like the Humpy Wheeler quote that began this piece, I knew I had to make my move with courage and conviction and never back down.
Some of my earlier works deal with heavy topics (still available reading in the archives from 9/13/10 onward) like “Change”, “Communication”, “Cries”, “Water”, “Anger”, and “Forgiveness”. There were some inspired pieces, too, that still resonate (with me) like “The Healing Power of Touch” and “The Art of the Kiss”. The latter kept me awake and forced me to write down the words swirling in my head on a newspaper by my bedside until my mind was clear and I could sleep.
In the early days I woke up at 4am EST, wrote a piece from the top of my head, and published at in the same hour or so. As time wore on I had to start “writing ahead” as the addition of pictures and my job writing for several other sites led to time management issues. But even now I am writing in a timely fashion, sometimes finishing a piece the night before its publication date.
What I’ve found is writing Chief 187™Chatter every weekday for the last two plus years has been so therapeutic, fun, richly rewarding, and humbling. I’ve taken no vacation days writing through birthdays, Christmases, school vacations, and other holidays and family vacations. I’ve become disciplined and found my true work ethic is steel tough.
When I wrote a “one-off” called Simple Joys in February 2011 I felt I had been a part of something bigger than myself. By the next week I knew I had to write Simple Joys again. By the summer of 2011 Chief 187™Chatter was earning its highest pageviews weekly with Simple Joys posts. It was a very exciting and gratifying time.
Writing Chief 187™Chatter has led to myriad opportunities professionally for me as a writer. It has opened the door to me, ironically, back into the world of writing about NASCAR. In addition, writing also provided a doorway for me to step into the world of radio work.
The Amazon link still churns out some profit monthly which I am still so grateful. This blog has paid me back tenfold and more. Between offering some “income”, giving me an outlet to work things out that weigh me down, interacting with my readership that has become international, and providing a chronicle of my life while raising my children – and myself – I am thankful each day for this project.
I honestly do not know what the future has in store for Chief 187™Chatter. But I am banking on writing more for the future. Right now I’m just so amazed two years passed so quickly. The readership grew, the pageviews did, too – exponentially – and the topics are still fun for me to explore.
Two years ago I was happy if I had 15 pageviews per blog. Reaching 1000 pageviews was a rich milestone and I never thought I’d reach 5 or even 10,000 pageviews. Now Chief 187™Chatter has surpassed 105,000 pageviews!
Thank you all who join me daily, weekly, or occasionally to see what I have to say. Thank you for interacting, commenting, and sharing my work. Thank you for being here.
Happy 2nd Anniversary Chief 187™Chatter! Cheers to the next year and beyond!