When I read the title for today’s (Sunday’s) Daily Prompt, the first (lol) thing on my mind were the occasions I opened articles of my fave sites, pulled up YouTube video pages, noticing the first commenter using the opportunity to stake their claim to being, well… first (oh, dear).
Some folks using said opportunity were, many times, a bit late to the party, but you don’t know until you try, right?
The first time I got into the blogging game I hoped someone, anyone, in the World Wide Web would be listening, reading my thoughts. I felt no one was listening, were too busy doing other things to pay attention, or didn’t care. Before my first blogging experience, I wrote my thoughts down on paper, in notebooks, planners, notepads, whatever I could get my hands on.
It felt great to put pen to paper, though if done too long, would prove painful. But when blogging became more popular in the early to mid-2000s, the idea was so appealing. I could finally get my thoughts and ideas out to anyone, straight from my notebook. Though I still utilized my notebook for things I thought too taboo for an audience, many of my random thoughts ended up on places like MySpace, Facebook, and Yahoo Voices, when it was still a thing (and you could get paid for certain pieces of writing). For me, it’s much quicker to type than write, quicker to revise on the computer than on paper.
Poetry, prose, op-eds, researched articles related to then current events, etc. were genres I touched on. I wasn’t scared to put my voice and specks of my imagination out for public consumption. When it came to research, Google was my friend; not only did it make information more accessible for op-ed pieces, it expanded my mind, strengthening my writing muscles.
Until Tumblr came along…
I first heard about Tumblr via Vimeo after I joined the video hosting platform. User DaveAOK posted a video, ‘tumblr. – the documentary’, a parody that proved, from the time I joined Tumblr in 2008 to around 2010, slightly accurate. It was Tumblr, however, that changed my writing habits more than my writing style.
Within the first year, I saw Twilight on my dash so much I got curious. I borrowed and read the saga, writing my first few one-shot fan fiction stories and headcanons in my notebook. I was hella deep in the fandom, which became the first I’ve ever been involved in, before I began to get “hella deep” into another one: Harry Potter. Thank the trailer for Deathly Hallows.
I wrote more fan fiction & headcanons for other fandoms, which helped my writing further.This habits inspired me to get involved in an event known as National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo — during the month of November. This spawned my first (unpublished) novel, which I plan to eventually revise and publish online. That same fan fiction writing is sparse these days, but I still write down ideas for future fics, which go into either my phone or my notebook, thoughts swirling out through ink and alternating between print and cursive.
Through Tumblr, and eventually Twitter, I’ve found writing fics to be fun, but not as much as typing up my thoughts of the day. There’s so much to talk about, but I don’t have much of a relationship with some people I live with; as much as I love my mom, I cannot be too candid with her. Blogging is a wonderful, flexible outlet to escape loneliness and silence. It’s stirred up the voice within me, allowing me to publish my musings (after much thought and revision) for followers to read. I’m grateful to folks who take time out of their day to read what was on my mind, some of who contact me and begin a conversation, either on Tumblr, Twitter, Medium, or here on WordPress.
Another thing blogging (and tweeting) afforded me was the chance to read the experiences of people I followed. I’ve learned so much through the eyes of other people and the knowledge they dropped through text, photo, & quote posts, as well as tweets. History, varying opinions, charts, links to articles, videos, etc. have contributed to a highly valuable education I’ll be getting for the remainder of my days. Events happening in Ferguson was when I woke up and realized, for the first time, how Black people are truly regarded in America & around the world, how wide the scope of racism and institutional & systemic oppression is compared to prior generations and events, regardless of the lies taught in school.
There are so many more “firsts” waiting for me in the future, but not all of them are guaranteed. If I know anything about “firsts”, it’s that those firsts don’t involve being the “first” to comment on a video or article.