This weekend, WordPress informed me that my blog is now nine years old.
I look back over the years, and realize that I owe so much to this blog, this space, this WordPress, and to you readers. I remember the day I decided to start a blog. A friend I’d met on one of the first social media groups, Yuwie, had suddenly died. Yuwie was buzzing with people discussing my friend’s death. It was like my Facebook newsfeed today, when a celebrity dies, only, it mattered more. I’d corresponded with this guy. Spent time laughing about life with him. I went inline skating, trying to shake off my grief.
I’d been posting lots of poems to Yuwie, and had gained a loyal following, but I’d heard about “blogs” and wanted to try one. I wanted to be at the forefront of social media (and now I’m scared to try SnapChat – but that’s another story ;D ) Something kept nagging at me as I skated – my own voice? a ghost? – to this day, I don’t know. The voice said, “Start a blog.”
When I hear voices, and trust me, it’s not a rare occurrence, I listen. I skated home and started a blog. I titled it Where the Butterflies Go, after one of my early poems. I wrote many more poems over many months, and in the spring of 2008, my first poetry collection was born, mostly out of poems first published on this blog.
355 blog posts, four more poetry collections, a children’s book of poems illustrated by our daughter Kayla, then 5, a screenplay written because Aaron Sorkin visited and signed this blog, and I joined his online discussion group with the most remarkable people, who inspired me to write it; a name change to HeatherGraceStewart.com, three romantic comedy novels, and a fifth poetry collection later…that’s nine years enjoying the sheer joy and excitement that is Bloggyland.
But what means more than realizing all of those posts and publications is YOU taking the time to sign in and comment, to let me know that you’re reading and enjoying. YOU encouraging me. YOU telling me you wanted a sequel to my first novel, and asking me to go back to my poetry for at least one more collection. YOU sharing my poetry and telling others about this blog and my books. YOU reminding me what my roots are, why I started writing in the first place, and how grateful I am to still be here, with you.
Thanks for being here.