Fifteen years ago today, it was a Friday, and I was in Glasgow. I don’t remember much about the weather or what I was doing generally (I do at least know that I was at university), but I did do one seemingly unimportant thing: I created a blog, and started writing on the web.
More than 1,200 articles and over 765,000 words later, I’m still doing it.
I hadn’t met my wife yet, because at that point she had only started university weeks earlier. It would be another couple of years before we bumped into each other. It was still five years before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. I was all set on a career in software development, and had no idea that a mere twelve years later, I’d set all that aside and come back to the great, lost passion of my youth: writing.
In a very real sense, I’m here because of you, dear reader.
For whatever reason, you chose to read my stuff, and so I wrote more. I got to dabble in areas that were mostly still related to technology but were different disciplines, like speaking at conferences, and contributing to various magazines and newspapers. That was how I was reminded of my love of writing, but the confidence to do something about it — especially to do an objectively crazy thing — came from your continued silent encouragement.
It’s 2017 now, and the world feels slippery and precarious, but I’m still here. I met the girl, and I married her, and we live in a different city now, but it all feels like it happened about ten minutes ago. I’ve had an entire career compressed into a few short years, and now I have another one. I have a book in the library, and on a lot of shelves in people’s homes in a long list of countries, and — if fate permits — there are plenty more to come.
If you’d like to help ensure I can celebrate another fifteen years, you can become a member of this site. There are benefits, including getting my new books first and free, and of course you also get more words: a weekly letter, just for members, which I’ve sent out for the past one hundred and thirty-six consecutive weeks. Another milestone that I find staggering, despite being there for every step of it.
The biggest addition to our lives happened very recently — just this year — when we added a third, canine member of the household: our labradoodle puppy named Whisky. In celebration of both this anniversary and his arrival, you can get a lifetime 20% discount on site membership with the coupon code “PUPPIESAREFAB”. Because, well, why not? Once again, you can join here.
I want you to know that I’m grateful you’re here, whether you’ve been around since the beginning, or even if these are the first words of mine you’ve read. It means something, because to me, this isn’t just a blog. It’s a thread of continuity through forty percent of my life so far. It’s something I’ve been able to rely on, and use as a diary, or a soapbox, or even a sandbox. You could say that it’s led me to where I am now.
It’s a small thing, in the grand scheme. But it’s something.
Thank you for reading.