Earlier this month, this blog quietly turned nine years old. NINE.
It feels like it can’t possibly have been nearly a decade. But it also feels like I’ve been blogging all my life.
When I started this blog in 2011, I felt like I was late, like the “right” time to start a blog had already passed. That seems so silly in hindsight! But I am glad I started it when I did, not because the window was closing (it’s still not) but because it’s been such a fruitful project.
I’m fuzzy on the blog’s 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 drinking wine and eating takeout sushi at the kitchen table, talking hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.
Will had done some blogging in 2010; I was encouraging him to keep it up in 2011. Halfway through that conversation, he stopped me, and said, “Do you know who I think should start a blog?”
“No,” I said, genuinely curious. “Who?”
He said you, and I said No way. I mean, I barely even read any blogs back then.
But ten minutes later he’d convinced me it would be a fun little project. We immediately started making lists of topics, categories, potential posts. A few days later, I came up with the name. And not quite two months later, I published the first post.
Here’s what the blog looked like in early 2011:
I never would have believed you if you’d told me, that night around the dining room table, that starting a blog would be one of the most fun and rewarding things I would ever do.
I know it’s 2020, and people have been saying for years now that blogging is dead, or dying, or, at the very least, completely uncool. I really don’t care. I love my blog, and I’m grateful for all it’s taught me over the years.
What I’ve learned in 9 years of blogging
• Blogging is a discipline. Or, more precisely, writing is a discipline, and blogging has been an amazing tool to help me develop that discipline. The public accountability and feedback has been invaluable.
• Your blog is your test kitchen. A friend used this phrase to describe blogging recently and it strikes me as exactly right. This blog has been a great place to figure out what I think, whether it’s worth expressing, how best to do so, and what readers think about it.
• Your blog will evolve over time. The content here has shifted, of course; nine years ago I never dreamed I’d soon be talking about books and reading on the regular. But other things have shifted along with my priorities, like my publishing schedule.
When I first started blogging, it was incredibly important to me to publish without fail on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I needed the internal accountability back then, and I also wanted MMD to feel as reliable to readers as their favorite magazines. Nine years later, I don’t want you to confuse this site with your favorite magazines, because what we do here is different, and I’ve had to re-imagine the way this blog fits into my reading and writing life.
• The people are the best part. This was, hands-down, the biggest surprise to me as a new blogger. Back in 2011, I didn’t know anything about the blogging community; I didn’t understand how writing by myself would connect me to others. I’ve never been happier to be so wrong.
I’m so grateful for this community; it’s the best part of the blog. After nine years, I’ve met a substantial number of actual friends online. Some of those friendships began right here in the comments section.
A few stats on 9 years of blogging
• 2002 posts as of today—not counting the ones I’ve deleted over the years. (For a long time I was adamantly opposed to deleting old posts. Then I changed my mind. The world really did not need to read some of the truly terrible early ones, and now they’re gone.)
• 94,814 comments as of this morning. That’s a lot of conversation.
• 63,000,000+ pageviews and 18,000,000+ visitors
• Out of those 2000+ blog posts, the most popular (based on pageviews) are:
After nine years, I’m not sure I could choose my favorite posts. If you have a favorite post from the past, or one that’s really stuck with you, I’d love to hear about it in comments.
Thank you for making this a great nine years. I’m looking forward to more to come.
I’d love to hear about your favorite Modern Mrs Darcy blog post in comments. Do you have ideas about how I should celebrate ten years? I’d love to know!