Hard to believe that it was one year ago, today, that this little old blog was launched.
I have never, ever, been a regular writer in my life. I've started countless journals, only to stop after a month or a week. So I had no idea what to expect when I started blogging. It was just something new to try, something to push me out of my comfort zone. I had no idea if I'd keep it up, or get bored with it, or realize that I really had nothing important to say.
One year later, I'm still enjoying blogging. I'm finding that I do have important things to say and to share with total strangers. And apparently, people want to hear what I have to say. That's really powerful and really humbling, all at the same time.
I've really enjoyed all the people I've "met" through this blog. I love reading your comments, your emails, your thoughts. I've discovered a lot of great blogs via the comments section. (Which reminds me, that blogroll needs some serious updating!) It's been interesting to see which posts strike a nerve, which ones lead to interesting and semi-related comment threads, and how people respond to what's on my mind. I hope that this blog continues to inspire you, to make you think, and to entertain you.
Blogging has also had some unintended consequences for me. This blog has helped me see myself as a "writer", something I was never able to do before. As a result, I've found that my professional writing has improved: it's easier to sit down and get my thoughts on paper, and I don't procrastinate or stress as much over getting writing stuff done. And I've started to take on more writing projects--the one last summer, and the "She's Such a Geek" submission--projects I would have never thought I could do a year ago. Since doing the blog pseudonymously is somewhat risky, I've found myself more willing to take risks professionally too: submitting to conferences and journals earlier, speaking up more for what I believe is right and just, stretching myself in terms of the research I do. It's also affected my teaching: I've started incorporating more on-line discussion and more informal writing into my courses (much to the chagrin of my hard-core "I hate writing, that's why I'm a techie" students), including blogging and wikis.
When I started the blog, I had no idea that the year ahead would be tumultuous, that I would face challenges I had not faced before. Having the blog as a space to vent and to process these things has been tremendously helpful. As I enter a year that is equally uncertain and contains greater challenges, both professionally and personally, I hope that the blog continues to provide the same sort of catharsis for me, and that by sharing my experiences I can enlighten others.
Happy birthday, little blog!