Wednesday, July 30, 2008


A number of past journals, both actual and virtual, have passed through my hands in a variety of ways. Some I have simply lost, some I have destroyed through self-censorship by tearing out pages, burning embarrassing entries or by tossing them in the trash. A couple of summers ago I deleted about seven years worth of online journal entries in one massive, sweeping purge. I was proud of many of those online journal entries - many of which were written back when I only knew these things as "online journals" and probably would have assumed that the word "blog" had something to do with the sound a cat makes when it vomits. Actually, to be fair, a good number of those early entries probably had less color and texture than cat vomit, but I was proud regardless. Armed with only a primitive knowledge of HTML, a thirty dollar webcam and a passion for MS Paint, I had erected one of the finest websites that Angelfire was capable of supporting.

In those first few years, I enthusiastically considered myself ahead of the curve - a quirky little innovator. LiveJournal was still a year or two away from being widely heard of by the online community and, being the author of an online archive of journal entries, I had the distinct pleasure of being the very first person to explain the concept to many people. Most would ask, "You post your diary online? And anyone can read it? Isn't that... weird?"

Yes. It is weird. It is also now, in 2008, hugely popular - almost an obligation, or an afterthought for some. In 1998, I had only ever met one other person who had an online journal (Kevin Driscoll, a high school crush - his online journal was the first I had ever seen). Today, the number of bloggers coughing up entries all over cyberspace is estimated to be well over 100 million. Today, if I truly wanted to be unique I might entertain the archaic notion of quietly keeping a real paper-and-binding journal by my bedside.

But then, there is the troubling matter of "if a journal entry is written, and no one has access to comment on it, does it make a noise?". That's what seventeen year old Lola might ask, anyway. Of course, the world is noisier now than it has ever been and perhaps what we could really use is more individual quiet time; and that is partly why twenty-four year old Lola decided that the only way to move forward creatively was to erase all those quirky, funky online journals that she'd been resting her artistic ass on for years.

Since then, I have completed the first draft of a novel and recently began revisions. Progress! Art! So, now that I have proven to myself that I don't need the instant gratification of publish-with-the-click-of-a-button blogging, I am ready to start up a real blog again. Because I like it. Because I could use the exercise.

Because I hope someday to be a great writer - the kind that can forge gemstones from cat vomit.