Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

I've Been Blogging For Nine Years Today, and It's Mostly Your Fault

Would you believe that this weblog is NINE YEARS OLD today? Because it is! To celebrate, here is a picture of me inside the number nine giving you the crazy eyes.

Schmutzie.com is 9!

I had no idea when I started blogging, under the Palinode's influence, that it would be anything other than an online version of letters to friends I hadn't yet met, so when I hit publish on my first blog entry — it was, bizarrely, an essay about why it's a bad idea to swallow your own tongue — I went about my life as though nothing remarkable had happened.

I look back at blogger-me of 2003, and I feel like patting her on the head like she's a goofy, drooling puppy with oversized feet that keep stepping on her own ears, because DAMN I was so cute not knowing all the stuff I didn't know.

For instance, I didn't know that: I don't know if you are truly aware of the power that you all have together, but this community, beginning with the Palinode, has given me my life.

This is not hyperbole. Look at that list up there of all the things that have come to pass in my life because of all of us hanging out here together in the ether we call the Internet. Sure, it hasn't all been wine and song here. I was invited to die in a pool of blood once by an extra thoughtful commenter, and there was that guy who expressed displeasure that my site did not live up to the dirtiness my name implied and suggested I send him just a little something to make up for it. The creeps and assholes, though — true stalkers and violent/sexual offenders aside — are just the colour that spice up this little constellation we've built together.

The path of my entire life has been altered and moulded here, and I cannot find the words to impress upon you the magnitude of this. My entire life is another thing now because of this place.

My father, a man who barely understands how to open an email let alone play solitaire on a computer, turned to me a month or so ago and said The internet has been good for you, hasn't it? It's changed you. It's good to see you happy and doing things you love to do. He doesn't really understand what I do here, but he see its effects on me. I answered by telling him about all of you.

It's you I want to thank for these nine years. You left comments, you wrote emails, you told me I could do it when I thought I couldn't, you told me to rest when I was tired, you told me to get off my ass when I was being an ass, you hired me, you loved me, you passed me tissues at conferences, you set me straight when I went too far, and you lured me out when I didn't go far enough.

Thank you all for these nine years. You — yes, even you who is just itching to tell me which grammar rule I've broken this time — are why I will be here for nine more.

Thank you.

Grace in Small Things: Sunday Edition #108

Geof