Bard by BlueInkAlchemist, on Flickr

I realized last night, putting a few things together, that it’s been over six years since I started blogging. Granted, it began in a very different form. I’m sure that there are some of you out there that remember a little blogging site called LiveJournal. That’s where this – *gestures vaguely at the current blog* – all got started.

Back then, blogging was more about catharsis and reflection. I mostly wrote about day-to-day activities as I would in a pen-and-paper journal. Some of the stuff was pretty deeply personal, and other times was incredibly, eye-rollingly inane. People do change over time, thankfully, and I eventually wised up about what I should spend my time writing to share and what should stay either in my head or on paper for my eyes only.

Still, it can be difficult to self-edit. One can’t always read over the words that have just spilled out and know for a fact that some sentences don’t work and some others just need a little tweaking to really shine. That’s why I’ve asked for test readers for my works to be published; that’s why I trust the editors with whom I’ve worked and to whom I’ve spoken; that’s why I never take the first draft of anything significant I write straight to a venue for publication. That’s knowledge that’s only come with time and experience. You can teach a lot of things, but you can’t always teach someone that their shit does, in fact, stink.

I’ve been thinking a great deal about failure lately. How I’ve failed, why I’ve failed, what I’m failing in now and when I’ll fail next. Failure is inevitable; I’m not always going to get everything right the first time. But, in my mind, it’s pretty difficult to fail at blogging. I think that involves having nothing to say but making tons of noise anyway (see: filibustering), terrible grammar or formatting, and an obnoxious site or personality. I still have posts that could arguably be called inane, and possibly fall into the “nothing to say” category, but I do try to at least make what I’m writing interesting to the anonymous reader.

Taking all of that into consideration, I consider the blog to be relatively successful. It doesn’t always get a ton of hits, and I struggle at times with maintaining the schedule, but it’s still going. People do still come and read it. And all of it – from comments to contributions, from failed experiments with ads to the eventual end of IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! – has been and continues to be good experience.

Thank you for being a part of this so far. I sincerely hope you’ll stick around to see what happens next.