Happy blogoversary to me! Yes, my blog turns one year old today. I can't believe I've kept it going for an entire year - 328 posts in all and nearly 20,000 page loads from just about every state and many, many foreign countries.
On Sept. 28, 2007, whether the world needed it or not, I added my voice to the crowded blogosphere. (Always room for one more, right?) My very first Gratuitous Violins post was a review of The 39 Steps, which was then in the middle of its pre-Broadway engagement at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company. (I loved it!)
Writing has been an important part of my life ever since I was a little girl. But for the past 10 years, life hasn't afforded me much opportunity to do it - outside of e-mail. So blogging has enabled me to return to something I love, but in a way that I never imagined. I've never done much reviewing, never written about the arts. I don't have a background in theatre. But I've truly loved the challenge of having a new and exciting subject to explore and to write about.
One of the great things that I've discovered about blogging is, it's pretty much a writer's dream. I have a tremendous amount of freedom. I'm not limited to one topic, and I've enjoyed writing about a variety of subjects that are important to me. I can write as much or as little as I want about absolutely anything I want, and I can revise and refine to my heart's content. (Which is probably a curse as well as a blessing!)
Now, none of that would matter if I didn't have an audience. I've never been one of those writers who's content to toil away in obscurity. I love knowing that people are reading what I write. If you've stopped by or added me to your blogroll or left a comment, thank-you so much. I'm grateful whenever anyone reads something I've written. It's been so much fun and so interesting to see where my readers are coming from, to hear from you and to get to know you.
One of the things that's amazed me is, I've gotten hits from all over the United States and all over the world - including from countries with which we don't even have diplomatic relations. Sure, a lot of those hits have come from people looking for violin music, but they still count, don't they?
Another benefit of blogging is that in the past year, I've made some wonderful new friends among my fellow bloggers. I've met many of you at our very enjoyable bloggers brunches, others I only know through e-mail or the comments you've left. Someday soon, I hope I'll get to meet more of you.
And I would never have gone to the theatre so often over the past 18 months if it hadn't been for my theatre-blogging buddies. Thank-you for being so generous and welcoming. Your enthusiasm comes through in everything you write. I wish I could describe what I see on stage with the same level of skill and knowledge and flair.
Finally, I have to give a special thank-you to the one person without whom Gratuitous Violins would not exist. For a long time, I resisted blogging. I didn't think I had anything to say that anyone would want to read. But Steve on Broadway encouraged me to start a blog after I filled up his comments section and inundated him with lengthy e-mails about all of the shows I was seeing and all of my thoughts about the theatre.
One of the hallmarks of a great friend is that the person knows what you want to do even when you don't know it. Steve knew how much I loved to write and he never passed up a chance to encourage me, to tell me he thought it was something I did well. He was gentle, yet persistent. He never gave up because he knew that once I started, I'd love blogging. And he was right. In fact, he even came up with the name for my blog!
Since I first discovered his blog nearly two years ago, Steve has become a treasured friend and indeed a beloved brother, as well as a terrific theatre guide. He's also a terrific writer and comes up with titles for his posts that are way more witty and clever than mine will ever be.
So Steve, thank-you for the gift of friendship and for the gift of blogging. Yours is the first one I check every day.