Windmill Ways was launched into existence on July 11, 2016. People met me as a girl who published a Finding Dory movie review and blog post that still eeks nerves through the pixels of my screen. And it should!
I was trying something new and scary and I had no idea if people would accept it or me. Normally, a person writes about their life and failures in a diary and hides it in a drawer or under their bed. What madness would drive me to post mine online?
By July 2016 I had just received what I hoped was the last abusive email from an ex-friend and love-interest. Meanwhile, my relationship with Joel had crumbled from the atom bomb I’d dropped, I was looking at colleges to get a bachelors degree in Business, and I had no idea what society expected of me now that I was officially an “adult.”
If my 2016 was a gif it’d be:
With the name decided, I started writing. Articles flowed like I was a wild horse that had been kept in the stable all winter and finally got to run again. After a month of random writing I decided to figure out an actual purpose. Up to that point my subscribers were being bombarded with rants that sounded great in the shower.
I wanted Windmill Ways to be more, so I made some publishing guidelines that I still try to follow.
If my English teachers knew I ran a blog they’d probably choke on their coffee. For assignments I always wrote the minimum word count—no more than 10 words over, ever. I thought I hated reading and especially writing.
Now I’m amazed because literature is like a form of telepathy. I can transfer my thoughts onto this page and as you read they enter your mind. Ooou magic.
That’s why writing matters.
It’s a chance to hear someone’s inner voice and connect on a deeper level. Someone who looks fine on the outside may write the most heartbreaking sonnets. Some of the first pieces I ever shared online were dark poems. And people I didn’t know left comments and messages sharing their painful times too. Learning someone else had been through something similar helped me back then.
Today your comments, emails, and DMs help me keep writing—even now, 4 years later. There are still so many stories to share from my past and the guest authors’, and every day adds a new yesterday, constantly building the library. (I just checked and right now I have scrawled out 85 drafts and this is the 90th published piece.)
Before this blog I was the only one who saw every battle and embarrassing moment that shaped my peeves and strange habits. People had no idea about all my victories, failures, and insecurities. Recently, even those closest to me were shocked to learn I struggled with thoughts of suicide.
I took the scenic route to get to the point, actually I might’ve buried it completely. So just to make sure it’s clear let me rephrase:
Thank you for reading and writing with me.
I wouldn’t be who I am and this blog wouldn’t be here without you.
Sometimes I find a fantastic blog, one where the author’s voice is so funny and relatable and I just can’t wait to subscribe. Then I notice their last post was “Thanks for the memories” from several years ago. I think, “If someone like that couldn’t make it, how can I?” And I juggle the thought of shuttering this site. There’s more that I can do to help this site give more value and attract more readers and guest authors.
It’s been an ever-changing, ever-challenging journey. Yet I am grateful for every moment of it. And I’m not ready to say goodbye, so instead here’s to another year together!
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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