I was a blogger before anyone knew what a blogger was.
I’ve been making my way through pages and pages of writing I did when I was younger, in an attempt to connect with the younger me as I’m writing my memoir.
I started writing in earnest when I was a teenager when Dad brought home a discarded typewriter from his office and I claimed it for my own. Suddenly the scraps of paper I had been scribbling on became real pages filled with poetry and short stories that I wrote and rewrote.
As I read these pieces today I remember that cynical young woman who sat at her desk in her lavender bedroom working her way through adolescence seeking to find her true self, that self that wasn’t affected by circumstances, the self she was created to be. She felt out of place much of the time, but when she sat at her typewriter and allowed her thoughts to flow through her fingers, the clickity-clack of the keys brought release and she felt strong.
Fast forward a few years to a young mother still struggling to reveal herself to the outside world. She wrote stories, she wrote poems, she dreamed dreams that seemed so close she could reach out and touch them, and yet so far away they seemed part of another life. But still, she wrote.
Today, I leaf through the yellowed and tattered pages where I typed and retyped the story of my life and I remember that young woman. She wrote because she had to; it was her way of standing strong and declaring her place in this world.
If there had been such a thing as “the internet” or “weblogs” I would have been online with a different version of My Own Velvet Room; as it were I blogged on sheets of yellow newsprint instead of a computer screen.
It is not so much the medium, as it is the practice of writing that I am drawn to. While I love the twenty-first century technology that allows me to put my writing out there, I realize that I was blogging long before the first time I heard the weee-waaa-weee of dial-up internet that connected me to the world back in the 1980’s. I was blogging in my lavender bedroom as I composed poetry on my typewriter and listened to Peter Frampton on my record player.
I will bet that many of us were.