I’m Not Great At Titles.

I’m really not. It’s the kind of silly reason I’ve given for not starting a blog before. They make me nervous as they seem to be such a ~statement, where really, all they are is the choosing of one or two or five or ten words over the other fifty thousand words I know. Which, in itself, makes me feel bad for the 49,995 words that I didn’t pick right now.

This blog is only going to be a bit about high heels and dinosaurs. I love both, but I know as much about each as anyone does: high heels vary between BEST THING EVER and REALLY STUPID PLAN depending on a) what you’re doing and b) how long you’ve been doing it for, and dinosaurs range from the T-Rex (iconic, infinite comedic opportunities owing to arm length) to the Icthyosaur (a good thing to crochet and sell on Etsy).

If we haven’t already met, I’m thinking you likely have a good measure of me by now.

Or have you?

I keep thinking I have a good measure of myself, and then people I’ve known for years, or people I’ve only just met, speak to me in a way that completely confuses me. Don’t you know me well enough by now? Do I seem like someone like that?

I’ve spent a lot of the last sixteen years of my life on the internet, and, given that I’m only 30 1/2, you can very easily calculate that that is over half my life. I’ve had journals online forever. Writing into the ether, directed at none, entertaining/useful often just to me, this is something that’s been as natural to me as bleaching my hair, or buying books and heaping them up into piles that watch me when I’m trying to write.

I’ve just found a cup of coffee I made myself at half six this morning and, because it was half six on a Sunday morning, I put it in a corner and forgot about it. Handily, all I want right now is cold coffee, so I’m taking this unexpected happening as forward-thinking, rather than mindless fail.

I like tangents, sidebars, brackets and ellipses.

I have written so much online, about myself, about TV, about sport, about the weather, about anything and everything. I have words in abundance. Sometimes I arrange them into stories. Sometimes I spend hours trying to shove these stories at various publications. Sometimes I hide things on my own computer knowing that they might be made better on another day, when I’m not disappearing into a well of misery.

But I’ve not had a ‘proper’ blog. I remember when I first heard the word ‘blog’. I thought it was stupid. For a while, I campaigned in my own corner of the internet for ‘journal’ to be the thing, but, alas, the blog is ubiquitous. I have a place where I’ve met people, made friends, made my very best friends in the world – all over the world, at that – and where I’ve done a lot of growing up. It isn’t somewhere I’d invite just anyone. Or indeed, anyone, not any more. It’s past, not present, and it’s private, because the internet was private, then, and it isn’t, now. Or, I’m not, now.

That’s the kind of post that comes to mind. All these years online. I’d like to write about that, how things have changed, for me, part of the generation that didn’t map the internet, innovate it or revolutionise it, but simply USED it. Solidly, constantly, to every end, for more than half my life. I didn’t build the internet, but I sure as anything packed it with content. Let’s not mix posts – I’m saying ‘hi’, not writing that now – but you can see where I’m going. I’ve things I want to say to anyone who wants to hear, and I want to hear from anyone with things to reply.

I read a lot of things online. There are infinite debates that I don’t so much like to join in, as to watch, or read, or follow. But I don’t want to be quite that passive all the time. I’ve got my own perspective, and I’ve spent a long time ramming it into 140 characters and flinging it into the Twitter well, which is wonderful for many things, but it doesn’t work when I want to talk about topics where even I don’t know what I want to say about them. Whenever I end up reading long talks about writing, or feminism, or education, or relationships, I often have things to say, but they play out in my head and disappear. For someone who loves words so much, I’ve spent a long time ignoring my chance to deck out my corner of this internet, and build a neat little soapbox to sit on and ramble from.

Here it is. I know the colour scheme is garish. I know the title is eyeroll. But it’s mine, so you’re welcome all the same.

When I was five years old, my primary school class went to a bookshop in London and drew ourselves as a book cover. Everything I drew when I was five was raccoons (based on my toy raccoon – when, ten years later, I actually saw a real raccoon for the first time, I was genuinely surprise) and horses. So, I drew a raccoon, talking to a horse, and because I didn’t think first, I just grabbed a felt tip and got on with it, not really caring that they were all in bright pink.

The author (I have NO idea who it was, just that he was American, so super-weird and unusual to little me) threw his arms wide, looking at mine, and yelled (honestly, even then I was thinking, why are you shouting these words?) “THIS IS INCREDIBLE! I LOVE THAT YOU USED PINK! PINK IS SO RADICAL!” (it was the ’80s, recall) “YOU’RE SO NEAT!” (I was anything but neat, having very poor drawing skills) and “EVERYONE LOOK HOW BOLD THIS IS!”

So, I like pink. And sometimes, a bit of me hopes that I’ll do something interesting enough for any positive reason at all that someone unusual and interesting themselves will throw their arms wide, and shout, LOOK AT THIS!

I’m still trying to achieve that. It’s taken me a long time to twig that, in order to do that, I have to do things, say things, and share things in public. Here I am.

Advertisements