My, how time flies! Without my even realizing it, this little blog o’ mine has turned five years old. That happened somewhere around the tail end of last month and I forgot all about writing my planned retrospective about my time in the blogging world.
Five years. My, how the years have flown! I started blogging about six months after my divorce was finalized. I wanted to write passionate political spiels of great depth and insight; I wanted to pen fantastic short fiction that was sure to catch the eye of someone important, that elusive one right person who could make all my lifelong literary dreams come true; I wanted to create a wildly successful blog that would spawn book deals and syndicated columns and who knows what else.
In short, I had high hopes. I was young, bright-eyed yet jaded. Possibly I had delusions of grandeur. My first few blog posts were composed under an alias, as I was relatively new to the internet. An alias felt safer. But it wasn’t long before I decided to start writing under my own name, and I’m glad that I chose that path. As romantic as a nom de plume sounds, it’s an awful lot of work.
So much has happened in the last five years! And so much of it has been captured right here, on these very pages, spread out across the ether for all the world to see. Well, once upon a time all the world could have perused the goings-on. I’ve made a lot of posts private. Just under half, in fact. When I started blogging, I hadn’t really figured out what it was that I wanted to say yet, so I said a lot of things. Most of them were about my family, and they were intended for my family to read, although whether or not they actually did, I don’t know and probably never will.
Just after I started blogging, I met Seymour. It’s hard to believe that in just a few months, we’ll have known each other for five whole years. That hadn’t actually occurred to me till just now. Wow. Five years. My, how time flies! If someone would have told me when I started this little blog that five short years later I would be married and have three more kids, I don’t think I’d have believed them. If they’d have told me I would have friends all over the world as a result of my writing, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have believed them. But it’s all true, that and so much more.
There have been times over the last five years where I’ve gone weeks without posting and when I think back on those times, they seem foreign to me now. Those were times in the early days, when I was still feeling my way around this thing called blogging, still trying to find my online voice, still trying to figure out how to create something that is at once both personal and public, something that shares who I am but does not overshare, something that doesn’t cross that almost-invisible line into the land of TMI. Even now, that is something that I struggle with, perhaps because I haven’t been as faithful to my offline diary as I used to be. (I really should get back to that.) Ours is the generation, I think that will have to figure out how to deal with these kinds of issues and teach the next generation what we’ve learned.
As I was writing that last sentence, I was reminded of my favorite book. Anyone who knows me even a little bit (or anyone who has read my chicken scratching long enough) will know that the honorific of favorite book in my case falls to Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi. Anyone who knows me (or anyone who read of my recent banishing to a deserted island) will also know that I can quote passages from it the way other people quote the Bible. This is pertinent because my sentence about teaching our children how not to overshare on the internet reminded me of a line from the end of my favorite book, and I think it is very relevant to what I was saying above:
I only wish you could be here to see our children someday when we have them, and to help us teach them to handle this liberty we’ve won for ourselves. Nobody knows what it really means yet. -Jemima Reid, Time Enough for Drums, p. 238
While the liberty Jemima was referring to was the liberty from England and King George III, we as bloggers have a great amount of liberty as well. I used that liberty to share all sorts of things that I have since decided I don’t want to share. And that’s the wonderful thing about WordPress – I can just mark them private and voilà! They’re unshared. But, as anyone who’s ever been haunted by a stupid mistake knows, nothing is ever really unshared on the internet, which is why I’ve always been so careful about the things I do share about my family.
Okay, so I kind of got off on a tangent there. Still. Five years. Wow. I’m not sure I ever thought I would stick with blogging this long, but I’m awfully glad I have. So many things on the internet have come and gone, but this has stuck for me, and it feels good. Fulfilling.
So. Assuming the world doesn’t end on Friday, here’s to another five years of flying with WordPress. Here’s to success in writing. Here’s to a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
(c) 2012. All rights reserved.
- Why do you blog? (clumsymusings.wordpress.com)