August 8, 2012

Blogaversary, And Why I Blog

I've been blogging for nine years almost exactly. Happy Blogaversary to me! After nine years, I've entered into some rather lengthy internal debates about why I continue to do this. As it turns out, the answer is simple. I blog because I want to. If I didn't, I'd stop.

I don't need advice on blogging. I don't really need story ideas. When I don't know what to write, I don't write. Or I just ramble about something that's rattling around my head. I don't need products to review. Chances are I won't get around to reviewing them and I don't want to feel obligated to anyone for any morsel of content. I don't need strategies to reach a larger audience or conferences telling me how to get them. The idea of people getting together to catch up is nice but certainly it's not necessary for a medium that's all about self-expression. Though I don't get the comments I used to, my site stats tell me that everyone's still around. Not that I check my site stats all that often. I had some ads once. I hated it and the $100 a month I was getting wasn't worth the grief.

Sometimes I think about giving up. Sometimes I sit in front of my laptop after (or before) a long hard day and it's just one more thing that I don't want to deal with. I don't want to struggle with an idea, don't want to string together witty sentences and don't have a funny bathroom story. But then I figured I'd be pissed at myself if I quit before the ten year mark. And I have more to say.

Over the past nine years, blogging changed. Blogs used to be by and about individuals. Now they're everywhere. Everything and everyone has them and as we've grown used to soundbites and 144 character messages, individual blogs have declined, ceding territory to Facebook and Twitter.

But I'm lucky because some things never change. Many of the folks I started blogging with - the class of 2003 - are still going strong. And quite a few of the folks who read my blog when it was humbly beginning have stuck around. And while some of what I wrote way back when was laughably bad, I just went back and read Haiku For Monday #1. It went a little something like this:

The weekend is gone

And now I'm trying to work

Crap crap crap crap crap

Seems right at home today, doesn't it?

Through 3,919 entries, 86,893 comments, countless bathroom stories, and a thousand or so very poorly executed ideas, I haven't needed PR people or book deals or conferences or advertising to keep going. I've just needed you. Thank you for reading.

Posted by Chris at August 8, 2012 7:56 AM

As long as you keep writing, we'll keep reading! Happy Blogaversary Chris.

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 8, 2012 8:26 AM

I look forward to reading all your posts. Thanks.

Posted by: Nancy A at August 8, 2012 8:27 AM

I started blogging in 2004 and agree with all that you've said. I only post randomly now, but I do it because I want to do it. I've met fellow bloggers and have made new friends through the medium and wouldn't change the experience at all. And of course, I'll continue to make the trek over to read your blog each morning! Congrats on nine years!

Posted by: Heather at August 8, 2012 8:41 AM

Happy blogaversary. I have read your blog since about 2005 and rarely comment. But I'll have you know that the few times I have commented on any blog, it has been mostly on yours. I respect your blogging philosophy which is probably why I keep reading.

Posted by: amyd at August 8, 2012 8:44 AM

Congrats! It's been a pleasure to read!

Posted by: Heather at August 8, 2012 8:52 AM

Happy blogiversary! Nine years is a big deal. I think I've been reading for almost all nine, too :) As long as you keep writing, I'll keep reading.

Posted by: Hillary at August 8, 2012 9:11 AM

Posting to echo exactly what everyone else has said... and to add:
Reading a personal blog is like having a one-sided friendship. You are excited to see what's new with that friend each time there is a new post in your feed reader. When these friends stop blogging, I get very sad because it's like they moved, and you have no way to keep in touch.
I feel like I know you and your family from the posts on your blog, and I would be very sad to no longer hear about the musicals, amazing swimming, Owen-isms, and your bathroom stories. So thanks for sticking around and sharing.

Posted by: Lisa at August 8, 2012 9:15 AM

I still read even though I'm on a new domain. Boy, how your life has changed in 9 years!

Posted by: Zan at August 8, 2012 9:26 AM

You're welcome. Much as you'd stop writing if you didn't want to anymore, I'd stop reading if I thought this sucked. It doesn't, and I'm happy you do it.

Posted by: Martin at August 8, 2012 9:28 AM

Happy Blogaversary!! Here's to many more! Your blog is one of my first "internet must-do's" every morning, so keep it comin! And if ever I decided to start my own blog, you're someone I'd come to for guidance into the big, bad blog world ;)

Posted by: Kris at August 8, 2012 9:39 AM

Thank you for writing! Every day when I come into work I look forward to seeing what you have to say. :)

Posted by: akofaolain at August 8, 2012 9:50 AM

Happy Blogiversary!!

I admit to not commenting as much, but yours is one of the few I still read daily (or whenever you post) right away. :) I know I'd be sad if/when you decide to stop blogging, but I'd understand. It's YOUR blog, so you can do what YOU want. Just give a little warning... and preferably not anytime near April Fools' Day. ;) Thank you! :)

Posted by: Manda at August 8, 2012 10:19 AM

Echoing the sentiments above (especially Manda). Happy Blogaversary and I raise a microwbrew to many more!

Posted by: bacioni at August 8, 2012 10:30 AM

Happy Blogiversary and may you keep on blogging...I'll keep reading!

Posted by: cyndy at August 8, 2012 10:42 AM

Your blog is still one of the few I read daily. I used to have a huge list but many have stopped writing and others have gone off in directions that don't interest me. I know I found your blog, Tesco and Rockstar Mommy all around the same time..and you're the only one still writing. I miss Rockstar Mommy and Tesco! I think Dooce, Mighty Girl and Zoot are the only other originals still around that I still read.

Posted by: Lisa at August 8, 2012 10:46 AM

Thank you for writing! So many of the blogs I read have changed or disappeared. It is nice to tune in here and feel comfortable and welcome every day. I wish I had the energy/intiative/stick to it-iveness to blog. I don't, which is why I instead compulsively read the fantastic blogs of others. Besides, my kids are 6 and 2 and it helps to know I'm not the only parent in the universe.

Posted by: rebecca at August 8, 2012 11:20 AM

Happy Blogoversary! Love you guys!!!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 8, 2012 11:25 AM

Thank you for writing. Happy Blogaversary! Your blog is just about the only one left in my "favorites" file.

Posted by: LeeAnn at August 8, 2012 11:43 AM

Happy to be here through many of those years. :o)

Posted by: Emily at August 8, 2012 12:17 PM

Happy Blogaversary! Your blog is the only blog I read every day. I like the fact that it's just you. No products. No conferences. Just normal stuff. And bathroom stories.

Posted by: James Proffitt at August 8, 2012 12:32 PM

No. Thank you.

Posted by: dbs at August 8, 2012 12:59 PM

Thsnk you for blogging!

Posted by: Maggie at August 8, 2012 1:03 PM

Happy Blogiversary!! I already miss the Fish side of things (her menus were always good!) I would miss the Cactus side too if you stopped. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by: Niki at August 8, 2012 1:12 PM

Happy Blogaversary!

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 8, 2012 1:24 PM

Happy Blogaversary!

Posted by: Busy Mom at August 8, 2012 1:59 PM

Happy Blogaversary Chris! And thank you for sharing your life and its ups and downs with us. I read you every day even though I don't comment as much, and will continue to read as long as you write!

Posted by: Sue R at August 8, 2012 2:22 PM

Another one of your regular readers who does not comment nearly as regularly--sorry! I enjoy reading your musings always. I feel like our kids are growing up at the same time. Please don't stop blogging!

Posted by: vicki at August 8, 2012 3:22 PM

happy birthday, blog :)

you should definitely feel a liiiiiiittle pressure. i'd be sad if you stopped :)

Posted by: kati at August 8, 2012 4:49 PM

I like that.

Posted by: Heidi at August 8, 2012 6:52 PM

Congratulations! I'm at your heel. :) My blog is a rambling craziness too. Heehee.

<3 you. Don't ever quit!

Posted by: oakley at August 8, 2012 8:23 PM

So my begging for audioblogs and random crap I send you is bad? :( Not that I'll ever stop begging for audioblogs. After all, it's my M.O.

Posted by: alektra at August 8, 2012 11:12 PM

Congrats, Chris. Your blog is the only blog that I continue to read every single day. I love your crazy bathroom stories, and everything about the family and your remarkable and unique kids.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at August 9, 2012 2:37 AM

I'm glad you still write. I'm still inspired by the husband, dad, son, friend and man you are.

(And Genesis and Phil Collins rock.)

Posted by: Mindy at August 9, 2012 12:30 PM

I'm glad you still write. I'm still inspired by the husband, dad, son, friend and man you are.

(And Genesis and Phil Collins rock.)

Posted by: Mindy at August 9, 2012 12:48 PM

Congrats! Thanks for the entertainment, Chris. I've been reading since some point in Mia's first year. Even if I don't check everyday, I read it all!

Posted by: Heathet at August 10, 2012 2:57 AM

You really irk me sometimes but I do enjoy your blog. Thanks.

Posted by: linda at August 10, 2012 9:08 AM

Happy blogaversary! I love your blog and it's my first stop in the morning after my coffee and news fix. Love the weeklies!!! My favorite!

Posted by: Julie Andel at August 10, 2012 12:36 PM

Happy Blogaversary! I'll keep reading if you keep writing!

Posted by: ironic1 at August 11, 2012 2:49 PM