in Start

Never Forget Your First

We all had our ‘first’, right?

[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series.]

When I first saw this Twitpic from @TonyHawk where he shared a picture of his first skateboard I bookmarked it as a reminder to never forget how I started and from where I came. What’s neat is that he still has that board!

I have often noticed that among those who we would consider “successful” there is an apparent lack of this type of remembrance; in other words, it’s sadly noticeable that they have forgotten that they too started from nothing.

Fame, pride, arrogance, and more have clouded their vision backward and it appears as if they were always this spectacular.

I never want to take for granted the journey that I’ve been on because it reminds me about how far I’ve come as well as shows me how far I need to go.

Not only that, I have to always remember that it is through the power of the community that surrounds the work that I do that gives it any of it lasting value.

Thanks and kudos to you!

Let’s Go Back a Bit… to 2001:

Xanga, Day 1.

I remember my first blog post like it was yesterday – I had typed an entry into a blank HTML-file in late 2001 and dated it as a “j0urnal” entry. I then uploaded it via FTP onto my server and watched as 0 people showed up.

That was epic.

6 months later I signed up for Xanga and typed my first entry into a “real” blogging platform:

Whatz this…?

Classic! My girlfriend at the time had gotten me into it and the rest, they say, is history.

1 year later a boy named Matt Mullenweg forked the blog application called b2/cafelog into what we now know as WordPress. That was 2003 and that year I signed up to try out their alpha releases.

Little did I know that while I was downloading this source code that it would direct my future career! I blogged on Xanga religiously for another 4 years when my last post officially dropped on January 6th, 2006.

Some of these posts made the posts I do here on TentBlogger look like footnotes in comparison! I consistently ran up 3,000+ words per post. Insanity!

I had, at the time, begun writing and developing on WordPress but felt that the customization-layer was lacking (all that changed with the version Strayhorn in September of 2005 which was literally the last full featured blog posts that were written on Xanga).

With the dawn of Strayhorn I was hooked into WordPress. Templating systems were go!

And that’s when it really got serious and the next few years were exciting times as I jumped head-first into developing on the WordPress platform, blogging my face off any moment I could, and crafting a lifestyle and career that still keeps me employed to this very day!

I’ll never forget these foundational years. I’ll never forget the first taste of developing quality content and seeing how the widening circles of the internet appreciated (and applauded) my work as I served them for nothing in return.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of satisfaction as I saw others modeling their work and blogs after what they had seen me do. This is what I live for!

Don’t ever forget where you’ve come from so that you can fully appreciate where you are today!

Stay humble, stay focused, and stay productive!

Your turn. Tell me your story! Tell me about your “first”!

[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series.]