Earlier this month, this blog turned 10. I published the first post from the old computer in my basement on February 8, 2011.
I recently shared some of the things I learned in ten years of blogging, but the wonderful thing about blogging is it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a communal effort. And so today, I’m sharing ten things I learned from you in these ten years of blogging.
With oodles of affection and a big smile on my face, let’s do this!
10 things you’ve taught me in 10 years of blogging
1. Start for the writing, stay for the community.
It’s fitting to begin here: you are what make Modern Mrs Darcy what it is (thank goodness). But back in 2011, I didn’t know anything about the blogging community; I didn’t understand how writing alone would connect me to others. I’ve never been happier to be so surprised.
I’m so grateful for this community; it’s the best part of the blog. After ten years, I’ve met a substantial number of actual friends online. Some of those friendships began right here, in the comments section.
2. It’s never just me (and it’s never just you).
I feel like I’m constantly saying this on the podcast: whenever it comes to anything in the reading life—any unpopular opinion, sneaking suspicion, or secret delight—you are not the only one.
In fact, I wrote this in I’d Rather Be Reading:
Reader, you’re not the only one. Keep confessing to your fellow readers; tell them what your reading life is really like. They’ll understand. They may even say, “You too?” And when they do, you’ve found a friend. And the beginnings of a great book club.I’d Rather Be Reading, “Confess Your Literary Sins”
3. And that goes for more than the reading life.
Whether we’re talking about the hard things, or what’s saving our life, or the pleasures of being a terrible beginner, or the FOMO that comes with a TBR list longer than you are tall, or any of the hundreds of other topics we’ve covered here, it has been an utter joy these years to say “you too?” in the comments section, over and over again, and to see you say it, too.
4. We contain multitudes.
One of my very favorite blog comments from these ten years: “I want to live a meaningful life, I want to discover wonderful books, and I want to find a really great mascara. I love that this blog knows and celebrates all three of those things.”
5. This is a safe place to try things out.
Whether it’s me test-driving an idea in a blog post or you thinking out loud in the comments section, this blog (any blog?) is a wonderful, maybe even tailor-made space to float first drafts and fledgling ideas, whether they’re seasonal experiments that turn into summer traditions or blog posts that plant the seeds of future books.
6. Books are a shortcut to the good stuff.
Back in 2011, I didn’t envision books being a central focus of this space, and for a long time I would argue that it wasn’t a “book blog.” Remember, we contain multitudes! And besides, I didn’t want to be limited to “just talking about books.”
But along the way, I discovered something that changed my work, and my life: books are an accessible, enjoyable, socially-approved doorway to talking about the big things in life: love and work, family and friendship, triumphs and failures, hopes and fears. It’s all in there, and it’s all talk-about-able—with the help of a good book.
7. Book people are the best people.
My favorite example: Summer before last, I accidentally emailed our MMD Book Club survey to everyone who signed up to get our MMD newsletters. That means I sent it to about 100x more people than I should have. Cue mortification.
I instantly realized what I’d done, and sent out a quick apology to everyone with some bonus reading tips. The emails I got back from hundreds of readers were unspeakably kind and encouraging.
Thanks for hanging out here with me in this little corner of the interwebs. You make it a better place, and a better world.
8. The joys of the comments section.
They say blogging isn’t cool anymore (hasn’t been for a while, actually). And that you should never read the comments on the internet.
Well. I don’t really care if blogging is cool, and our comments section is my favorite part of this blog. This is where I hear “me too!” and “you’re not the only one.” It’s where you tell me what recipe I should try, and how not to kill my houseplants. You PACK it full of wonderful book recommendations. And it’s where you’ve introduced me to so many of my favorite things …
9. My favorite things:
I am constantly discovering new things because of you, and I am grateful.
10. Book people bring the book recommendations—and such good ones, at that!
A few superlatives from 10 years of blogging
Since this post is about you, let’s take a look at the most commented posts from our time together:
1. 10 of my favorite books to read over and over again.
2. A Rom-Com Syllabus.
3. Tell me about your favorite authors.
4. 7 series to read next after you’ve run out of Louise Penny novels.
5. Confess your literary sins.
6. 8 movies that are better than their books.
7. What’s your favorite independent bookstore?
8. 10 favorite audiobook narrators (plus 30 excellent audiobooks they narrate).
Readers, thank you for making this a wonderful ten years. I’m looking forward to what comes next.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments section: what post have you particularly enjoyed, what book have you discovered, what favorite thing have you found in this space? We’d love to hear all about it!