“Have you read my blog today
Three hundred million little USA’s
Your doorstep is just a click away…”
~ Five for Fighting, “Slice”
Eight years ago — probably right around this time of the evening — I decided to start a blog. I’d been thinking about it for a few weeks. I didn’t have any grandiose expectations that anyone except my mom and mother-in-law would ever read this thing, and in fact, they were my original target audience. We were living two hours away at the time and I thought a blog would be the perfect way to keep both sets of grandparents well informed on their grandchildren.
So, I started writing about my kids, who I called Betty and Boo to match my then-blog’s name of The Betty and Boo Chronicles.
I was also reading several book blogs at that time, and I remember feeling like I had discovered my tribe. I was amazed that there were people just like me who were passionate about books, who wrote reviews (I always thought it would be cool to be a book reviewer), and who enjoyed sharing books with others.
So, I started writing about and reviewing books — and as of today, I’ve posted more than 350 book reviews here on the blog which have led to friendships with many incredible writers, trips to New York for Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Conference (back when the latter was called that) and BlogHer, and regular freelancing assignments with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Along with book blogs, eight years ago I was also reading blogs written by parents who, like myself, were raising a child with autism. In 2008, we really didn’t know any other families with a young child on the autism spectrum. We felt incredibly alone in our lives — and quite frankly, in many ways we still do. But back in 2008, I remember feeling for perhaps the first time that there were parents who completely understood the unique challenges of our lives. So very much of what I know now is because of reading these blogs. If you were blogging back then, words cannot express how indebted I am to you. Although I may not blog as much these days about our family’s experiences with autism, I hope that I’ve been able to give that same sense of reassurance to someone else.
Of course, as one may recall, there was a very interesting presidential election happening in 2008. I quickly discovered that I had some thoughts on that and this was the perfect forum to share them.
It’s interesting to think about the past eight years of blogging. Certainly, the blogging community has changed dramatically since I wrote that first post. Many bloggers who were writing back then are no longer doing so and others have spun their blogs into books, businesses, and other profitable endeavors. New shiny toys and trends have come and gone, and every so often, some pundit or social media marketer/guru/expert/rockstar/ninja claims that blogging is dead or on life support and we should pack up shop and turn off the lights because nobody is reading anyway.
Maybe there’s some truth to that, but mostly I think that’s bullshit. I subscribe to 1,476 blogs that post something on a regular basis. That includes 338 book blogs. I also have an additional 82 blogs flagged as “Blogs That Have Gone Defunct” so that I don’t miss a post if and when their owner decides to get back into the game, which has certainly happened on occasion.
Here’s what I do know: as much as this blog was intended to be a chronicle of our lives and of the books I was reading, it also was very much for me. It was born at a time when I wanted and needed to start writing again. If I was the only person reading these 2,147 published posts since August 14, 2008 that would have been fine — but I’m so grateful that you’re interested in hearing what I have to say. So very grateful.
And indeed, after blogging for 8 years, I have ZERO intentions of closing up shop anytime soon. None. I still have a few more things to say in this corner of the Internet that I carved out for myself in 2008. I’m not going anywhere.
So, raise a glass or a piece of cake or whatever your pleasure may be. Here’s to the next eight years and the next eight after that and ….
This is post #77 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project and post #2,147 since August 14, 2008.