April 22nd, 2005

planet

on writing

I had a blog when I was, like, 13. It wasn't online. In 1993 there wasn't a whole lot online... I'm sure some of you were, but we'd just bought a computer a few years before that and hadn't gotten one with enough ports for a modem so I was out of luck. Even after I was internetting, I did everything... e-mail, chat, the website, before I was blogging.

But I really was writing then, and I had a friends list, just like I do now. I'd crank out these essays once or twice a month. Write them on lined paper in class or at home. Then I'd give them to a friend of mine, who'd share them with other friends, and soon I had a nice crowd of people who seemed genuinely interested in reading what I had to write. Sometimes it'd be satirical... fake notes and breakup letters to point out how silly every else's notes and breakup letters were. Other times I'd write fiction. A lot of the times I'd write essays though. I wrote about society's morals, and how culture looked at teenagers. I wrote about feminism and women's rights, mostly because I saw how many 13 year old girls chose to stop using their brains when they wanted to attract the opposite sex (so, so important, right?). And I'd pass the stuff around. I didn't want to write for the school paper or yearbook because I hated editors and didn't want to miss out on a cool elective, like sewing or choir. But I had a lot to say, so I found people who'd read it.

Later on, in high school, some kids put a zine together. I loved it, and asked if I could write for the next one. They told me there probably wouldn't be another one because they got in so much trouble at school for it (wasn't exactly a family-friendly publication), but if me and my friends wanted to put on out, power to us. I didn't really have friends. I had readers. I was their novelty. I didn't have the courage to ask them to put together a zine. And doing a zine by myself was just too risky and freakish; all through high school I acted like I didn't want to fit in but I didn't want to stick out, either. After that I didn't hand out most of my essays. I started keeping them to myself. I even wrote in code so no one would read anything; I had my own letters, sort of a weird Phoenician adaptation, that I'd use so nobody knew what I was saying. I wrote in spiral notebooks and refused to ever tear out a page. I wanted to stay inside my head and not say anything until I had all of life's answers figured out, otherwise people would just judge me and I'd disappoint them.