I have always been a writer, and I’ve often been a writer on the internet, but I’ve never truly been a blogger. To me, a blogger is someone who actually writes well and regularly, who has readers, whose writing has a purpose. I’ve never been that; I have been an online journaler, a diarist. But writing used to be second-nature to me, and maybe it still is, somehow. Last summer, I started a blog, intending to write regularly until realizing I had nothing to say. I didn’t want it to be too personal (my name was in the URL, after all) and I can’t write about anything I don’t know. I changed the URL, thinking that would help. I gave it a title, I got rid of the obnoxiously brightly-colored layout, I added more blogs to my Google Reader for inspiration.
Somewhere along the lines, I overheard people talking about blogs at a party. Friends of friends, these people were, but no one who knows me well. “What is the point of a blog?” they asked, slightly scornfully. “You just, like, have a website and write things about yourself.” You could almost hear the “WTF”s going through their minds. I wanted to laugh because blogs seem to be taking over most of the world, but I really just thought… sure, that’s what some people do with them. And sometimes it’s just that, a diary, a personal chronicle useless to everyone else. Some people blog to keep their friends and family updated about their lives, their spouses, their children. Some people blog with the intent of changing the world, or at least telling a story that matters.
Why am I doing this? I have no idea. I’m doing this because I want to say I’m a writer and not be lying. I’m doing it because I need to feel like there is some part of my life that is creative, because maybe there are things I want to say. Maybe it’s just going to be all about me and how I’m trying to make sense of my life, but the thing is? In the ten (!) years I’ve been writing all over the internet, I’ve been commended for my honesty, for my bravery, for how deeply I feel things – and how often I admit to it. I’ve been thanked for being me, for being someone people could relate to, and that is something that matters.
Before writing this, I peeked at this previous blog at which I failed, and I noticed a few new comments. One was in response to an entry I’d posted, crying about how horrible the world is, how devastating it can be sometimes. An “internet friend” who I’ve known for years commented, saying he agrees, the world is totally effed (except he said it much more nicely, because he is a nice boy who isn’t quite as potty-mouthed as myself), but he believes it can be better. And then he wrote, “and knowing that there are people like yourself, I feel encouraged that we can make it better together.”
People like myself. That means something; I guess it’s high time to figure out what. I’m almost twenty-four, in my mid-twenties, and maybe chronicling this quarterlife crisis won’t be anything more than self-indulgent. But maybe it will be more, maybe it will be meaningful to someone, and maybe someday something good can come from this. Maybe once I find my way, I can figure out how to help others – who knows, even the world (dream big, right?) – do the same.