Welp. Coffee + Crumbs has been up and running for six weeks, and as of today we've hit 1.6 million pageviews.
In that same time frame, 42 women (!) have sent me writing samples, expressing a desire to write for us. Our Facebook page has grown from 0 likes to more than 1,400 likes and we've received over 300 comments on our posts. We've even made a whopping $152 off our recommendations page (fist pump!).
And while it's not all about the numbers, I wanted to share those numbers here, with you, because this blog was the launching pad for Coffee + Crumbs, and I figured if anyone would care about this tiny success, it would be you guys.
I've been mostly overwhelmed by all of this, but in the best possible way. When you dream up an idea in the shower and that idea actually becomes somewhat successful rather quickly, it's validating. And to be perfectly honest---that validation is necessary when you're seven months pregnant and tired and irritable and lacking motivation in every sense of the word.
We are growing with each essay, each story, each comment that says "me too." It's happening organically, and I am grateful for that. I'm learning more about what it means to write about motherhood as a whole, and how difficult it is to do that on the Internet where people are so passionate about the subject. (Also: I'm learning why some websites have comment policies.)
I'm learning what it means to be a writer all over again, what it means to string words together intricately with purpose. I'm learning how to edit, and how to ask people to edit me. I'm learning the beauty of slow writing and slow blogging---the benefit of letting our words settle and breathe, rather than churning out content like popcorn.
I'm learning how to encourage my writers and how to handle criticism gracefully and how to celebrate the wild success of a team effort. I'm learning that as much as I like to write on my own, I like to write with a team even more.
I'm learning there is a fine line between writing for the mothers-to-be and the mothers-who-already-are; a fine line between scaring pregnant women and sugarcoating reality for the moms living in the trenches. I'm learning that it is virtually impossible for every word of every post to resonate with everyone.
I'm learning that we're not just writing for the first-time moms or the soon-to-be moms or the struggling moms or the empty nester moms. We're writing for all of it, for everyone, for all of the in betweens.
Real talk: that is a daunting audience.
I've got more than 90 writing samples in my inbox and more than 20 official submissions waiting to be read. I'm trying to pull the best of the best and provide the widest net---essays for this mom and that mom and her over there. I'm trying to find the variety and the balance between the good and the hard and the messy and the beautiful.
And as I do that, these are my three wishes for Coffee + Crumbs:
1) I wish that every post you read resonates with you in some way, even if it's just one sentence or a handful of words. Even if her story is not your story and her baby is not your baby and her struggle is not your struggle, I hope you can pull some truth from her truth.
2) I wish that every post you read opens your eyes to the reality of one other mother on this planet who has graciously and bravely shared her story with you. I hope that you become a little more aware, a little more open, a little more compassionate, a little more accepting of someone else's walk.
3) I wish that every post you read on Coffee + Crumbs leaves you feeling encouraged. I hope you leave our site feeling more understood, less alone, and slightly more hopeful than you were before you started reading our stories.
Thank you for reading, for being part of our success, and for giving us the one thing we need to keep doing this: a kind and gracious audience.