Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. - Moliere
One year ago today, I started this blog in order to have a soapbox from which to share my views on my profession; I wanted to do my small part in getting the word out that whores aren’t really different from other women and that laws suppressing our trade are evil, oppressive and unfounded in even the most tenuously defensible legal precedent. I also hoped to help men and women to understand each other a little better, to find a creative outlet for my writing skills and perhaps even to entertain people along the way. The Honest Courtesan has been more successful than I ever would’ve guessed; though I intended from the very beginning to post every day for at least the first year, I was pretty tired at the end of December and publicly worried that I would not be able to keep up the pace. But then I got my second wind, changed the way I did a few things so as to make the process a bit less grueling, and managed to accomplish my initial goal without burning out or once missing a deadline. After 365 posts, 8300+ comments, almost 250,000 hits and 87 subscribers, I don’t think it would be prideful of me to say that this blog is a success; I am respected by my readers and peers, complimented often, quoted and linked all over the internet and regularly contacted by journalists and other professionals for my expert opinions. And that’s probably more than an overeducated middle-aged whore with a big mouth deserves.
So now I really am going to slow down just a teensy little bit, not only to give myself a breather but also to make time for all the guest blogging, editing, activism and other outside projects my popularity has attracted. I’m still going to post every day (gods willing), but on holidays and perhaps a couple of other days per month my columns will be much shorter (though most will continue at the present 750-1500 word range, which I find very comfortable). Because there are far too many past columns for any new reader who isn’t completely obsessed to even hope to slog through, starting tomorrow I’m introducing a new daily feature called “One Year Ago Today”, which will be a link and a short description of the column from that date the previous year; this will enable interested new readers to catch up gradually. Most days the feature will probably be just a PS at the end of the regular column; other days it may actually be embedded in a new column on the same subject, and on still other days (such as holidays) the column may only consist of the link and a few new or introductory thoughts on the subject of the earlier column.
One of the projects on which I’d like to work is one which many of my readers have asked for, namely a collection of my best columns. It’s quite easy to publish electronically nowadays, and I’d also like to explore doing a limited run of paper copies (to start, more can always be printed if need be) for no other reason than it would do my little librarian’s heart good. I also feel like it might let me reach an audience which doesn’t generally read blogs. The columns I select will have to be modified a little; hyperlinks will have to be replaced by quotes and attributions, and references to earlier columns which don’t appear in the collection subsumed in the text, that sort of thing, but I should be able to do those pretty quickly once I start. Before I do anything else, though, I’ll need to know which columns to include, so I’d like your help in figuring that out. Please comment to this post or send me an email listing your ten favorite columns from the past year. You don’t need to rank them because I’m going to score them simply by the number of lists on which they appear, ignoring the order they appear in; if you can’t think of ten just put as many as you like. Then at the beginning of August I’ll do a column in which I list the top ten columns calculated in a number of different ways: The top ten by number of page views, the same list corrected by removing columns usually found by popular image searches, the top ten by number of comments, my favorite ten and your favorite ten. And all of those will go into the book.
Thank you so very much for reading, for responding, and for making this project more fun and rewarding than I ever would’ve imagined it would be. And most especially thank you all for your kind words and unflagging support, without which I think I would’ve run out of juice long ago. Here’s to the next year!