Monday, February 16, 2009

A milestone: as of yesterday, I have been blogging for five years.

Five years. That feels like a long time. I had no idea, when I started, that this blog would become such a defining part of Mistress Matisse. But it has. I have often wondered what would have happened if I’d started blogging anonymously. Would I have as many readers? Would I have been outed by now, or would I have been able to remain a mystery? And what would I have said, and not said, differently? I’ll never know.

I’ve been writing for The Stranger for about eight years, and between that column and this, I have a lot of words out there in the world. (Plus there’s the podcasts, and a few video clips here and there.) There are good sides and bad sides to that. If you want to get to know me, there’s a lot of information available. If you’re wondering about an issue that might fall under my umbrella of expertise, search around a bit, chances are I’ve talked about it.

Or, if you want something to be offended about, you can just cherry-pick through the archives, and I’m sure you can find something I’ve said that you think is reprehensible. I actually don’t subscribe to the idea that “if you don’t piss people off, you aren’t doing it right.” But as even-handed as I think I’m being, some people seem determined to be offended. Which I find baffling… but hey, if that’s what you get off on, enjoy yourselves. I have weird hobbies too.

I admit that some days I think, “Oh god, I have to blog. I don’t want to, I have nothing to say, I don't feel like writing... but I have to put something up.” My relationship with this blog is sometimes a bit like the one Seymour had with his blood-sucking alien plant in Little Shop of Horrors. It’s brought me a lot of great things – and great people – but it does suck up a lot of my personal juice.

But over the years, I’ve learned to worry less about it – I don’t check my hit counts every day, like I once did, or obsess about Technocrati ranks. Internet fame is an ephemeral thing. If you try to hang your hat on it, you’ll just make yourself crazy. As a blogger, I’ve learned a lot about just doing the best I can, and being gentle with myself for not always doing moremoreMORE.

Having the Twitter feed does makes me a feel a bit less derelict in my duty when I play hooky. It also allows me to have some back-and-forth with people, without having the flood of comment-spam and hate-bombers that the comment feature unfortunately devolved into. I’m interested in doing more podcasting, too, and I’m also intrigued by this application, as brought to my attention by the clever Violet Blue: 12seconds video. So you may be seeing some of that in the near future…

It’s hard to know how this blog will end. Perhaps fashions in internet communications will evolve and render blogs obsolete. Or maybe I’ll just wake up one day and realize I’m done with it. But for now, I’m still here. We’ll see what the next five years brings.

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