For a moment, please pardon some personal navel gazing.
2,304 days ago I sat down at a computer in our house in rural northern Maine. Thousands of miles away from the pack of family and friends I'd gathered over a lifetime. I'd made a decision to fill my hobby time by getting serious about woodworking, something I'd played at for a while. I decided along side that I'd document the process online as a way to improve my writing skills too. At the time I thought I was inventing the woodworking blog. I hadn't read Chris Schwarz (well I had but didn't appreciate it for who it was) or really anyone else outside the occasional magazine.
I remember the excitement at getting my first comment, the elation of reaching 1,000 hits, then 1500 hits!! The sheer joy in catching my first rude comment that required a "moderator's" hand (A friendly note on the phallic nature of something I'd turned)
"Dick jokes on my blog! I must have arrived!" :)
I passed the stage where I celebrated most milestones publicly. In private, once I notice they happened, (usually after they're past.) It's Ickey Shuffle Time.
This one's not bad though. This is the 400th post. That's a lot of writing, some of it good, some of it amateur, some of it pretty bad. My fingers itch to edit old posts, especially from the first year or two but I won't let myself, they show the progression which is what I was after all along. I did some gross estimations and averaging and figure I've written my way through two out of three books in "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy. (we're talking length, not quality)
The best way to learn how to do something is to start, in the shop or at the laptop the story is the same. As my hand work has improved, so has my writing.
Things change. Maine changed back to Wisconsin. Shops moved several times. New friends have been made. Fantastic opportunities presented themselves. I've grown as an craftsman and a writer. This past spring at Handworks and the Studley Exhibit I had the surreal first moments of being picked out by strangers in a crowd and asked if I was "The Oldwolf Guy" The best comment after that was "You know what I like best about your blog? You're not afraid to show it when you screw up."
If I didn't show my screw ups I'd only have half the things to write about.
I've tried to show my honest growth from a sometimes sawdust making, tablesaw obsessed hobbyist to someone reasonably well versed in traditional woodworking techniques. Someone who's been published in an internationally distributed woodworking magazine. The learning and growth continues on from here as I tackle workshop challenges like marquetry and writing challenges like publishing my first book.
Writing an internet blog is an incredible litmus test. People can anonymously tell you where you got it wrong, if they'd do it different or better, and sometimes, just how much you suck. I really do enjoy the near instant feedback I get. So maybe, just maybe I'd still be plugging away at this keyboard even if nobody was out there was reading . . .but it certainly would not be as much fun!
So here, at this milestone I wanted to stop and say Thank You to anyone and everyone who has taken a minute here and there to keep up with me and the shop this far into the adventure.
Oh and just for fun, here is a link to the first blog post . . . I warned you.
Ratione et Passionis