Nikki and I started a Twilight blog 10 years ago last Saturday. We’ve shared our origin story on many occasions like here and here for starters, and if you want a real tear jerker, read what our company Method Agency had to say this past Saturday:
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December 8, 2008 // If you’ve ever heard us present professionally, you may have heard us say the phrase “Twilight changed our lives” to snickers or squeals among the crowd, depending on the audience we’re talking to. We could go on for hours about what we mean when we say that, but here is the short version: 10 Years ago today, two friends were bored at their jobs and decided they would start a blog to talk about “This @Twilight Thing” we were obsessing over. And our blog Letters To Twilight (LTT) was born. Within weeks it was overrun with amazing online commenters turned real-life friends who made us laugh, sometimes cry and taught us a whole lot about online community. We learned how to write online (daily), to use social media to create engagement (and enemies), and mostly we learned that marketing didn’t need to be so boring. It could be fun, entertaining and really, really funny. Through LTT we got cover red carpet premieres, interview the #Twilight author, meet incredible people running huge websites dedicated to Twilight and fandom in general. And what we learned through our website gave us the courage to start Method Agency. It gave us real-world experience AND our first client (Hey there @FickleFishFilms!). We didn’t know it, but that decision on 12/8/2008 to start a website, with this first post seen here (yes, this one with a shirtless @kellanlutz) changed our lives. Twilight changed our lives. And we are so very grateful. Happy 10 Year Anniversary Letters To Twilight! (Happy 10 years Moon. <3 UC )
Okay, it wasn’t that sad, but It’s been TEN YEARS since we made that fateful decision to start a Twilight blog. But TLDR; Twilight Blog turned into That’s Normal which turned into Method Agency which keeps the lights on in our homes. Really, Twilight gave us our careers today. But actually it gave us so.much.more.
As pop culture has been reflecting on what Twilight has done in the past 10 years since the movie’s release, I’ve been reflecting on the 10 years since Nikki and I started a Twilight blog, and what I’ve learned and how life has changed since:
The internet is a scary, scary place
There are so many people who say mean things on the internet! I’m not talking about us, after each episode of Outlander (except Savages). I am a firm believer in “If you dish out controversial things on the internet publicly, you gotta take the criticism.” With almost every criticism I’ve lobbied on Outlander, MLMs and Twilight, I’ve expected the backlashed and been okay with it. We can have different opinions. One person’s perfection could very well be crappy to me. It doesn’t make me right, but having a platform where people read what I say means I have the right to say it. And I’ll take the criticism.
But mean, anonymous internet comments, man. They are something else. During the Twilight years I was called an old, fat cat lady enough times that I threatened to make t-shirts out of the phrase. It was shocking, at first, and then it became so very normal to get internet hate that it wasn’t interesting anymore.
And yet…the internet is a wonderful place.
As I write this, I’m also checking in with the various group chats I have, made up with all friends (except Nikki) I’ve met on the internet, many from the Twilight days. I remember my first experience meeting Twilight friends IRL. I was so scared. It was weird! Who WERE these people? They seemed cool “enough” from our Twitter interactions, but what if they… weren’t!!?
Those days are so long gone. I don’t even think TWICE about meeting up with internet friends, sharing hotel rooms, Air BnBs, taking sips from each other’s drinks and more— on the FIRST FRIEND DATE. I haven’t been murdered yet! I can’t imagine if my life didn’t have the Beth/Julie/Tiff/Heidi/Karen’s of my two most active group chats. All internet-turned IRL friends and besties.
And don’t worry, Amy, when we finally meet— I’m totally gonna murder you after we split a rosè!
Friendship and business partnership 10 years in is hard AND completely worth it
Nikki and I will be the first to tell you it ain’t easy. We talk A LOT- more than we talk to our partners somedays. And we often forget to chat about things other than work and just be FRIENDS because… bills have to be paid and clients, man! But when people ask me what works with our partnership, I say this: I could have my own company, and I’d be thrilled when I complete a big project or reach a milestone or land a client. But when that happens and I have a partner to share it with, it’s magical.
Alternatively, when I freak out, Nikki is usually calm. And while Nikki doesn’t freak out too often (you should meet her), when she does, I’m usually able to be the chill one. (The alternative to that is when we BOTH freak out it’s like twice as bad, but that has only happened a handful of times!)
Partnership, especially partnership after 10 years of big UPS and downs, is such a gift.
Life goes on
Life looks very different for me than it did when I started writing about Twilight every day 10 years ago. For one, I’m an aunt of 3 amazing kids who have made me love in ways I imagine will only be topped by motherhood. I now have a business that is incredible and fulfilling and scary and all the things. And I went through the life-shattering heartbreak of divorce.
Somewhere along the way I lost a partner and a friend and the man who ushered me from child to adult. And it was painful. And it was a long process— one that I went through while writing about pop culture and attending cons and starting a business. Life happened during the last 10 years- a lot of good and a lot of hard.
I’ve also fallen in love with an incredible man who has never seen Twilight. I’m not sure it’s going to work out.*
Fandom is amazing
Fandom is amazing when you’re in it and it’s weird AF when you’re not. And fandoms judge each other! It’s incredible what one weird fandom thinks is weird in another!
But fandom brings people together. They have factions. The have ships (READ THIS), but mostly it’s a place where misfits can find one another. And aren’t we all misfits in some way? That probably means none of us are misfits at all, but one person’s weird is another person’s totally normal. Or not weird enough. I’m so glad I opened my heart to a group of vampires and the weirdos it brought into my life.
I’m really good at WordPress
This is really just a side note. I taught myself a lot of internet stuff over the last 10 years!
Regrets are rare
I regret very little over the past 10 years. That’s a weird thing to say. Maybe that comes with age and you stop regretting things and how they turned out. I feel like I wouldn’t have said that even 5 years ago, but pain and…. just life gives you perspective.
I’ve made mistakes, that’s for sure. There are things I’ve said that weren’t right, there are people I’ve hurt. But even those mistakes have gotten me to this moment where I’m writing this post. It’s hard to regret even the hard stuff.
If I could tell myself something 10 years ago when Nikki and I had the idea to start a Twilight blog, I’d say, “Good idea, Bekah! You have NO idea what you’re getting yourself into. Your life is going to change. And you’re going to love it”
Happy 10 Years Letters To Twilight. Happy 10 Year Moon. Happy 10 Years to the decision that brought so many of you into my life!
Update: Without ANY pushing, my boyfriend turned on Twilight tonight. AND he was working on a spreadsheet. He’s a keeper: