I’m a millennial who has had access to the internet since my tweens, and that in itself should have been enough for me to start a blog by now.
I always meant to start a blog. By the time I’d worked up the courage to put my thoughts out into the world though, I was approximately a decade late to the game. I’m one of those awkward millennials who was just sheltered enough to not really get to grips with Vines until the medium was all but obsolete, or understand the power of a finely curated Instagram feed until a thousand other influencers were already doing it. I’m that kid who had an iPhone and iPod until 2016 because I’d had it since 2006 and I’d be damned if I gave it up that easily.
I’ve grown up surrounded by computers. I started out with dial-up internet and a desktop PC in my Grandad’s study when I was five, playing Petz2 and Barbie Fashion Designer, or ‘making art on Paint’. I’ve adapted to every processor and app update since Windows 95, worked on desktops, laptops and Macs, and learnt every programme and plugin that’s been put before me.
That’s maybe one reason I always put off blogging: watching so many digital fads come and go like changing seasons. What if my obsession with celebrity death conspiracy theories faded (it did), or my love of acoustic folk-country music passed (it hasn’t), or my intensive knowledge of The Sims 2 became irrelevant (well…)? What if blogging went out of fashion, or I lost interest in the topic, or website technology changed? I’d seen friends build perfect MySpace portals that disintegrated overnight: what if everything I’d worked on disappeared with the passing of WordPress, the collapse of Wix, the meltdown of Squarespace?
That was also before I really understood the scope or permanence of the internet. I didn’t think images I uploaded onto Bebo or Facebook were as real as the printed copies I hung on my walls, or the articles I read as tangible as my paperback books. Even now there is a snobbery about the permanence of print versus the perceived temporariness of digital media, in spite of digital footprints having an immediacy, reach and longevity far beyond that of most print distribution. Attitudes towards digital media are slowly changing, but there’s still a lack of understanding that things don’t really get deleted: Facebook profiles, blog posts and websites can be read, copied, or redistributed in ways you never intended. Consider how many tweets you’ve read long after the person who posted them has deleted them.
It didn’t take some incredible psychic ability to see my Nirvana Fandom posts coming back to haunt me when I wanted to be a ‘serious professional’. I wanted to take up some fantastic hobby that I could wax lyrical about, or begin a wild travelogue of my adventures around Asia. In the end, I had too many thoughts and too many interests in too many different areas that uniting them was too broad, or focussing on one was too narrow. I had my mum on the phone from 6,000 miles away telling me to start a blog. ‘Write about writing,’ she said when I said I didn’t have a topic. I told her that was too meta even for me, but here I am drafting a post about blogging, and I can hear the told-you-so already.
With hindsight and a much firmer grasp on the digital world, I’m glad my 15-year-old self refrained from spilling her heart out on the internet. Today I’m a little more confident in what I know (and what I don’t), but who can say whether it’s that, a skin thickened from working in media, or a new-found addiction to taking leaps that has pushed me to write this post?
Without further ado, I launch my blog – because better late than never. Expect monthly musings on my favourite things: food-obsessed travel narratives; ramblings on running and wellness in a bid to balance out my cravings for McWings; and letters to my first love, writing, in all its glorious forms. And waffle. Lots and lots of waffle.