fruit and flowers for four years
This blog quietly turned four on February 8. I might have marked the day here on the blog … if I had remembered.
If WordPress didn’t tell me otherwise, I would solemnly swear that this blog began in the spring, and that it’s impossible that four whole years have gone by since the first post.
It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, not even close.
I’m fuzzy on the public beginning, but I remember the private origins clearly. It was right around New Year’s, the kids were in bed, and Will and I were doing the wine and cheese thing at the kitchen table, talking hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.
We talked about the blog he’d started the year before—a new thing for him, an experiment. Then he interrupted himself to say You know who should start a blog? YOU.
Nope, I say, you’re crazy.
Five minutes later, I was convinced it was the best idea ever.
That was the beginning, even if the first post didn’t go up for another 40 days or so.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The whole thing has been nothing like I expected, from start-to-finish.
I started MMD because I wanted to write, and improve my writing: the blog gave me the reason, and the accountability. Those reasons aren’t unique: Seth Godin says he would pay good money to have a blog because the daily practice is invaluable.
I get it. I’m a much better writer than I was when I started this blog. (If I ever need to be reminded of that, I can just look back at the early posts. Cringe.) You’re reading Post #1078: that much practice will make anybody better at anything.
Back in 2011, I didn’t know about the blogging community. I didn’t expect to find wonderful people online through my blog and those of my fellow bloggers. I was amazed when that started to happen.
The best thing about blogging has been that community: the friends I’ve made and the relationships I’ve built. I don’t mean in a networking sense (although I’ve made those connections, too, and they’ve been invaluable). I mean that after four years, I’ve met a substantial number of actual friends online—some of them right here in the comments section.
I’m so grateful for this community; it’s the best part of the blog. The wonderful conversations that happen in the comments section—and often continue offline—will never stop surprising me. As of this morning there were 34,272 comments here. That’s a lot of conversation.
A few stats on 4 years.
After 4 years, 1078 posts, 2.6 million visitors, and 8 million pageviews …
The top 5 most viewed posts, meaning the ones with the most pageviews.
- 39 stocking stuffers that will actually feel appreciated, don’t feel like a waste of money, and won’t be broken/forgotten/destroyed by New Years. The Washington Post linked to this back in the fall, which singlehandedly catapulted this Christmas post to the top of the list.
- Books worth binge-reading. For reasons I can’t explain, this one went bananas on Pinterest.
- A dissenting opinion on the IKEA Ektorp sofa. Google search continues to drive heaps of traffic to this post daily. Apparently people love their Ektorps, and anything IKEA.
- Un-put-down-able. Another Pinterest winner.
- Laundry 101: clean towels. This was one of the very first posts, and isn’t the kind of thing I would even write today. Several years after I posted it, BuzzFeed linked to it, and drove so much traffic the first few days I was afraid my blog would crash. (It didn’t.)
The most commented posts. It’s hard to quantify your favorite posts, but easy to see which ones garnered the most comments.
- The 2015 reading challenge. I’m thrilled y’all are so excited about reading.
- Literary matchmaking. Personal shopping for books. Whatever you want to call it, here goes. This is the first literary matchmaking post. Yes, I’m still working my way through this list s-l-o-w-l-y, although at this point so much time has gone by I’m emailing readers to see if they’re still interested. Watch your inbox…
- Let’s make Autumn Reading a thing. Summer reading gets all the love. We made up for it by sharing our favorite fall reads here.
- The book isn’t better than the movie. Occasionally, a movie will be better than its book. Very occasionally. I ask for your examples, and you blow me away with your suggestions.
- There are 7 ways to hate a book.
My favorite posts. I’m allergic to picking favorites, but these represent the kind of posts I like most: the ones that compel you to consider things from a different perspective (and with writing that doesn’t make me flinch on a re-read).
- When we were in the fire.
- When the planes hit the towers on 9/11, I was over the Atlantic Ocean, in a plane bound for New York City.
- “Crazy” Mary Todd, and other historical myths.
- In the waiting room.
- What keeps women from showing up?
Some people say blogging years are like dog years: a year on the internet is worth 7 off-screen. If that’s the case, MMD just turned 28.
I like the sound of that. Many people feel like they don’t come into their own until they hit 30 or so. I hope that means Modern Mrs Darcy is about to hit her stride.
Thank you for making this a great four years. I’m looking forward to more to come.