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Five years of blogging. That’s dead in dog years.

I was driving north on La Brea this week, as the Hollywood sign came into view, when a memory came back: A commercial shoot. Two weeks at the Sunset Marquis. Posing for photos with coworkers in oversized glasses and new clothes from Fred Segal, the Hollywood sign in the background. Documenting every memory, scribbling ideas into a journal, jotting down the funny quips. Writing one-liners about celebrity sightings (Sally Struthers pulled up next to me at the red light, and before it turned green, I was already crying), strange men in bars, temperamental directors and flirty DPs. Crafting ironic headlines that described our days. And wondering what we’d ever do with it all.

Now I know what I was doing then:

I was blogging.

That was 1998.

Several years later, I was working on a book that I co-authored, and my agent asked what I wanted to write. “I want some kind of column,” I told her. “I want to be able to write about all kinds of stuff. Whatever is on my mind that day. Just…all kinds of stuff. Is that crazy?”

Yes it was, she assured me. It was crazy.

But in Februry of 2006, I opened a free blogspot account, picked the only name I couldn’t think of that wasn’t taken (damn you, City Mama!) and start to tell my story.

Now, 5 years after that, 951 Mom-101 posts later (not counting the horrible unpublished ones), I think it’s safe to call myself a blogger. Which means this month is my five year blogging anniversary.

Oh sure, it may look like I started in January of 2006 but not so. I wrote that very first post after midnight on February 1 and backdated it. I didn’t want to wait another 29 day to have “archives.” I know, totally embarrassing. Don’t tell anyone.

Back when I started, I was trying to find my voice as a writer. Trying to connect with parents in more substantial ways than a message board. Hoping to have a semi-anonymous forum to tell stories and read better ones and figure out just what kind of writer I wanted to be. I never could have imagined that it would have lead to publishing opportunitiesmagazine interviews, TV appearances (gulp) my own business which gives me crazy joy every day, and some of the most amazing friends on the planet–online or off.

Something else has changed in these five years too.

I’ve fallen in love with writing for myself.

If I go more than a few days without posting I get all twitchy. If I go more than a few days I get a little down. I can’t identify it entirely, and it’s not conscious. But when I’m so busy with work and life that I can’t get the thoughts in my head out and on paper, when I’m so busy writing words that are assigned to me instead of the ones that spring organically from my heart, I get increasingly uncomfortable. It’s only when I can post again that I can breathe.

That may sound like an addiction. I’ve even heard blogging described as a drug.

It’s not. It’s a vitamin.

Thank you, readers. Thank you friends. Thank you so much for being here for all of it for five years.

When I celebrated my daughter’s first birthday

When I confessed my horrible taste in music.

When I muddled through sleep training.

When I announced my second pregnancy.

When my second pregnancy turned scary.

When I found myself without a baby name.

When Sage was born perfect.

When Momsie died.

When Desdemona died

When Nate went though culinary schoo.

When I went back to work full time.

When I confess my cooking sins.

When I rant about the business of blogging.

When I make fun of the business of blogging

When I give the community a big hug because it totally totally deserves it.

When I make fun of the internet because it totally totally deserves it.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Thanks Alice for having a blog so freaking good that I dared to start my own. Thanks Kristen for being an amazing business partner and friend who I met when she let comments on my first posts.  And thanks to all of you. Because you (and blogspot and Al Gore) have made it okay for me to “have a column about anything” for five years. 

I hope I can give back to you even an iota of what you have given me. 

Psst, it’s also the five year birthday of Cool Mom Picks, which I’m wildly proud of. Click over this week and say hi. We’re giving away 25 killer goodie bags.

{ 61 comments… add one }

  • Adventures In Babywearing 2.25.2011, 3:41 pm

    This is fabulous.

    I'm also really glad I'm not the only one left on Blogger ;) and also, I've enjoyed you all through the years. I just recently celebrated 5 years and share your sentiments… happy day to you!

    Steph

  • Scary Mommy 2.25.2011, 3:45 pm

    I've fallen in love with writing for myself, too. I think blogging is amazing. And so are you.

  • Boston Mamas 2.25.2011, 3:48 pm

    I love you Liz. You're a wonderful friend and a gift to this space. Happy 5 years! xoxox

  • Marinka 2.25.2011, 3:50 pm

    I'll never forget when I found your blog. It was Sage's third birthday and everyone was wishing her a happy one and it was the first time that I, a baby blogger myself, realized the community of blogging. And I loved it.

    http://mom-101.lgumbinner.com/2008/07/three-on-three.html

    happy blog birthday to you!

  • Redneck Mommy 2.25.2011, 3:52 pm

    Happy Fifth! Mine is coming up right away too. I can't believe it's been this long. Cheers to my very first commenter. You.

  • jmatlin 2.25.2011, 3:56 pm

    Happy anniversary!

  • Magpie 2.25.2011, 4:06 pm

    Happy fifth! Glad to know you, to read you, to be inspired by you.

  • Sarah 2.25.2011, 4:14 pm

    Happy 5th Birthday! Liz, you are the reason that I have found so many writers in this space to cheer on, connect, laugh & commiserate with and just generally LOVE. I'll never forget finding you when I was a new mom back in '07 or '08, through your makeover in Parents Mag and thinking, wow, she seems like one cool chick. I think I'll check her out and lucky me you were then and still are!

    Through you I've been able to feel connected to so many amazing women in a similar time of life and circumstance as I am which makes navigating parenthood, the ups and downs, so much more wonderful. Thank you for it all!

  • Christina Simon 2.25.2011, 4:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! Happy 5 year anniversary. Cheer's to many more years. Love your blog!

    The thing I like best about blogging is writing for me and my readers. I've connected with a few moms who I really like a lot and I'm continually inspired by other mom bloggers.

  • Morgan 2.25.2011, 4:53 pm

    Happy five year blogging birthday! I have been reading coolmompicks for years, but am ashamed to say I only recently discovered your blog. I'm going to read all those posts you linked to now :)

  • Cloud 2.25.2011, 5:04 pm

    Happy blogoversary! I'm glad you got your column about anything- I love reading it.

  • Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments 2.25.2011, 5:04 pm

    WHOO HOO! Congratulations!

  • Loralee Choate 2.25.2011, 5:06 pm

    Congrats! It's a huge milestone. (And I've been writing blog posts in my head my whole life, too.) :)

  • The Dalai Mama 2.25.2011, 5:07 pm

    Happy Anniversary. My five year is next month. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly.

    Your voice is unique and so clearly your own.

    Thanks

  • Leslie 2.25.2011, 5:09 pm

    You are an inspiration to every blogger out there. Thank you for your writing, perspective and humor.

    I loved your recent post about the Yo Gabba Gabba show. We were there too and you were spot on about what to write about. The Moms who were grabbing balloons like maniacs for their kids was what we left talking about, and then there was your post, perfectly describing it.

    Happy Anniversary! xo

  • Asha {Parent Hacks} 2.25.2011, 5:09 pm

    I just can't get out of my mind the fact that we've been doing this thing for long enough that we've shared a significant part of our lives together. It was one thing to have “Internet friends” in 2006, but now, in 2011, it's friendship, pure and simple.

    You are wonderful, Liz. Thank you for being such an amazing friend.

  • Tripped Up Family 2.25.2011, 5:14 pm

    I just wish I would have found you sooner! Happy 5 year birthday.

  • Anonymous 2.25.2011, 5:17 pm

    Congrats! I love your blog.

  • Cynthia Samuels 2.25.2011, 5:17 pm

    How lovely to have known you so close to the beginning! I have loved your posts, your caring presence at BH and elsewhere and the fact of your generosity, skill and humor. You've been a gift to us all — Now if I could only run your 9/11 post … (Kidding… kidding)

  • Everyday Mama 2.25.2011, 5:25 pm

    Happy Fifth to you and Cool Picks Mom — both which are wildly successful and would be missed if you ever stopped!

  • mannahattamamma.com 2.25.2011, 5:30 pm

    Well for what it's worth, it's writers like you who showed me that blogging could be more than online ranting–and that when one DOES rant online, it had damn well be funny, or for a good cause. You give mommy bloggers a good name…and marketing folks, too, for that matter. So here's to another five years, which I guess means another dead dog? Thanks for all the good reading.

  • Julie @ The Mom Slant 2.25.2011, 5:54 pm

    Happy birthday, Liz. Thanks for writing such an amazing blog, which gave me the opportunity to meet you and for us to become friends – since unknowingly going to the same hair salon never allowed our paths to cross.

  • Jack 2.25.2011, 6:01 pm

    I avoid La Brea and Hollywood in general. Stop lights every 12 feet are so irritating.

    Anyway, happy blogiversary. The three things that I have always enjoyed most about blogging are the friends I have made, the chance to chronicle the important moments in the lives of my children and the joy of writing.

    Hope you keep on going for a long time to come.

  • Danielle-Marie 2.25.2011, 6:23 pm

    Thank you Mom 101. Your blog is what inspired me to begin blogging. I always look forward to your posts!

  • Mom101 2.25.2011, 6:25 pm

    Thank you all. I'm all teary and googie right now. Thanks for being a part of this.

  • Issas Crazy World 2.25.2011, 6:31 pm

    Happy 5 years Liz.

    It's strange but I remember starting the same month as you…although I'd been making a nuisance of myself for a year prior to that. I still remember Kristen saying to me, have you read Mom-101 yet?

    I love writing for me and I adore that you continue to write for yourself just as you always have here. When you write for you, you are writing for us as well.

    I've never regretted taking Kristin's advice to pop over here.

  • Dyar Baby Momma 2.25.2011, 6:46 pm

    Happy 5th! I think you rock.

  • SarahButtonedUp 2.25.2011, 6:47 pm

    Thanks for having such an inspiring blog. Your writing is superb, your topics incredibly relevant – always a great read. Happy blogiversary! Here's to many more.

  • Amy Jo 2.25.2011, 7:57 pm

    Glad to have had you around all of these years! Don't ever leave!

  • Anonymous 2.25.2011, 8:11 pm

    Happy Blog-iversary!! I am new around here, but love your style. All the best for many more posts.

    @IC_Jen

  • ZDub 2.25.2011, 8:14 pm

    Congrats! I think you are oh so fabulous.

  • Nancy 2.25.2011, 8:32 pm

    Happy Blog-a-versary! I feel the same way about blogging – it's changed my life, my friends, my days. It's added a ton. I rant and complain, too. But mostly, (and here is my crying Sally Struthers moment) I just love my bloggy-friends!

  • Alex 2.25.2011, 8:47 pm

    happy blog-o-versary. You're a great writer, one that I consider my secret mentor (because I haven't actually asked you to be my mentor).

  • Lady Mama 2.25.2011, 8:48 pm

    Happy blog anniversary. And thank you for writing it!

  • Marketing Mommy 2.25.2011, 9:19 pm

    Congratulations. Not just on 5 years, but on everything you've accomplished that's blogging-related. Hell, you inspired me to start a Blogger account!

  • LindsayDianne 2.25.2011, 9:41 pm

    Hahah, blogging and internet involvement have aided me through some amazing moments in time. I'm so glad I'm not alone. ;)

  • Lady M 2.25.2011, 11:19 pm

    Happy Blogoversary! It's been a pleasure reading and knowing you these years! Next week, it'll be five years for me too.

  • stephanie 2.26.2011, 12:54 am

    You were one of the first bloggers I connected with when my clients started to clue in to the mighty influence of the mom blog space. I remember calling to ask you a question or invite you to speak at a client off-site or something–you didn't know me from Adam but you were gracious and tolerant of the Random PR Lady babbling into the phone. Thank you for that moment two years ago, and for all the great writing since. Happy anniversary!

  • High Heeled Mama 2.26.2011, 2:19 am

    Happy 5th birthday! It was blogs like yours that inspired me to do the same. Do you suppose every time a new blogger posts because they've been inspired by the community an existing blogger gets its wings?

  • barbaraannboyle.com/blog 2.26.2011, 2:25 am

    Congratulations, Liz. And thank you for being my blogging inspiration and teacher. I hit 50 posts on my “life after advertising” yesterday, and it is all thanks to your guidance. Have a great shoot, and enjoy the crafts services and life on the left coast.

  • Kami 2.26.2011, 3:26 am

    You are one special gal, and this here blog is one special space. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Your courage is contagious.

  • Kim Moldofsky 2.26.2011, 4:14 am

    Happy blogiversary. You have helped shape a wonderful and vibrant community!

  • Elaine A. 2.26.2011, 4:54 am

    Congrats on your longevity and brilliance. You deserve many accolades for your writing and bringing things to the forefront and for being a “mom blogging” (and blogging in general) pioneer. Here's to many more years!!!

  • Esther Crawford 2.26.2011, 5:34 am

    Happy fifth! :)

  • The Empress 2.26.2011, 5:47 am

    Congrats.

    Your blog is one of the first I ever came across, and I loved your welcoming, we're all together, style.

    No inside stuff…just you're all welcome here stuff.

    That's why I keep coming back. Also, I've found the best blogs from the comments here. You have awesome commenters. I always follow a few home.

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma 2.26.2011, 6:26 am

    So your blog goes to kindergarten in the fall, then right?

    Mine's still breastfeeding and in diapers.

    You were one of the first blogs I read when I left teaching and fell head first into parenting. (because you had the blog name I wanted…lol}

    Happy, happy anniversary. May your blog take you to a nice dinner and let you sleep in the next morning…

  • Treva 2.26.2011, 6:28 am

    So far I have left only one comment here before, but I've been reading for a while. This is absolutely one of my favorite blogs. When I was pregnant, I found myself reading a lot of hoity-toity books and other pieces; I got a bit sick of the word “miracle.” Your blog was like the mouthful of wine I wasn't supposed to have — completely refreshing, delicious, real, a bit naughty (you are sometimes, you know), and exactly what I needed. So thanks for being here and thanks for being you.

  • kuntala 2.26.2011, 1:50 pm

    Liz, one day I want to be able to write like you. Congratulations.

  • Sheila 2.26.2011, 2:26 pm

    I am so happy you started this blog. I found you a few years ago and have enjoyed your posts ever since. Congratulations!

  • tripleZmom 2.26.2011, 7:10 pm

    Love this post. You were one of the first bloggers I started reading when I crawled out of a now-defunct writing community into the public blogging world. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Mom101 2.26.2011, 7:11 pm

    You are all so kind and amazing, thank you. Any blogger who says she writes only for herself is full of it. Knowing I'm connecting with people really makes it all worth it. Thank you.

  • Mrs. Q. 2.26.2011, 8:13 pm

    Happy fifthderhood. Five years ago I was still reeling from my first baby and it was nice to know this gorgeous, hip, smart momma who didn't know what she was doing either. Mwah.

  • Kelsey 2.26.2011, 9:54 pm

    YAY happy anniversary! I hope this will be a post of my own five years from now.

  • RookieMom Whitney 2.27.2011, 2:38 am

    Ditto what they all said already.

  • Mahlers On Safari 2.27.2011, 5:45 am

    Truth be told you've been blogging since the 1st grade, only the audience was quite a bit smaller :)

    Happy blogaversary! You are amazing, and always have been.

    Hal

  • Edie Mindell 2.27.2011, 11:02 am

    That's a great accomplishment in the world of blogging. Congrats!:-) I also love blogging and it has been a part of my life eversince. Happy 5th anniversary.:-)

  • SuzRocks 2.27.2011, 12:53 pm

    Congratulations! Or are you supposed to say Congrats on a blog birthday? Merry Blogbirthday?

    Anyway…you explained all the reasons why I love to blog.

    If blogging is like a vitamin, then it'd be the gummi-vitamins because those are pretty much crack and I eat about double my daily allowance.

  • Lauretta S. 3.01.2011, 7:12 pm

    You are welcome. Thank you for sharing all those wonderful memories and the journey.

  • the mama bird diaries 3.02.2011, 2:57 am

    I love reading your posts. You inspired me to start blogging. So thank you. Congrats on five years.

  • amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay 3.02.2011, 2:22 pm

    It's a good celebration of wonderful. Congrats to you and yr words and life!

    I am so happy to know you sweet Liz. xo

  • Jendi 3.19.2011, 4:21 pm

    Congratulations for 5 years! I'm a lurker that drops in now and then.

    I just wanted to say that I couldn't live without my vitamins either. When I took some time off the words seemed to pile up in my head until I couldn't even sleep good. Once I started getting them out again I slept like a baby.

    Hope you have 5 more wonderful years!

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