I’d be greatly remiss if I didn’t give a tip of the hat to Nashville is Talking, which put up its last post yesterday. This is also a response to Betsy Phillips’s interview of Brittney Gilbert, the last line of which reads:
I wonder if the Tennessee bloggers will miss NiT.
Pretty sure the answer is yes for most of us. The thing is, though—I already missed NiT. I admit I stopped reading it not long after everything took such a turn for the absurd and Brittney left. I ended up happy for her, incidentally, as her career has absolutely taken wings, and she seems blissfully at home in San Francisco.
I think the majority of you would not be reading this if it weren’t for Brittney and NiT. It’s actually a heart thing for me, sitting here in the same office where I started writing this thing three years ago, writing about the platform that gave me a readership. I didn’t know what to do with a blog, you know? I knew my job (the one I’ve gone back to for the time being) had dead time, and I knew there were things I wanted to write about. I had friends whose blogs inspired me (Emily, pretty please start writing again, k?), and I knew I could do something similar.
I was never, have never been, and will never be a controversial writer. I won’t get into politics, I don’t generally do religion unless it’s a (hopefully) gentle expression of my personal faith, and I’m not especially humorous. But, when Brittney would take something I’d written and post it on NiT, it was a validation I’d never had, really, and one I couldn’t have gotten in any other way. Sharing my writing was a HUGE step, and I’m still struggling with how much self-censoring I do and how much more I could be sharing. When something I wrote—even if it was a snarky commentary on Starbucks customers or something just as frivolous—became a small thread in the community’s conversation that day, well, it made my day.
I know that my blog was never one of the heavy-hitters, and I didn’t (and still don’t) want it to be. It was so vital, though, that the ones who were heavy hitters had such a unique forum. There were some pretty big jerks, I recall, and honestly, I won’t read their blogs to this day. But, also to this day, I’m able to subscribe to blogs expressing polar-opposite views of my own and at least take away food for thought because I once got to “know” the writer through the conversation on NiT. It’s also been my privilege to attend meetups where I could witness the rapport among those all over the ideological spectrum.
That’s the thing—I was a small part of it, but I still got to be a part of something that, as an introverted writer wannabe, I could never have gotten up the courage to join myself. It was just so organic—I wrote, and that’s all I had to do. I could comment if I wanted, or I could just enjoy the day’s exchanges, all brought together by Brittney’s keen eye for the relevant and interesting.
I really just got in on the tail end of it all. I started this blog in February, and by June, NiT had crashed and burned.
I admire Christian Grantham a lot, and it’s been a pleasure to make his acquaintance via Twitter. He, too, did some great things with Nashville is Talking when he took the helm. He obviously loves Nashville and cares about the community.
I’m just nostalgic is all. That site in its heyday did a lot for me as a blogger and a new Nashvillian, and I think I always hoped it would somehow return to that, if in a new form. Insert cliche about change and progress here, I guess. I’m just thankful I got to experience it and get my blogging start there.