This past Saturday, July 8, was the birthday of Kevin Bacon, Anjelica Huston, Wolfgang Puck, Jaden Smith, Beck, and this very website, reality blurred.
It’s the anniversary of the day I registered the domain name and published the site to the world, though I’d written some test posts two days earlier.
How exactly is it 23 years old? And about months older than both Claim to Fame host Frankie Jonas and TLC reality star Jazz Jennings? On the planet for the same number of years as the U.S. versions of Big Brother and Survivor?
The answer is you, of course: without readers, I’d have stopped publishing long ago. I so appreciate that you find my words and ideas interesting enough to read and discuss with me—or frustrating and irritating enough to comment on! Either way, thank you. You’re the best.
The other secret to 23 years of blogging and writing is taking reality blurred one story, one review, one day at a time.
I think that if, in July of 2000, I’d been walking home from my job in Chicago, passing stores along Michigan Avenue, and said to myself, Hey, I’m going to do something for the next 23 years, I never would have even started.
And that leads me to something else I’m starting with no expectations: Today, I relaunched my other website. (That’s the reason why this birthday piece is almost a week late—I mean, why I’m celebrating reality blurred’s birthday all week long!)
Once upon a time, the creatively named andydehnart.com was both an online resume and a personal blog. As reality blurred, and freelancing, and teaching all picked up, I let that part of it go, but kept the site as an archive for stuff I’ve done.
When I left teaching undergraduates, I knew I wasn’t done teaching, because I love working with writers and journalists so much. And I recently realized that, while I will keep coaching writers one-on-one, I wanted to do whatever I can to help as many as people tell their own stories, whether those are personal essays, blog posts, or Instagram captions.
My goal is not to write something there for the next 23 years. It’s to share, one piece at a time, ideas and tools and advice that I hope will help other people who also love writing. Right now, I’m aiming for once a week. My primary focus will still be in these pages.
If you’d like to take a look, I welcome you to AndyDehnart.com.
And here are my first two (new) blog posts: