Derek Shanahan

Five Years & Three Months Since Blogging

This blog was started on August 15th, 2006.

It’s sort of our five year anniversary around here.


Before that I was writing an anonymous blog called PsychoticNormalcy. I got that website online in 2002 and I was using Moveable Type (which was a bitch, honestly).

I began writing online because I was reading these bloggers who were telling stories about their lives, and they wrote so beautifully.

This was pretty new at the time, writing about your life online – Blogger & LiveJournal were three years old.

But these people wrote with incredible courage and clarity. There were many, but the ones that seem to pop into my head when I think back to those times include Tony PierceRaymi, Tankboy, Gwen Bell, Chris Messina, Ryan McGee, TinkDarkness, AntiDis and xTx. I’m forgetting many.

They inspired me to write, and to keep writing.

I sucked at first…I wrote like a teenager. I wrote arrogantly as if my perspective mattered and as if my life was legend. I wrote “as if”.

Often, I’d try to figure out what whomever was reading would want me to say, and I’d write that.


I haven’t written here in three months.

It’s been an interesting experience. I’ll explain why it happened in a different post, but I found myself facing the deletion of all of my websites one day. It was unexpected, and as you can probably imagine it created a bit of a hassle if I was going to fix everything.

After about two weeks, and heavily influenced by Gwen Bell’s Blank Slate and Digital Sabbatical, I decided to sit with the downtime.

To lean into it and to contemplate the clean slate as an opportunity as opposed to a dramatic problem.


I’ve moved things around on this site as a result of the reflection that the downtime afforded me.

I’ve moved them around in an effort to align this site with what I’m doing, thinking, and experiencing.

If you’re reading this in a feed, you might want to click over here to poke around and get acquainted. There’s even a page to see what I’m seeing each day.


I’ll explain more later.

For now, it’s nice to be back behind the keyboard writing.

How have you been?


  • busblog 6 months ago Reply

    Congrats on 5 years!! That’s like 198 in blog years :)

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @busblog Thank you sir:) That makes you about 400!

  • Emilyrosa 6 months ago Reply

    I love reading other people’s bogs. it’s crazy inspiring

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @Emilyrosa I know right? It’s crazy how the core list of reads always stay pretty small, too.

  • JenniferBeese 6 months ago Reply

    I love the new look! It’s very clean and puts the focus on your words. Congrats on 5 years D!

    As for me? Well, I’m looking forward to unplugging for 5 straight days at the beginning of September. I’ve already alerted the jobs and cannot wait to disconnect. I’m pretty sure Dan will be happy about that too :)

  • nicoleantoinette.ross 6 months ago Reply

    You’re back! And I’m in the little sidebar! Woop woop!

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @JenniferBeese For sure…unplugging is really rejuvenating. Enjoy:)

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @nicoleantoinette.ross Sidebar queen!

  • ChelsTalksSmack 6 months ago Reply

    Thanks for the sidebar, yo! Woot! And welcome back :)

  • alysonshane 6 months ago Reply

    Congrats on the blogiversary! Also, good to see you writing again (though I may not have commented much before, I’ll try and make a point to do more of it now that you’re back)

  • tankboy 6 months ago Reply

    Five years?! It seems like only two years ago you were celebrating three years. Man how time flies!

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @tankboy We’re getting old, buddy. :)

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @alysonshane Thanks so much Alyson:) Would love you around more, obviously. You have one of the best blogrolls around, btw.

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    @ChelsTalksSmack Woot woot…thanks Chels.

  • spitonthestreet 6 months ago Reply

    so I am just curious… why don’t you have a 20sb badge on your blog? I guess it’s a given. I know, random question… so congrats on your blogiversary (big fan of that word)!!

  • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

    GREAT question. I’m actually working on having our icons cleaned up for smaller sizing, and I’m about to launch a rev-share network for all you awesome bloggers (you seriously heard it here first:)) which I’ll have up here testing.

  • brandyharris1016 6 months ago Reply

    Congrats! Just stumbled upon your blog from 20SB. :) Any suggestions for a creative girl who enjoys working with people in the mental health field as a professional career woman… but who hates working in a corporate environment and wants to spread her wings and branch out with her creativity possibly via her blog, etc. – and leave all that behind for more soul-freedom… ? :) How did you start?

    • dshanahan 6 months ago Reply

      @brandyharris1016 Thanks for dropping by Brandy. I think first and foremost I’d start thinking about what you have to say, and how you want to say it. Content wins; thinking critically about a niche or field and then offering your perspective on it is hard, but it’s generally just about putting in the time. The creativity then has room to spread its wings…experiment with ways to ‘say’ what you have to say without sounding like everyone else.

      The other piece of the crazy online world is community, and it’s a huge element that leads to progress and a group to support you as you chase your dreams. Dive in. Help other people however you can, and it’ll come back to you in droves. Pay as much attention to being a part of a community as you do to your own contributions to the conversation.

      • brandyharris1016 6 months ago Reply

        Thank you for this thoughtful and sincere feedback. I am feeling reassured and energized.

        Than you, again. :)

        Brandy ~


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