2006-07-08 @ 5:44 p.m.
Three years ago today, I signed onto Diaryland for the first time.
I had no idea what a blog was. I had read an article in the newspaper that day about millions of people who signed onto the internet everyday and wrote blogs. The idea was thrilling to me, since I have this incurable disease. Its called write-us non-interruptus.
Previously I had driven both my friends and therapists crazy with all my lengthy e-mails and letters. For instance, when I moved 40 miles from my best friend when I was 14, she suggested that we write everyday. I don't think she realized what she was in for. I took it to heart. She couldn't keep up.
When somebody I was dating moved to Buffalo for an internship at a theatre and suggested that we write in a notebook and send it back and forth. I quickly filled it up with stories and drawings from home. I'd write 8-10 pages. He'd write 2-3 pages. But I didn't mind. I just loved to write.
It was something I was good at in school. I was always the STAR in all my creative writing classes. When I later moved into journalism, thinking I was going to be a reporter for a newspaper, I had a very wise journalism teacher, Catherine Mitchell (her and her husband won a Pulitzer Prize for their series of articles on a religious sect in Northern California). She took me aside and said, "witty, you're a really good writer, but you're just not a reporter. You're too opinionated. You're probably more of an editorial writer or an entertainment writer." I was somewhat crushed, but I heeded her advice and soon became an entertainment writer for various newspapers around Northern California.
I still had a lot of creative juices left after writing a measly review of some local play, so I started writing scripts. I always wanted to go to Hollywood. I mean, totally. I loved movies. I wrote three scripts in the 1980's. I even went to L.A. briefly to try and get an agent. I didn't give it enough time though, nor was I aggressive enough. The only interest I had in any of my scripts was from the head writer of "Moonlighting". I wrote a spec script for "Moonlighting" and sent her 10 pages from it. It was a take-off on "Casablanca" for Maddie and David. She really liked it, but was unable to use it. But she did want me to call her "when I moved to L.A." and gave me her phone number. Was that a brush off? Or legitimate. Not really sure.
Needless to say, I just never moved to L.A. Too anxious. Too much traffic. Too many earthquakes. Okay, the truth was I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to end up working at KINKO's, running off other writer's scripts, when I was 48. Of course the choice I did make was sooo much better. Being on disability, working P/T for $8.24/hr. and having to rely on food stamps and section eight. Yay me!
But I have been keeping a diary since I was 12. I still have it. It has bright yellow daisies on it. Very 1970’s. I love the dire warning I have on the inside cover..
I even invoke legal action if my privacy is infringed upon. Pretty heady stuff for a 12 year old who signs herself “The Management”. I had to. My mom used to snoop in my diary. It was so boring though. “I ate toast for breakfast. I petted my cat Little One. I watched “Wild, Wild West” tonight. I love Ross Martin (an actor on the show). I hope he will marry me and we can have children. Maybe we can named the boy Artemeus Gordon....” Why would anyone want to read that? But I was a very private little kid, as I am a private adult. No one knows about my diary in real life. I like to tell myself that at least. I find it....umm....comforting. But dang, why do I keep getting hits from the local internet company here in town? Over and over and over. And being the somewhat obsessive person that I am, I’m always checking it too. Well, I know I wasn’t up at 7:36 a.m. looking at my diary. So its either some random person with good taste who lives in town or someone has found my diary. I think its the latter. And I’ve narrowed it down to four people. Two at work. Two not at work. And I’ll leave it at that.
But I guess that’s the chance you take when you send your thoughts up over the internet. When I first signed onto Diaryland, I had no idea that people were reading my writing. I was so naive. And then I started getting notes from a very sweet teenager in Florida. And I was like....why would a teenager like the writing of an angtsy, forty something woman? I was usually just bitching and complaining like I always do, but they seem to like it. Hmm. Strange. And then I started getting more and more people adding me. And then I had a sort of strange quandary. Having written columns for newspapers I was wondering... Do I just write this as an honest-to-god diary or do I start writing this for an audience?
Because when I was writing for newspaper on a regular basis in the 1980’s, I had noticed my diary at home was being written like I was writing for a newspaper audience. I just couldn’t shake it. It was weird, I was showing off in my own freaking diary. I was making jokes. I was giving people in real life funny names like The Weird Smoking Lady. And I didn’t even have to. Its not like I had to come up with a pseudonym to protect someone’s identity. This was my own diary at home ferchissakes!
I guess I was training for my future adventures at diaryland.
When I first came to diaryland, I never had any problem commenting in other people’s diaries. I loved it! I was a regular at the now defunct “Uncle Bob’s”. I could always do good zingers and one liners. Once I realized how things worked, I wanted to be noticed. Who doesn’t? I wasn’t obnoxious about it. Or mean. I just wanted to join in. Be part of something, especially since my social life, at that point, consisted solely of idolizing a married man. Oy!
Also at that point, I had never really “met” anyone on diaryland, i.e., given myself permission to punch a teeny tiny pinhole in my massive paranoia protective gear, until the super spectacular HissandTell
convinced me to answer an e-mail. I was so afraid she would be able to trace my whereabouts by merely knowing my e-mail address. Yeah, I was that scared of being found at that point. But she was so kind and encouraging and funny, of course and I finally let my guard down and met a most special person. Although when she wanted to send me something, I made her swear and promise she wasn’t really a serial killer who was going to break into my house and slash me with a large slashing instrument of death. And she did. Promise me that is. I’m still here, aren’t I?
Since then I have finally started to communicate with various people with little notes here and there. And I’ve also gotten to know some people better over at MySpace and Flickr. I’ve really bloomed over the last three years, gaining confidence and realizing that there are a lot of good people out there. I’m still not quite to the point, in real life, where I can stick my toe into the proverbial waters of actual face-to-face socializing. My social anxiety is fairly significant. But at least I’ve made some internet friends, and that is a step in the right direction. Thanks for being there everyone. :-)
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty