30 January 2013

Blogging back in the Diaryland days. Evolution.

(Photo by Tash)


I've been blogging for years. I've been reading blogs longer than I've been writing them, and I wanted to join in. I felt like I had something to offer, even when my writing wasn't so refined. I started my first blog on Diaryland when I was 19. It was 10 April 2001. I had printed out some of the 'best' (read: not that good in hindsight) entries, and I found the wad of paper when cleaning my spare bedroom over the weekend. My posts were written almost 12 years ago, and though it doesn't feel like very much time has passed, reading through my words shows just how much I've grown.

While I am mindful of being a responsible blogger in my current blogging foray, I had a lot to learn back then. I'd blog about working at a department store, mention other peoples' names (though seemingly never mine) when they probably didn't know I was writing about them, and I would copy and paste a lot of sad song lyrics. I'd write about Big Brother and Popstars - two things that I have no interest in now. I did write a lot about Felicity though - that love hasn't gone.The writing wasn't great - in fact, it was lazy - with excessive use of "cos", "kinda" and ellipses... The blog post topics were not so cohesive, some were brief and many were just Twitter-length fleeting thoughts (but not so quick witted) rather than exploring topics on a deeper level. To be honest, it was a boring read. Maybe it's because I hadn't had enough life experience as a 19 year old? Or maybe it was because I didn't give enough of myself on my blog.

What struck me most about these blog posts from 2001 was just how little I revealed about myself. It was as though I kept my online life so separate to my "real life" - I suppose hid my face and any information about my Ichthyosis from the world so that I could be a different person to people I had never met.

I was so reserved about the real me then. I was too scared to show my face on my blog because I feared no one would like it, just like no one liked it in the world I lived in then. 

I blogged about being proud of my low weight and being ashamed of my appearance. Two things I never do now. How I've changed - now I edit for better quality writing, and not so much parts of my life I think others won't accept. 

From 5 August 2001:
Seeing I was feeling a bit down, and found out I only weighed 50.5 kg this week, I decided to splurge and buy a Wonka Wicked Choc Mud Sludge bar, because there was a chance of winning a golden ticket.  

I wondered why weight was so important to me then? A low weight especially. Did it come down to the magazines I read? Was it the nightclubs I visited, the way I'd get excited that a drunk boy had noticed my cleavage before my face? Was it that I was finally starting to feel like I was fitting, and so had to maintain some sense of normalcy? The way my body feels, moves and copes is far more important to me now. 


I remember my online interactions from 1999 to 2001 (and probably beyond) - I'd use ICQ, and later online dating, fall in love with boys on there, they'd reciprocate (I think?), and I'd take a big metaphorical breath before sending them my photo, because I feared knew they wouldn't like me beyond my words. Some did. Many didn't, and openly mocked my appearance

From 4 April 2001:
I get worried about sending people my picture online, so I have devised a strategy to overcome the nerves: I send a pic of me next to a gorgeous person, and that way, the gorgeous person would take the attention away from me. Kinda like a decoy.

There seemed to be a mix of mistrust and kinship in the early days of interacting on the Internet. There probably still is. Mistrust in the sense that you thought anyone you spoke to online could be a murderer or a fraudster, and kinship in that you experience the "oh my god someone relates to how I feel and what I'm experiencing and that's never happened in my real life before!!". These two feelings tumbled around each other, never quite stopping to a calm. I didn't show my face or mention my name on that blog.

I hinted that there may be something wrong with me, that I may look different on that Diaryland blog. But I never came out and said it on that blog, nor the two subsequent blogs I had after that. And then one day I did. I introduced myself in my first post on this blog as having a chronic illness, as looking different. I don't know what prompted to be so open about my appearance on the internet. I guess it was the realisation that life online was real life. And the more I wrote, the more I became comfortable with the way I look

How long have you been blogging? What does your first blog or blog post say about you? Have you grown through writing?

Kirsty has a little link up over here - how fitting, considering my weekend find!

17 comments:

  1. that was very brave of you to write during the infancy of blogdom. others such as myself i got burnt (or was it burnt at the stake?) for writing. i stopped cold turkey. i hesistantly began to set up one last week w/ one post. still very hesitant.
    thankyou for your v.insightful post. - @cubbieberry

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    1. Hi Cubbieberry! Thanks for your comment - exciting that you started a blog :) Don't hesitate, just reveal how much or how little you want. Use a psyedonym of you like. Blog for you first and enjoy the readership when it comes.

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  2. Respect your self analysis and honesty here, Carly.

    SSG xxx

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  3. My first blog was on LiveJournal in 2003 and, much like yours, makes for fascinating reading! Early posts seem to be rather scattered, with thoughts and ideas going everywhere. Somewhere along the way, I clearly leanred to streamline my thoughts and to write more cohesive blog posts.

    It's weird to see how things have changed without your noticing, isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. I think blogging is definitely a way to home your craft. I'd never have considered submitting any of that writing to a paying publication then!
      With this blog I made a conscious decision to use it to develop my writing, but I can see how I progressed from Diaryland to Deviant Art to Blogsome to MySpace.
      I never had Livejournal. Do you still have yours active Katie?
      Thank you for the comment :)

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  4. You are truly a blogging veteran Carly. I've only been going 2 years but I really do wish I had started earlier. It must be the season for discovering lost writing as I found one of my old travel diaries the other week and had to laugh at the detail I went into about the most mundane things. Maybe it's best that I didn't start blogging earlier?

    I'm glad that you finally felt free enough to write about your condition and reveal yourself online. I hope my son, who has albinism so looks different too, feels that same freedom and confidence when he is older. Thanks so much for linking up to I Must Confess Carly!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kirsty, it is so funny how things change with what we write and our style, isn't it? I even cringe at my first posts here.
      Glad you had this topic this week Kirsty!

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  5. Carly :) I sometimes talk to you about living with a disability on Twitter - I am Rachyvool!

    Anyway what you wrote struck a cord with me. I never ever LiveJournaled about having something wrong with me. I never told anyone on IRC (some that I chatted to for years without meeting) that I had something *wrong* I think for me it was that I wanted the online world to judge my personality before they saw me.. and I think to a degree, it worked. Now that I am older it is a lot easier to be upfront with people, I think everyone grows into themselves but more so when they have a chronic illness or a disability.

    :)

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    1. Oh yes! Irc hey! I remember! I think I was the same as you - blogging/using the Internet to get people to see my personality first. I still do to an extent, but it's made me less afraid to be myself in public settings.
      Thank you for stopping g by and chatting, I recognise your twitter name :)

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  6. Now I really want to go and find the first post of my first blog so I can look and see if my writing has changed as well. Off the top of my head I don't think it has because I am a lot older and so was a lot older when I started blogging.
    It's great to see how you have grown and changed as a person. I think age does have something to do with it because at 19 you don't have the life experiences to draw on - I see it with my daughter all the time.
    Have the best day !
    Me
    #ConfessionTime visitor

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was all over the net back in 1997 onwards, but never had a blog. I did meet my husband in an online chat room (he is American) in 1997 though! We used ICQ in those early days. I wrote a blog post about it if you were interested. Called My American Husband.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sophie I'd love to read your post! Like you, I'd been online since around 1996-97, and I did read blogs and use Icq and online chat before I wrote my own blog. Early adopters hey?!
      Thanks for the comment :)

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    2. Nice to meet you Carly, thanks for popping into Facebook. It's Facebook Loving Sunday today, at With Some Grace, you should go and link up.

      Here is the blog post I was talking about. http://www.i-soph.com/2012/10/my-american-husband-we-met-online-15.html

      And here is FBLS: http://www.withsomegrace.com/

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  8. I think this just shows you've grown up a lot Carly - like we all have compared with our teenage selves. You're actually lucky to have it all written down to reflect back on how far you've come. Me, I've been blogging 4.5 years but if I went back to that first post, it wouldn't be about me - I had blogging all wrong and was just writing and publishing like I did as a journo with no injection of me and no insight into the potential of conversation and connection that comes with blogging.

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  9. It just shows how you have grown and evolved yourself. Being more comfortable and self assured with who you are. I remember using ICQ back it the day! I have blogged from 2010 and like you I didn't reveal too much about myself and never showed my face but I'm more comfortable with that now.

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