Happy Blogiversary to Us!

Wednesday was Shakesville's seventh blogiversary, which I totally forgot because, no doy, I am the Most Terrible Blogmistress in all of Terribletown. (Please register your complaints here.)

I almost can't believe it's been seven years—and more than 20 million visitors—since young bones groaned and this blog was born, originally under the banner Shakespeare's Sister, from Virginia Woolf's essay "A Room of One's Own," by way of one of my favorite Smiths' songs. Because I am the heir of all the Shakespeare's Sisters before me, who carved out rooms of their own, tiny pieces of space and time, in which they formed the habit of freedom and mustered the courage to write exactly what they thought, I took up their legacy with breathless gratitude and compelling need, and I created a room of my own, built of 1s and 0s, where I tried, and try still, to honor them, as best I can.

When a community started to grow up around this blog, and other writers began to join me in this space, Shakespeare's Sister, which was also my handle when I started in anonymity, seemed too personal somehow, and so we became Shakesville.

I am a better person than I was when I started. I know more about myself, both the good things and the things that need changing. I've made great friends and had great teachers. I've been challenged not to settle into the well-tread grooves of my socialization, and exhorted to deconstruct the vast and varied prejudices and myths with which I'd been socialized. I have been urged to expect more of myself and persuaded to believe in the possibility I can be the change I want to see.

I've learned more in this space than I ever could have imagined, and this is, by far, the toughest job I've ever had. I am forever changed because of Shakesville, and the people who visit or come to stay.

I'm going to continue to try to make this a space you enjoy visiting and make that space as safe as possible. I'm going to fail and disappoint you and piss you off once in a while, but I'll endeavor to balance that with some good stuff, too. The truth is, I'm just fumblefucking my way through this thing every day; there isn't a model for managing a space like this one, no well-tread path to follow. I don't always know what I'm doing, so we're all pretty lucky when it seems like I do.

Thanks, Shakers. Thanks to the other contributors and mods, for everything you put on the page and everything you do for me behind the scenes. And thanks to my beloved Iain, who first suggested I start this blog, and who makes Shakesville possible in every conceivable way.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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