I was driving north on La Brea this week, as the Hollywood sign came into view, when a memory came back: A commercial shoot. Two weeks at the Sunset Marquis. Posing for photos with coworkers in oversized glasses and new clothes from Fred Segal, the Hollywood sign in the background. Documenting every memory, scribbling ideas into a journal, jotting down the funny quips. Writing one-liners about celebrity sightings (Sally Struthers pulled up next to me at the red light, and before it turned green, I was already crying), strange men in bars, temperamental directors and flirty DPs. Crafting ironic headlines that described our days. And wondering what we’d ever do with it all.
Now I know what I was doing then:
I was blogging.
That was 1998.
Several years later, I was working on a book that I co-authored, and my agent asked what I wanted to write. “I want some kind of column,” I told her. “I want to be able to write about all kinds of stuff. Whatever is on my mind that day. Just…all kinds of stuff. Is that crazy?”
Yes it was, she assured me. It was crazy.
But in Februry of 2006, I opened a free blogspot account, picked the only name I couldn’t think of that wasn’t taken (damn you, City Mama!) and start to tell my story.
Now, 5 years after that, 951 Mom-101 posts later (not counting the horrible unpublished ones), I think it’s safe to call myself a blogger. Which means this month is my five year blogging anniversary.
Oh sure, it may look like I started in January of 2006 but not so. I wrote that very first post after midnight on February 1 and backdated it. I didn’t want to wait another 29 day to have “archives.” I know, totally embarrassing. Don’t tell anyone.
Back when I started, I was trying to find my voice as a writer. Trying to connect with parents in more substantial ways than a message board. Hoping to have a semi-anonymous forum to tell stories and read better ones and figure out just what kind of writer I wanted to be. I never could have imagined that it would have lead to publishing opportunities, magazine interviews, TV appearances (gulp) my own business which gives me crazy joy every day, and some of the most amazing friends on the planet–online or off.
Something else has changed in these five years too.
I’ve fallen in love with writing for myself.
If I go more than a few days without posting I get all twitchy. If I go more than a few days I get a little down. I can’t identify it entirely, and it’s not conscious. But when I’m so busy with work and life that I can’t get the thoughts in my head out and on paper, when I’m so busy writing words that are assigned to me instead of the ones that spring organically from my heart, I get increasingly uncomfortable. It’s only when I can post again that I can breathe.
That may sound like an addiction. I’ve even heard blogging described as a drug.
It’s not. It’s a vitamin.
Thank you, readers. Thank you friends. Thank you so much for being here for all of it for five years.
When I celebrated my daughter’s first birthday.
When I confessed my horrible taste in music.
When I muddled through sleep training.
When I announced my second pregnancy.
When my second pregnancy turned scary.
When I found myself without a baby name.
When Sage was born perfect.
When Momsie died.
When Desdemona died.
When Nate went though culinary schoo.
When I went back to work full time.
When I confess my cooking sins.
When I rant about the business of blogging.
When I make fun of the business of blogging.
When I give the community a big hug because it totally totally deserves it.
When I make fun of the internet because it totally totally deserves it.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Thanks Alice for having a blog so freaking good that I dared to start my own. Thanks Kristen for being an amazing business partner and friend who I met when she let comments on my first posts. And thanks to all of you. Because you (and blogspot and Al Gore) have made it okay for me to “have a column about anything” for five years.
I hope I can give back to you even an iota of what you have given me.
Psst, it’s also the five year birthday of Cool Mom Picks, which I’m wildly proud of. Click over this week and say hi. We’re giving away 25 killer goodie bags.