Convicted Serial Blogger
I don’t think most people realize this, but I have been an avid writer my whole (literate) life. I remember writing short stories in elementary school on the dotted lined paper for penmanship practice. You know, the ones with space for illustrations at the top? Then, as I edged closer to the double-digits, I filled up my first diary (with a highly secured lock and key system). My first real form of social media communication was back in middle school when AOL chat rooms and AIM came out. And of course, you can’t forget that classic sound, “You’ve Got Mail!”
Xanga, one of the web’s first blogging platforms, launched in 1999 and of course, I hopped on it. In middle school, I didn’t have much to share on the blog, as I was busy chatting on AIM with my friends after school. Also, it sure was annoying to get disconnected from the internet when someone picked up the phone, so I wasn’t going to risk losing an important blog post.
In 2003, I really picked up blogging (and journaling on paper) regularly when I studied abroad in Japan. I had the most amazing year of my life, living on the other side of the world, at the age of sixteen. I wrote and wrote and wrote, buying and filling more than four bound paper journals in that span of time. But, this was only what I wrote when I was in school. Before and after school, I also snuck in time to share details on my blog with my family and friends. You have to keep in mind that making international phone call was extremely expensive, so I only talked to my parents about once per month. Skype was not a thing, Facebook was not a thing. Snail mail and Xanga blogging were basically it!
The incredible thing is that I had no idea how much “content” I shared on my Xanga blog until I returned home to the US and my mom presented me with a 5″ binder filled to the brim with the printed version of every blog post I wrote — probably two reams of paper worth. I still have my four journals and gigantic binder from 2003-2004 and someday I will write a memoir of my experiences abroad.
I would love to know what is something that has always felt so natural to you? Something that you always come back to over and over? I would love to hear from you!