[still quilting after all these years*]
Sometime in February this blog hit the nine year mark. I couldn't think of anything that happens in nines apart from human pregnancies so I had a quick google and it seems nine years are most closely associated with prison sentences, wars, mortgages, circles of hell, cats' lives, and the length of Robin Thicke's marriage. So, all in all, not a great number.
But there are also nine muses in Greek mythology, and I have been writing here for nine years with my own nine muses: family, home, books, art, baking, knitting, quilting, flowers and life. And mostly I've had a good time doing so. There have been a few vicissitudes but that's to be expected, and I've now stopped wondering and pondering too much and learned instead to simply get on and write, say what I want to say and enjoy doing it. I don't know what I would be doing now if I hadn't started yarnstorm in 2005, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have written all those books you see on the sidebar to the right of the screen, and I doubt I would have managed to put into words all the thoughts and ideas and opinions I have published here.
Because this is the big thing: blogging is a brilliant way to publish. In the past it would have been called 'vanity publishing', but now that it has a new name and a new image and an immediacy and connection that writers could not have dreamed of even a generation ago, it's shed many of its negative connotations and instead has become a fast, cheap and egalitarian way of publishing. When I first pressed that 'publish' button, I couldn't believe how easy it could be. I didn't need to wait to be commissioned, I didn't have to write proposals or collect rejection letters and keep them, framed, in the downstairs loo as so many writers have (allegedly) done. I didn't need to seek permission to publish, or pull strings (not that I have ever had any strings to pull) to see my words on a screen. It was and still is an amazing way to publish and that's why I haven't stopped even though I've got my name on a fair few book spines and can find my books in libraries and shops. I get a thrill every time I put up a post and I always have a look at the blog as readers see it as soon as I've published something because it's a matter of wonder that my words and pictures can be there, just as I intended them, and be viewed by whoever wishes to do so, without any mediation or charge or sales talk or blurb.
So nine years have flown by in this way, and the blog has enabled me to develop a style and it's given me the freedom to choose what I want to write about and what I don't want to write about. It's pushed me to take photographs which pushes me to look more closely. In turn, these processes make me appreciate all the things I enjoy just that little bit more, because when you write about them you have to decide what you really think rather than simply saying 'this is what I like and this is what's important to me'. All in all, it's been good and, I imagine, a lot better than being married to Robin Thicke for nine years.
* a few of the quilts I've made in the last year or so.