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).
(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)
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 postthat 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.