Today is a notable anniversary for me: 15 years ago today, I wrote the first entry on my brand-new blog. As I've recounted before, the blog started as a programming project that was an outgrowth of a book I'd worked on. And a certain amount of "how hard could it be?"
I've got just over 2500 posts, which averages .46 entries per day since I started. (Needless to say, that was before Facebook and Twitter.) Per a somewhat crude count, I've written about 804,000 words. Plus there's a lot of code.
What we write about when we write blog entries
The themes I've addressed have changed over the years, depending on what I was doing. I wrote a lot in the early days about programming, since I was doing a lot of that. When I glance over at the list of the 25 most popular entries, I see that 20 of them pertain to programming in ASP.NET.
But there are some gratifying exceptions:
As I shifted in my career, I wrote more about the process of technical writing and then about editing in general:
I occasionally put together something about Microsoft Word:
I've written about motorcycling, which occasionally intersects with my obsession with traffic:
People who've come by the blog recently will of course know that these days, I post Friday words, about new-to-me words and fun-for-me word histories.
A community of bloggers
One of the great things about blogging in the pre-social media days was the community. You'd comment on a blog, or someone would comment on yours, and you would become blog friends, the way we are now friends with people on Facebook or Twitter who we've never met in person.
I still "know" people on social media who I met originally through blogging. Among them are Ben Zimmer, Colt Kwong, Jeff Atwood, Jerry Kindall,
John McIntyre, Jonathon Owen, Lauren Squires, Leon Bambrick, Michael Covarrubias, and Nancy Friedman.
Some of these people I've even managed to meet in real life. :)
But mostly it's for fun
There's serious stuff on the blog, and there are posts here that I have submitted in the past as writing samples for job applications. Writing a blog for this long has—or so I like to think—helped improve my writing. As the world of technical writing moved toward a more friendly voice and tone, the practice I'd had in writing many, many blog entries proved to be professionally useful.
But in the end, it has all been, and continues to be, primarily for my own amusement. Now and then I'll open up the big ol' can of worms that constitutes the code for this blog and make some sort of tweak, which always takes me back to the first days when it was kind of amazing to me that I could even do this. I would never have guessed all those years ago that I'd still be posting here.