365 Days of Inspiration: Our Readers’ Favorite Stories on Writing and Building Community

We’ve shared more than 900 posts on Discover in 2017 — from Editors’ Picks spanning dozens of topics and niches to in-depth interviews with writers and artists. Looking at the posts our readers clicked with (and clicked on) the most, we see one theme emerging: you love listening to bloggers speak about what matters most to them, whether it’s writing, finding an audience, or making a connection with others.

Below are our 10 most popular Discover features of 2017. We share them here as a celebration of the diverse voices that make up our community, and also as a resource for months and years to come. If you’re ever in need of a nudge to create, to speak up, or to tell the world about your passions and struggles, be sure to revisit this list.


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10. Interaction and Community: How a Lifestyle Blogger Doubled Her Weekly Views

We all love hands-on, concrete advice — and even more so when a blogger takes the time to educate others who are still finding their way. It couldn’t hurt that Kaylee Marie Huey’s tips delivered, offering readers many solid ideas to experiment with as they develop their online presence.

9. Falling Half in Love with Strangers: What’s the Word for That?

So much of our online life revolves around connecting with people we don’t know very well in our “real” life, and negotiating these authentic-yet-fragile connections. This post by Quinn, the blogger behind When Do I Get The Manual?, touches on similar themes, and talks about the hard-to-define feeling of not-quite-love we sometimes experience moments after meeting someone for the first time.

An illustration of Ernest Shackleton’s voyage, by Alice at Owl Station.

8. Five Writers on What It Means to Be a Friend

This roundup, which we published back in July in honor of International Day of Friendship, includes a wide range of takes on a perennially fascinating topic: how our closest relationships evolve, overcome challenges, and — sometimes — fail.

7. “Brave and Reckless” Advice: Five Tips for New Bloggers from Christine Ray

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Bloggers are generous: it’s always heartwarming to see so many people passing on the insights they’ve gleaned to newcomers. In Christine Ray’s case, readers found particular value in the advice she shared. Christine was still relatively fresh in the world of online publishing, and wrote from the perspective of someone who’d already figured out some things, but knew she had a few more to learn, too.

An ink drawing by Q. Rumbley at Carve & Draw.

6. Stop Talking About That Book You’re Writing

This post, highlighting novelist Euny Hong’s thought-provoking article at Quartz, inspired dozens of you to share your own perspective on the craft of writing — and the challenges of meeting self-imposed goals and deadlines.

5. How Do You Say “I Love You”?

A simple question often generates some of the most complex and moving answers. In this case, one blogger’s thank-you post to his community sparked a lively conversation about the numerous ways we can show love and appreciation to others.

4. “I Learned How to Write From My Heart”

Paul, from A Captain’s Speech, published his reflections after four years of prolific blogging. The sense of self-liberation he talks about in his post clearly hit a nerve: “I imagined that everything that was holding me back from being completely honest in my writing, was all stuck in my shoulders. So I shook my arms until I could feel the words exit through my fingertips.”

A garden-inspired watercolor painting by Cynthia Maniglia at Salt and Moon.

3. A Veteran Blogger’s Advice on Growing Traffic and Finding Community

The best part of belonging to a community is that you can always lean on the wisdom of its more experienced members. In this post, we highlighted some of the insights Susie Lindau had shared with her followers on the occasion of her sixth blogiversary.

2. Is One Really the Loneliest Number? Five Bloggers on the Virtues of Solitude

We published this roundup on Valentine’s Day, when you’d normally expect paeans to romance. But the counterintuitive timing, paired with the diverse voices we included, resonated with many of you. The comments on this feature turned into a celebration of quiet, autonomy, and self-sufficiency.

1. “I Write Because…”: Six Bloggers on Finding Inspiration for Their Sites

No two people publish for the exact same reason. But one common denominator we keep seeing again and again — including in more than 200 comments readers left in response to this roundup — has to do with human connection. As one of the featured writers put it, her blogging gave her “the ability to reach people on a real and fundamental level that I can’t do in my everyday life.”


To our readers and commenters, featured writers and creators: thank you for being part of Discover and the broader WordPress.com community. Here’s to an exciting 2018.

December 19, 2017Inspiration, Personal Essay, Personal Musings, Social Media, Writing, , ,