It was 15 years ago today…

…that I began the Girl with Moxie blog. To paraphrase another song, I started at Blogspot, now I’m here (on self-hosted WordPress).

A lot has changed for me in 15 years, both personally and professionally. I started the blog out of boredom and restlessness at my office job. One day while surfing the interwebz, I found a wealth of bloggers who were writing about music, movies, TV, books, their lives, their jobs, their kids. I was introduced to music I had never heard of, found recipes and ideas that intrigued me, made new friends. I decided to dive in and write about whatever was on my mind.

I miss that simplicity. Because while I enjoy Instagram and Twitter is good for breaking news and a laugh, and Facebook does occasionally have its merits, there was something very gratifying about seeking out blogs to read and connecting with fellow bloggers on a much more low-tech scale. Long-form writing is still around, but it is often drowned out by all the video content.

Even though I don’t blog like I used to, I refuse to give up this site for many reasons, the main one being that it’s still an avenue for me to explore ideas and share my experiences without the editorial process of querying, rewriting, editing and handling rejection. I still get some traffic here (seeing the Google searches that bring people to the GWM blog is often amusing), a good friend hosts the site for free, and it’s an archive of my cyberpresence in a way that other resources aren’t.

Here’s the plan: I’ll share content from that first year and add some updates. I’ll try to carve out the time to craft new posts (it ain’t easy these days, for reasons I will get into later).

Let’s do this, kids.

10, ten, 10th anniversary, 10 button

Now We Are Ten

(I totally mixed up my dates and thought the 10th anniversary was June 24, but it was June 14. So I’m cheating and dating this post for June 14, even though I wrote it on June 24. That’s because it’s my blog and I can do what I want. – Moxie)

10, ten, 10th anniversary, 10 button

Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth via Compfight cc

I remember when I turned ten years old. My friend Christy’s* mom said to me, “you’re a decade old now,” and that made a big impression on me. “A decade” sounds way more intense and impressive than “ten years.”

If you would have told me 10 years ago, after writing the post that launched a thousand ships that started it all, that I would still be blogging, I would have shrugged it off. And to be fair, there were long dry spells on the blog. (I doubt that will change anytime soon.) But it’s been a big part of my life in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

It all started because I didn’t have enough to keep me busy at my office job, and blogs looked fun and a way for me to flex my creative muscles. I could write blog posts, read others, and look as if I was working intently on an assignment. Once I was fired, the blog continued to be a creative outlet and gave me skills I could use in future jobs. And I’m inclined to think that blogging gave me the courage to transition into freelancing and leave the cubicle world behind.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve moved to self-hosted WordPress, added a Facebook Page and Twitter account, and spent lord knows how many hours fixing issues, drafting content, looking for images or videos, writing tweets, writing FB Page posts. I’ve learned practical skills, such as how to upload WordPress via FTP, and life lessons, such as never posting content I’m not willing to share publicly. I’ve semi-revealed my true identity, and I have several family members who follow GWM on social media, but I still keep the blog on the DL from clients and others.

GWM has netted me friends far and wide. I would have never connected with Barbara of Bad Tempered Zombie – she’s still blogging, by the way, and writing amazing articles on music & culture – and I hope we won’t go another 10 years without meeting in person. I still remember when Beth of Cup of Coffey came to meet me at ATL when I was making a connecting flight. She introduced me to so much amazing music via her blog and is a big reason why I went to VoodooFest in 2008 to see R.E.M. perform. And Becky (Damn, all these B names, what is that about?) of The PopEye had some of the craziest, funniest commentary on reality TV back in the day. More recently I met Amy of Limit Reached – now Chronicles of Nothing – and found a friend and like-minded blogger who gets it like Billy Idol gets it.

In that original blog post, I wrote about getting published. I’ve since had many bylines and while that’s been very cool, it was getting my fiction and poetry published that has been a big milestone for me. And y’all have been super supportive of my novel writing efforts, as evidenced by my successful crowd-funding campaign in 2012 to help me with research. (If you donated, I’ll be sending out an update on that soon.) I’m still squeezing in time to write fiction, poetry and essays in between paying gigs, though some weeks it’s harder than others to make the time to write for pleasure.

I have no idea what the next 10 years has in store for me. By that time we may all be pod people wearing Google Glass and eating Soylent Green. (Holy crap, I just googled “soylent green” and found this. I’m a little freaked out now.) Until then, I’ll keep blogging when I can, sharing pithy comments and witticisms on Facebook and Twitter, and doing my best to keep y’all entertained.

Got My Mind on My Blog, Got My Blog on My Mind*

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

*paraphrasing Snoop Dogg (NSFW)

This May it will be 10 years since I started this blog. I haven’t lived in one place that long since I was a kid, so to have done something – even if sporadically – for 10 years is a stunning achievement.

With this anniversary in mind, I’m working on ways to make this blog more entertaining and enterprising. I’ve signed up with Bloglovin to generate more traffic and I’m using Influenster as well. Amy over at Chronicles of Nothing clued me in to the fabulous and helpful SITS Girls site and Facebook group, so I’ll be incorporating some of their suggestions. I have more ads on the site, and will begin recruiting some guest posts.

But what about writing actual content? I admit that it’s way easier to shoot my mouth off via Twitter and Facebook than it is to write a long post. I hate to write anything that’s poorly researched or half-assed, which editors appreciate, but it makes for minimal posting on the actual blog. So to compensate for this, I may do some promotional posts and giveaways, since people like getting free stuff.

For those of you who have been reading since the early years, when I was a bored magazine editor with way too much time on her hands, thank you for sticking it out this long. For those of you who may be new to GWM, thanks for stopping by to read my sometimes witty, often wacky, missives on anything and everything. I’ll do my best to keep this site going for as long as the Internet will let me.

Moxie, girl with moxie

This cookie is for you. Well, not really, because I already ate it. But I would have shared it with you. Honest.

 

 

Blogging Streak Has Ended

The last three days were either busy or I was too emotionally spent to blog. More of the latter than the former, if we’re being honest. Yesterday was Momcat’s birthday and the days leading up to it are very challenging for me. But I’m feeling better now, and ready to get back into the game.

Anniversary

One year ago today, I was fired. It feels as if it’s been many years since I worked at that job, and yet there are days when the pain still feels very fresh. For many months I had nightmares that I keep going into the office to work despite being fired, and no one tells me to stop working or to leave. This morning, I had a dream that my former boss, Momcat, and I were about to have a conversation as to what happened that led to the firing. I woke up before the conversation started, but for the first time, I didn’t feel upset about a dream involving my former boss.

Since December 4, 2006, a lot of things have happened to me and my former coworkers:

Within weeks of my firing, my former boss got pregnant. I still wonder if fertility drugs and the stress of trying to get pregnant was part of the reason why she was so nasty to me at times. It irritates me to think that she may have said to people, “I was so stressed because of Moxie that I couldn’t get pregnant.” While that may have been partially true, I’m not so powerful that I render people infertile. My mutant power is screwing up electronic devices, thank you very much.

In summer 2007, the former boss left the company to have the baby and become a stay-at-home mom. She really wanted to be a mom, and she finally got her wish. I think she had the idea that being a wife and mother would bring her some validation that she’d been lacking. I hope she finally feels met.

In March 2007, I met Joe and he moved in.
While I was ready to be in a serious relationship, my relationship with Joe has stretched me in ways that I didn’t expect. The last 2-3 months have been very difficult on a number of levels and we are trying to be better partners to each other, as well as better to ourselves.

My former colleague and good friend Andrea* moved from Africa to the UK, got into graduate school, and got engaged.
Andrea is an awesome, funny, idealistic woman that I am so glad to know. I really want her to write a book or blog about all of her adventures, like about the time she got paid with a huge bag of money and the time she was teaching English during a blackout in a small Chilean village. Her fiance, Edward, is a charming mega-intelligent Brit who makes you feel like you are the most important person in the room. They should be in town later this month.

Another former colleague, Jenny, left the company to work with some other former colleagues doing something completely different. Jenny was a superstar at the company, loved by many people, but I don’t think she thought so. She worked on one of the most well-known publications and would stay for hours just getting everything done. When she decided to move on to new things, I was pretty surprised, but very happy for her. She and her red pencil will end up ruling a small country one day, if not the world.

I have put myself in a position where I am struggling professionally and financially, not to mention physically and emotionally. I have done this several times in my life, mainly when I’ve felt that I was not appreciated enough at a corporate job. I leave the job, whine and complain about the place, insist that I will not go back to a corporate environment on a permanent full-time basis, and within 2 years or so I am back in the mix, trying to trick myself into believing I can make myself deal with corporate life. After 8 months on the job, I start screwing myself over again. The truth is that I am a grown-ass woman, as T-Wizzle would say, and it’s time I stopped doing this to myself, much less subjecting other people to my craziness. I’ll let you know what I decide to do instead.

*All names have been changed.