Saturday, June 09, 2012

Seven Years Later

Happy birthday, blog!

Today is this blog's seventh birthday. In blog years that's basically ancient, and I have to say - I'm proud that I've been able to stick with The New Me for so long. It's seen me through most of my important, hilarious, embarrassing, and wonderful milestones, while serving as a living document about my life. I wouldn't trade that for anything (except maybe a bit more self-censorship in my early 20s - live and learn). Here are some stats to help put things in perspective:

The life of a blog.

Published posts: 1,458
Unpublished drafts: 15
Comments: 6,842
Pageviews in July 2005: 4,135
Pageviews in May 2012: 27,142
Most popular post: How to Make a Rain Barrel
Second most popular post (because I'm still mad that Nathan's guest post is number one): The Best Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe Ever

And now a little retrospective of the last seven June 9ths (or as close as I could get):

June 9, 2005: I was 22 years old, Nathan and I were spending the summer in Houston, I hadn't found a job yet, I wanted to be a writer, and I was extremely melodramatic and earnest about everything. (Did I mention I was 22?) 

June 9, 2006: I was 23 years old and in the middle of reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, which was my first experience with creative nonfiction. I had joined roller derby and was obsessed, blogging mostly about practices and how much I loved skating.

June 9, 2007: I was 24 years old, and I had just quit the Nacogdoches Rollergirls, which was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was finishing my masters in library science, and we had just started our monthly craft club sessions.

June 9, 2008: I was 25 years old and living alone in our apartment for the summer because Nathan was doing thesis research in Kentucky. I spent my time sewing, riding my bike because Nathan had taken the car with him, working at the library, and going for two mile long runs (which was my personal record at the time).

June 10, 2009: I was 26 years old, spent many evenings after work drinking a beer at the park with Nathan and Seamus while dreaming of our future backyard. I was busy documenting East Texas cemeteries for a library project, entering (and losing) the blueberry pie contest, and making weekly writing goals.

June 9, 2010: I was 27 years old, training for a century bike ride I never completed, a bunch of my friends were pregnant, we played a lot of kickball, and I was hoping to start reading more books than blogs (still working on that one...).

June 9, 2011: I was 28 years old, I had just revealed that we were moving to North Carolina at the end of the summer for UNCW, it was really hot in Texas and that made running hard, and I had just started packing.

June 9, 2012: I am 29 years old. I've just finished my first year of my MFA, I'm working in a wine store part time, I have two dogs, four chickens, and a few thousand bees, Nathan and I are getting married in five months. I still want to be writer.

What comes after seven years?

I'm going to keep blogging, obviously. I don't think I could stop if I tried - I've come to rely on and treasure the community I've found through this hobby, the friends I've made, and the connections we've built. I learn so much from my fellow bloggers, and I truly believe my life has been made better through the kind of reflection that a blog fosters.

On the other hand, I feel like my blog is in a transitional period. (Then again, aren't we all?) This blog has always evolved, focusing on whatever interested me at the time, which allowed me to grow and change as needed. Now, however, I feel pulled to sharpen my focus and find my niche, and I think I've come close to that with the homesteading community. Since I started writing more about our adventures with chickens, bees, and our garden, I've gotten more views and comments than ever before. More important, though, is that sharing these stories has made blogging seem new and exciting again, and that's a thrill that can't be ignored.

I'm not sure how the shift will take place, what the redesign will look like, or what I might rename the blog. (If you have suggestions, please send them. That's the part I'm having the most trouble with!) Just know that whatever happens, whatever changes I make, this will still be my blog and my stories. I wouldn't want it to be anything else.

And finally, a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has commented, emailed, subscribed, and read along. Y'all are the main reason it's been a great seven years, and why I'm looking forward to the next seven. <3


  1. I can't quiiiite remember when I started reading this blog, but I know I was still in Ohio at the time, and it was around NaNoWriMo, so I'm thinking it was late '07. So although I have not commented here very much, I have been a faithful reader, and enjoyed seeing the way your life evolves. Thanks for all your posts!

    1. Thanks for reading for so long, Allyson! I don't comment on your blog that often either, but I am definitely inspired by your monthly reading reports. They've encouraged me to read more (especially literary journals!).

  2. I started reading because of all the running mainly - you are such an inspiration for that. The longest stretch of running I have done is 6 minutes (I am on my 2nd attempt at Couch to 5K) so I have a ways to go with that.

    As for renaming the blog - what about The Good Life? I know I commented a while back about the old 70's BBC sitcom - here's a link to a youtube snippet of it:

    They were all self sufficient and had animals and veggies too!! Plus I love the show in a big way.

    Good luck with the new name whatever you may decide.


    1. I hope to blog about running again after the summer is over. Right now my running is mostly about surviving the heat and humidity. :)

      I still haven't watched that show yet, but it's on my list. Thanks for the suggestion - it's definitely the direction I'm trying to go in!

  3. I love the homesteading posts you've been writing lately (in addition to everything else you write). Can't wait to see where you take your blog!

    1. Thanks Laura! I appreciate your faith in me and my blog. :)

  4. Happy birthday, favorite blog of mine! Indeed, seven years is very, very old in blog time. Thanks for all the great posts, Chrissy, and the friendship over the past year. I was thinking about it this morning, and I realized that in many ways, your blog is one that I had hoped to find from the beginning--an aspiring writer with whom I had a lot in common but who also inspired me with the differences between us.

    I owe much gratitude to you and Raquelita for all the goal-setting and dreaming big things that I've seen you do so openly and so freely on your blogs. I still sometimes feel hesitant about goal-setting for fear that I may fail, but I'm learning how to set goals so that I don't feel crushed under my own expectations of myself. So thank you for that and for all the good times we've shared via our blogs. I'm certain that if we lived in the same town, we would be friends. xoxo

    PS I'm down with an evolving blog, but I love that you write about your fitness, your writing, your upcoming wedding--all good stuff. I am selfishly hoping you don't stop writing about the non-homesteading topics.

    1. Rosie, your blog is also one of my favorites. I'm glad the feeling is mutual. :)

      And I'm flattered that you think I have the restraint to stop writing about myself incessantly. I am thinking this shift will be less of a change of pace, and more a way to highlight certain topics (like chickens! and bees!). The non-homesteading stuff will remain firmly in place. :)

    2. Woo-hoo! I'm glad to hear this because I would miss hearing about you.

      This makes me wonder, though, about the extent to which we can write about "stuff" (like homesteading, or cooking, or writing, etc.) and do it effectively without putting ourselves into the story. I'm a reader who enjoys knowing something about the author and her life :-)

    3. I'm sure some people can write a non-personal blog about various topics, but I am not that person, and I don't really like those blogs. I also prefer to read about an interesting (or non-interesting!) topic through the perspective of an interesting person. I think Young House Love is a great example of this. I don't read any other home style/decor blogs, but I just love John and Sherry and think everything they do is the best.

  5. Happy birthday, blog!

  6. Wow, congratulations! That's amazing :) I hope that my blog's still going in 7 years!