Yesterday, this website turned one year old. I meant to throw a party, but I forgot. I'd been thinking about it for weeks, actually - the importance of this day for me, the significance of having what I consider to be my real, grown-up website turn a whole year old - and I really wanted to write something special, to celebrate in some official way. But the day was another day, full of obstacles and problems and snafus, and I totally forgot about the blog birthday. Which is, in my opinion, so symbolic of my life, of this blog and of the daily struggle of artists. We are fighting to create, to be heard, in a world that's full of chaos and really rather hostile to those who seek to carve out a little bit of beauty. Especially if you're trying to carve that beauty out on any kind of a schedule. Beauty wants nothing to do with your schedules, thankyouverymuch.
But that's what I set out to do with this website. I knew that I had things to say, some of them funny, some of them sad, and all of them becoming heavier and more potent as I got older. My former sites seemed silly, there was nothing there I felt proud of, nothing I could show for myself. I wanted a corner to scratch out my crazy thoughts in a way that felt structured, organized - the opposite of crazy, actually, but rather something I could be proud of and show off to other people. Something I could point people toward if they wanted to get a basic understanding of who I am, as a person and most importantly as a writer. Something that would be more about my work than about me (which actually means being quite a bit about me, as it turns out). And of course, someplace where I could keep people up to date about my writing projects.
So I hired my brilliant friend Kimberly to help me make this place special, and I set about to write things I wouldn't be ashamed to show people. Here I am, one year later, and I've got a beautiful website that people compliment me on all the time (thank you for that, Kimberly). I'm happy with this past year of writing - I wrote 22 journal entries this year, and they yielded a lot of likes and shares, and most of the pieces I'm quite proud to have my name attached to. But I still have goals for this site, for my writing, for my life, and as much as it's important to pause and be happy for how far I've come, it's also important to acknowledge where I'm hoping to go. What's in store for me in the next year? What can you expect to see here?
I would love to inspire more commenting and conversation, because that's really the fun of art-sharing, isn't it? Getting a conversation going, having something to chew on and think about, something to discuss by the coffee machine with your coworkers in the morning or over dinner with your spouse. So as I go along, dear readers, whether there be ten of you or ten thousand, make sure to give me feedback about the kind of things you enjoy reading and discussing. For lack of a better way to put it, tell me what you want - what you really, really want - and I'll try to deliver more of the things you like reading the most.
I still love the look and feel of my site, so it's unlikely to change any time soon, but that said, it also probably won't make it to a second birthday without some changes, so be ready for shifts and stretches in terms of the design and the content. I'm also really, really hoping (fingers tightly crossed) to accomplish a few goals this year, which I'll line out simply so I hold myself accountable:
- Finish Lullaby and begin shopping to agents
- Attempt to publish articles on a few websites (I have my eye on a few, but suggestions are welcome)
- Finish the first draft of my new book
- Get back to journaling regularly
These are big goals, and I understand all too well that as soon as you start listing them out, you're setting yourself up to fail. But at the same time, it feels good to make lists, to line out the things we hope for at night, so we can see what we're up against. I'm ready for the challenge.
Most of all, I want to thank you for sharing the past year with me, for reading, for commenting, for sharing and hearting. Let's be real, the little hearts are the best thing about Squarespace websites; I click "like" all the time just to see the hearts go flying, and you should, too. Thank you for listening. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for everything.