Last Tuesday 17th I popped up a facebook post with my planning for 2017. Well it was more an example of my planning for the two previous years. In this time I’ve managed to publish 152 stories about the life and times of my generation and those previous generations that make up Waterford harbour. It didn’t start out that way of course. I began as Rambling Thoughts on my Community, but that was two years earlier, as a means of thinking about what the closure of the Salmon driftnet fishery meant to a village that once depended on it. When I started doing walking tours, I thought what best way to remember all the historical facts and stories than writing them down. Last year I decided to rebrand. Waterford Harbour Tides’n’Tales was born and I’m very happy with it.
|Planning the year ahead
Last year was significant in another way. I finished 2015 with 992 views or reads of my stories, but 2016 saw a significant increase in those looking at the blog weekly and we closed this year with 100,000. I’m hoping to double that in 2017. Readership figures are important to me. Not only because I want what I write to be read, but I want the heritage value and natural beauty of it to be recognised and hopefully to increase the number of visitors to the area. Some of whom may wish to take a guided walk.
Some of the stories I have this year will be anniversaries that I think relevant. Some will be repeats such as the opening of the Barrow Railway bridge in July 1906. Some will be to remember significant events such as the loss of the SS Kinsale near Broomhill in November of 1872. I’m also constantly getting further information on previous posts which need to be updated such as the story of the loss of the Alfred D Snow. Others will be shocking but need to be told such as accounts of wreckers; an emotive term that needs to be explored and debunked. Others then are more significant; this year marks the 100 years since the loss of the SS Coningbeg and Formby. It will also mark the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of UC 44 at Dunmore East, my most popular blog to date. The Barony of Gaultier Historical Society plan to make this occasion in August this year.
|Accessed from http://artsalesindex.artinfo.com/auctions/
A new development this year will be the guest blog feature. On the last Friday of each month, I’m offering anyone with a story to tell about the harbour to submit a piece by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, The guidelines is that it should be about 1200 words and relate in some way to the harbour. That could be from Carrick or New Ross to the coast. I currently have three stories submitted two promised and two others being considered. I am very interested in getting stories from women, the women’s perspective on the hard life that was fishing and sea faring is as important as any other and deserves to be told.
Each week I use Facebook to promote what I write. I’m ever mindful to thank people for those likes, comments tags or shares. The likes ensure that the individuals will continue to see my posts on their facebook page. The comments and tags increase the likelihood that their facebook friends will see the blog. Sharing it increases these chances even more. All are invaluable to me. I’m also ever conscious of the pages that share my blog. Michael and Tommy of the Waterford History Group have long supported my work, as has Michael Farrell of the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society and Paul and Jean at Waterford in Your Pocket. There are many more I should thank I have no doubt but for consistency these certainly deserve my thanks. For 2017 I am taking my courage in my hands and I am actively promoting my stories each Friday to pages local, national and international that might find my stories relevant. Its an odd feeling, to go out and promote your own work, I find it embarrassing and, since I mostly get no feedback or rejections, judgemental.
Finally this year I intend to finally publish that book I’ve been talking about. I have 150,000 words about growing up in Cheekpoint and what it was like to live in a traditional fishing community. I’ve provisionally titled it “An inconvenient calling” reflecting to my mind the political indifference if not to say hostility to the fishing communities that ring the country. I hope to self publish this during the summer and I’m currently working to tidy up and edit the first draft.
Thanks for staying with me if you have read this far, thanks for staying with the blog each week, and here’s to more readers and more visitors in 2017.