How I started

I started this blog a almost three and a half years ago.

During my maternity leave with Margaret in the summer of 2009, I read Dooce’s book. I poked around her blog a little, but eh. I wasn’t all that interested. A few days later, though, I stumbled upon blogs on the Parenting.com site (which are now sadly defunct) and there was this Mighty Maggie lady I liked a lot. I read all of her posts on Parenting, then moved to her personal site and read all five years of archives. After that I think I moved on to Arwen and made the shocking discovery – four years after the fact – that she and her husband weren’t named Elizabeth and Michael. (OK, technically, I already knew.)

I made the rounds through part of what I now call the Blathering corner of the internet – starting with Maureen, Elizabeth, Manda, and Emily. I vividly remember reading Lucy’s birth story at work on pins and needles hoping everything would be OK.

Then Maggie announced this Blathering thing. In Chicago. Driving distance! I will never, ever know what compelled me to actually sign up and go. I’m not a go-er. I’m not a DO-er. I’m mostly a sit-at-home-er. (Or at least I used to be.) I just really felt like these people were my friends already and to meet them in person would be so awesome I couldn’t pass it up.

Of course, at this point, any “knowing” of them was one sided. I didn’t have a blog myself. I’d read years of their posts, but as I mostly spent my time reading archives I hadn’t even commented much. I was a stranger! A stalker stranger! So, a few weeks after the announcement (check out my embarrassing comments on that one), I started my own teeny blog.

I made a goal to post every day in February so I could get some semblance of enough information for people to get to know me a little and not feel like they were meeting some weirdo. (I can’t speak to whether it may have done the opposite.) I told my husband I wanted to drive to Chicago to meet strangers. I kept posting. I joined Twitter. I read the archives of every attendee (I think there were 18 of us that year). I signed up to stay in a condo with people I’d never met.

The day I left, I told myself over and over “If this doesn’t work you can leave. You can go home. You can get in your car and drive back. At least you didn’t buy plane tickets. You do not have to stay. It will be OK.”

And it was.

It was a little awkward at times, especially when I’d freak people right out by casually referring to something that had happened to them years before. (What YOU don’t read five years worth of journaling by someone before meeting them?) But everyone was so nice and so welcoming I felt like I’ve known them forever. I had such a great time.

(Until I came down with violent morning sickness Saturday night, that is – thanks for that, teeny-tiny Paul fetus – but even then everyone sympathized and Arwen (who was pregnant with twins and didn’t even know it!) shared her Unisom.)

It’s hard to believe this was only three years ago. I feel like I’ve always been a blogger. A Blatheringer. A Twitterer. I have 199 subscriptions in my Google reader and 503 posts under my belt. This October I’ll be heading to Charleston for my fourth Blathering and it seriously cannot come soon enough. The internet isn’t just something I do, it’s part of who I am.

This post was originally going to be for the third birthday of my blog, but it ended up sitting, half-written, in my drafts folder for months until Ginger’s Bring Back the Words linkup/prompt inspired me to finish. Write about why YOU started blogging and head over to Ginger’s yourself to join the fun!

Comments

  1. Hi! I started blogging three years ago but quite sporadically. I am only now finding my groove! I want to join the linkup, so I will be seeing you!!! My very first post explains why I first started, & still holds true! If this is not just something you do but is a part of who you are, then by all means, KEEP BLOGGING!

    http://www.evenifnobodyreadsthis.com/2010/07/girls-gotta-amuse-herself.html?m=1

  2. I love that you read everyone’s archives. This is totally something I would do. I like to be PREPARED.

    • Jessica says:

      It still kills me to start reading a new blog without starting from the beginning. What there’s something important I should know when reading new posts?!?

  3. I love this! My “why I started blogging” is lame and non-post-worthy. It’s: because my friend told me to. Exciting, yeah?

  4. I don’t know why, but I kind of love that The Blathering is basically what made you start a blog. I find that pretty awesome.

    • Jessica says:

      It is awesome. The Blathering is a part of the whole blogging thing for me – it would seem weird without it!

  5. I love hearing how people got started blogging! And I’m so excited to see you at the Blathering this year! Also, jealous that you’ve made it to 4. I originally planned on going to the first one, (got laid off instead) but this will only be my second time.

    • I’m paranoid about missing one at this point! I feel like I need this unbreakable streak or something. Ha!

  6. I find this stuff so interesting, and I am a little jealous of your Blathering trips. I wish I could go!

    I also love that you read archives, too. I do, too, and then I feel like a total stalker! But yeah, how can you know what’s what if you don’t start at the beginning?

    • Exactly! Plus, I love the continuity of reading lots of posts by the same person. I read archives almost like books:)

  7. I started with following mommy blogs from Parenting and Babble. After having a child, and being the first of my group of friends to be a mom, I was craving a community that understood me.

    • I was also the first of my friends to have kids! It was great to find the Parenting blogs and read about other people with little kids.

  8. Hi — here from Ginger’s place! I also love trolling through peoples’ archives. (even my own, is that weird? The stuff I wrote months ago is always better than what I wrote today.) I so admire your bravery in going to the blathering..obviously it was exactly the right thing for you!

    • Jessica says:

      I sometimes read my own archives, too! The stuff I wrote years ago often seems like it was written by a stranger – albeit one I have a lot in common with:)