January 23, 2012

Dear Blog

On this day in 2004, I wrote the first entry here.  My darling friend Ken made it for me, and it goes without saying that it was one of the most incredible gifts I've ever received.  Today marks my 8th Blogiversary - eight years of having this in my life, and eight years of our family considering all of you, collectively "The Blog".  We've never talked like The Blog is the part I write.  We talk about it like its you.  We say things like "What does The Blog think?" or "The Blog isn't going to like this" or "I can't wait to tell The Blog".  The Blog is you,  and I wanted to take a minute to tell you that this experience has changed my life, taught me things and changed me in ways that I would never have predicted. I have some things I'd like to thank you for, my dear little blog.

For making me a better writer.  I know not all writers agree, but for me, the nature of my relationship with The Blog has been a pretty big pile of awesome.  I feel like eight years of immediate feedback has changed the way I think and helped me learn to write what I mean to say.  Eight years of seeing immediately when I'm being understood by The Blog and when I've failed miserably has (I think) helped me to land where I want to be more of the time.  Thank you.

For supporting my career. Very early on, when I had my first book deal and was just starting this blog - but no book had been published, I was agonizing about what might happen if I wrote a book and it had abysmal sales.  I lay awake at night thinking about how terrible it would be, how embarrassing, how humiliating it would be to fail at this. What if, I mused to someone, what if I wrote a book and NOBODY bought it?  They said to me that at least they would buy it, and my other friends too.  "Your friends are pretty likely to buy your book" she said.   I sat there hoping I had enough friends.  Turns out I had no idea. I was about to have The Blog.  Thank you.

For teaching me a lot about technology.  When I started doing this, I had no idea what I was doing. With anything.  I'm not saying that I'm a total computer whiz now, but I can write basic HTML, solve minor tech issues, have a minimum understanding of what a server does, can use a digital camera pretty well, can use a whole lot of different software, and stay pretty current with all of it out of necessity.  A few days ago I taught someone how to export a jpeg in a way that helped them serve their Blog, and I don't think I would have ever thought of myself as someone who had anything like that to offer. Thank you.

For bringing some of the best people I've ever met into my everyday life. Every so often The Blog has given birth to someone who has gone on to have a life outside The Blog and in my kitchen, inbox, or on the other end of the phone. Thank you.

For teaching me that not all knitters are nice, and that The Blog is diverse.  Just like there is a certain percentage of every population that is mentally ill in a way that is dangerous to themselves and others, the same can be true of The Blog. Just like there are some people who would hurt me in my real world, there are people in our virtual world who would do the same - and virtual people are real people capable of manifesting in real ways.  I know - that seems like a bizarre thing to be grateful for, but I don't think I really understood.  I've learned to be careful and thoughtful, but not afraid... and I am safer now, and so is my family. Thank you.

For giving me a social safety net almost everywhere I go. The Blog has given me directions, food, beer, help, company and advice when I've been on the road, and that has made a difference so many times.  I'm so grateful for what it has meant to have all of you with me virtually, and sometimes literally. Once The Blog turned out to be a doctor once helped me when I was sick and far from home.  Once The Blog was a pharmacist, another time, a lawyer. Once The Blog showed up with a car and rescued me from a situation that was possibly dangerous and definitely scary, and The Blog once scooped me out of the wrong airport in an antiquated Honda, and got me to the right airport after I got my states mixed up and wasn't going to make it home in time for something important. Once The Blog knew without being told, that I was having one of the worst days of my life, and mystically knew to send me an email that said exactly the right thing.  Once The Blog sent me thousands of messages of comfort when my friend died.  The Blog wished us well after our wedding day. The Blog is powerful, and real and I cannot tell you how many times you have helped me in a thousand big and little ways. From knowing the best vegetarian restaurant in Austin to having a phone number for a knitter/dentist in Australia,  having The Blog everywhere is amazing.  Thank you.

Finally, for giving me a world much bigger and wider than my own could ever  be without you, and your multitude of perspectives and thoughts.  Dear Blog, you mean the world to me.

Thank you for the last eight years. I love you.

Posted by Stephanie at January 23, 2012 1:03 PM