Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Magic City Momma. Happy blogiversary to me. What a difference a year makes.
If I rewind to April 2015, I distinctly remember wondering if I would ever write again. It’s not that I didn’t still love the written word. It just didn’t seem to fit anymore. One phone call from my friend (and bestselling author) Jacquelin Thomas that summer changed all that. I honestly don’t even remember the context of the conversation anymore. I do know that by the time I got off the call, I had gotten my groove back, and I started writing every day again. Suddenly, the idea I had been kicking around to start a blog for black moms living in Birmingham, Alabama, started taking root, and I found myself not only working on my books and writing a weekly book column for a magazine, but researching how to make my blog dream a reality. I was buying URLs, jotting down story ideas and consulting with other bloggers, not sure when or how the dream would manifest itself.
Fast-forward to October 2015. I got tired of waiting. I already had the blog set up, and I was trying to decide the best time to launch, and the morning of October 16, I decided to just go for it. My initial plan was to consistently publish one or two stories a week. You know that saying about God laughing when you make plans? Within a month of launch, I felt like I was supposed to be publishing five stories a week—in addition to doing my weekly book column, juggling the demands of being a wife and mom, working a full-time job and working to release a new book while trying to get my rights back to the old ones.
Within the first six weeks of launching Magic City Momma, you all were helping me spread the word, and I had created a mailing list, gained a following on social media and several of my blog posts got tons of views. Honestly, I don’t know what I expected, but the response humbled me and made me more determined than ever to minister to you by offering quality content and spotlighting some amazing authors, books, businesses and activities, as well as sharing my faith.
Needless to say, it has been a year where I have had to live my tagline of balancing faith, family and fiction. With God’s grace, I’ve made it. In addition to publishing more than 300 stories between my blog and book column, over the last year, I have also released two new books and re-released five old ones while watching my baby girl transition to middle school and supporting my husband as he launched his real estate business. (Shameless plug: If you’re looking to buy or sell a house, check him out here.)
My dreams for the last year have come true, and instead of getting complacent, it has me thinking it’s time to dream bigger dreams.
I’ve done a lot of praying and thinking about what I want to do as I head into year two. Some of the changes you probably noticed if you are on my mailing list since the full content of the redesigned emails is now available in your mailbox. You may also notice the name Magic City Momma is no longer prevalent. I’ve decided to move everything under the Chandra Sparks Splond umbrella and to rebrand the blog as Book of Splond (bookofsplond.com) and house it on my Chandra Sparks Splond website.
Many of you were kind enough to offer your feedback for a survey I did a couple of months ago, and one thing was evident: The blog has evolved to the point where it is bigger than just focusing on African-American moms living in Birmingham. I realize one of my biggest goals is to empower and inspire women of all ages, and that is not just limited to those living in Birmingham, and you agree. Many of the survey respondents mentioned that the weekly spotlight on events happening around the Magic City was something they didn’t like, so although I will still spotlight these on occasion, eventually it will no longer be a weekly feature. Instead, I plan to give you more of what you enjoy: stories about people—whether it’s authors or business owners—about faith, and posts to give you insight into how to help you find balance.
Honestly, it’s something that I have been mulling over for almost a year. I’ve been trying to figure out if I should do it and when would be the right time, and just like I did on October 16, 2015, I’ve decided to just go for it. Since I’m all about transparency, I’m terrified. I feel like I did the first day I launched Magic City Momma, but I have more faith than fear, and I’m moving ahead. I hope to make the transition as easy and painless as possible for you. The Magic City Momma articles will still live on—in fact, they’ve already been moved over to Book of Splond along with some author interviews and book spotlights you probably haven’t seen—and those who are subscribed to the email list will continue to receive stories five days a week just like you have in the past. All you have to do is keep reading, spreading the word and sharing your story ideas with me.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for an amazing year. I can’t express how much your prayers, words of support and encouragement have motivated me to keep going on the days when I’ve wondered if what I was doing was making a difference. Thank you for being a part of my journey and my story and for allowing me to be a part of yours. I hope my life and the lives of those I profile serve as examples for you that just like our dreams have come true, yours can too. I’m excited to see what God has in store for us all.
Year two, here we come. Let’s do this.