Ten years ago on November 23, 2004. I started writing here at Typepad.
My first private soapbox, View from the Mountain, began simply with My Welcome to Windows, a basic recounting of my first adventure with a Windows computer after spending nearly twenty years at Apple.
Applepeels was my next blog at Typepad. The hundreds of early posts there eventually led to my book, The Pomme Company. There were times during its heyday when an Applepeels article might get twenty thousand views from around the world in a twenty-four hour period.
Though I no longer write as often at View from the Mountain or Applepeels, I have continued to write at both. Over the years I have also added three more sites at Typepad. One, The Crystal Coast, Saltwater on my feet, gets regular monthly updates. The others, The Canada I Miss, and Once A Reston Resident, get far more infrequent updates. They are basically on a when the spirit moves me schedule. Still I have more that two thousand posts among all these blogs with the vast majority being at View from the Mountain.
Eight years ago I wrote a post about writing for free. Since that time I have done a lot of writing that resulted in a paycheck. It is a little ironic that my first blog post here was about my entry into the world of Windows and one of my recent paid articles was How I Moved Away From The Mac After Leaving Apple. What goes around comes around. I still have to chuckle at some of the Apple fanatics not reading far enough into that article to learn that I still use a Mac. They should have paid more attention to the article URL instead of the title an editor chose to get lots of hits.
Having your own place in our connected world lets you speak out if you feel you have been wronged on the Internet. I have done that more than once. You can also write about things like On Being A Dad which might never reach the people who inspired the post. Maybe I am wrong but I think my family long ago stopped reading what I write.
View from the Mountain has content that covers a huge range of topics from The Three Things You Need To Grow In The South to Why Do I Have To Lose For You To Win. There is even Advice To My Children, recent restaurant reviews like Crystal Coast Dining - Angie's Lighthouse, Cape Carteret and more nostalgic ones like Saturday night at Odell's, everything is all right.
I have written a post, Honeysuckle Pink and the Secrets to Happiness, to honor my wife and others like Memories of Mother to say thanks to my mother. I have even penned articles about the stages of my own life in posts like Happy to still be considered an adult.
The site also has travel advice like Roanoke to the beach in 5.5 hours or A Summer Excursion Through New Brunswick, PEI, & Nova Scotia. I like to think that the post, Swansboro, NC travel guide, might have led to the writing of our successful travel book, A Week At The Beach, The Emerald Isle Travel Guide, which is now in its fourth version in 2014.
With everything from our family's famous recipe for hushpuppies to how to find your way to leadership, it is hard to characterize View from the Mountain in a few words. Perhaps the title comes closest because this blog and in fact all my other ones including Crystal Coast Life, Coastal Paradise, and Ocracoke Waves make no pretension to being anything more than a more personal look at the world through my eyes.
This morning I got an interesting note from the folks at City-Data forum. The gist of the note was asking me to come back and write some more posts.
Your posts have been read 34,948 times in last 14 days, and more than 2,332,485 times...
An over-zealous moderator chased me away from there over four years ago because he/she believed that I was trying to trick people into buying real estate from me. Obviously the moderator had missed the crashed real estate market which made certain that people were uninterested in buying and unlikely to be tricked into anything.
Selling real estate was not the goal behind my writing even then, but the moderator's attitude did convince me that if I was going to write for free, it should be some place that I enjoyed the experience and where I could in essence set my own rules.
While I left the world of real estate shortly afterwards in 2011, going back to City-Data never seemed important to me. I have another site of my own where I no longer have time to write. It had hundreds of posts written over five years with many of them being read thousands of times.
However, the site design did not give me the freedom that I have found on Typepad. There were some early bumps here on Typepad, but it has been a remarkably stable environment. So Typepad and especially View from the Mountain still gets a slice of my busy life.
The truth is that I write because I enjoy writing. Writing helps me make sense of life. It is hard to say what the next five or ten years will bring, but God willing I plan to keep adding to the posts that I have already written here at Typepad. I also hope that people keep enjoying them and get at least as much pleasure from the reading as I do from the writing.
Of course the pictures that I include are just as important to my story as the words that I write. This tenth anniversary picture was taken one day prior on Saturday, October 22, 2014. I took the picture from my kayak on the White Oak River not far from my favorite spot on the oyster rocks near Swansboro, North Carolina.