I’ve been thinking on this for a little while and I think the origin story I would tell you is wrong, rewritten by my wretched memory. So tonight, in under a thousand words, I shall attempt to begin my origin story.
My writer story, that is. The rest of them are for another day.
To begin, let’s zip back in time. We’re going back eleven years, to when I was an awkward shy kid in high school. At the time I was a super-voracious reader, which actually hasn’t changed much – nowadays, I just have less time. I have a memory of sitting in the library at the computer terminal and for whatever reason, I was writing a piece of short fiction. Not for class, not a competition. Just because. I distantly remember my fingers flying and then saving it at the end of lunch. I never printed it, never did anything with it.
Even so, I was my character. I was her author. Somewhere in the back of my skull, the character’s story rattled around for telling.
I didn’t write again until two years later. This time, I delved into bad poetry. Again, I shelved it. Chucked the notebook to the back of my wardrobe, once or twice delving through for it.
Then uni came around. In second year, I swapped majors: Anthropology, to English. I befriended a classmate who also wrote, and encouraged me to blog. He was like me. Still is. Sarcastic, weird sense of humour, habit of going on tangents thinking about things. So, I signed myself up to WordPress – indeed, the blog on which you’re reading this now. At some point along the way I’d amassed a few stories, because writing had become a way to shut off the world for a while. Sometimes, the world is stressful.
I posted them. The response was not a bang, but a whimper.
It was a start.
During this year, I picked up the NaNoWriMo challenge. This was in 2011, and my first effort was dreadful. Even so, I was hooked.
I blogged sporadically for the first years, going through patches of silence and coming back, newly re-determined. Each year I found new things to enjoy, new ways to do something fun.
Then last year ticked around. In early 2015, actually probably right around the time I was going for job interviews, I decided to do more with blogging. I made a schedule and didn’t stick to it, but I did stick to the goal of daily posting. I found fun things to entice my attention and ran with them, dropped them if I got bored of them or they became chores.
And this brings us to today. One year and about three months after I promised myself to be a better blogger, I’ve got an unbroken streak of posts. I’m especially proud of that. These days I write not for the sake of it, but because there’s an idea loose in my brain and it needs to be said because I’m not someone who can write a story and tuck it away.
I write to communicate, to be connected. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has dropped even a short sentence on something I’ve posted, saying they liked it. For me, blogging is putting my voice into the world. Here I am. This is what I’m saying. Maybe someone will listen. Maybe they’ll even be on the same wavelength.
I have memories of being the shy girl in class, the one who when called on would just shake her head quietly because the words would stick in my throat. I would just freeze up, couldn’t bear to bring my thoughts outside of my cranium.
In a world of hyper-connection, I like being able to tap into the connections and share my voice.
I like posting something, thinking that maybe someone else will read it and like it. That maybe what I’ve written will strike a chord, or something to that effect.
At work, I have something of a reputation for writing. One of our leaders used to ask me frequently how the writing was going. Another of the girls I work with is so sweetly encouraging and supportive; others ask about my stories, I think not out of politeness but out of interest. It works beautifully as an icebreaker. In a world of shyness, where I live in the fictional worlds I create in my computer, someone can ask me about how the writing is getting on, and it’s a way to start a conversation. And they do ask.
Somewhere along the way, writing became my niche.