Online, Take Two
Eight years ago, I opened an account on LiveJournal and began what could unofficially be called my very first blog. It was amazing just how long and how extensively I managed to write about my life while I was in college. Every corner of my existence received my greatest attention. Nothing was sacred.
The only difference from today is, my LiveJournal account remained accessible only to my most intimate of friends. From first loves to first jobs to changes in school to changes in mood – it was all there, yet fenced off and safe.At the time, that was okay. That was enough. Writing was my most powerful medium, and I used it to my fullest capacity.
My life’s goal, even before I knew what a life’s goal was, has always been to write. It was my answer to everything. If I was grounded, I wrote myself out of the blame. If my hair wasn’t long enough, I added a couple of feet’s worth onto paper. My stories may not have held consistent plots, but they were mine, and they always came to my rescue in times of frustration, boredom and sorrow.
In 2007, though, I fell to my worst nightmare: a session of writer’s block that lasted for two years.
I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I sat in front of my computer or with a blank journal in my hands and…did nothing. Ideas and characters whirled through my mind, babbling on and playing as they always had. I couldn’t hear them, though, not like I used to.
Through the realities of growing up, making a living and handling my daily life, I lost my way. What I used to do as easily as drinking a glass of water was now like juggling upside down on a tightrope. Every day was a numbing frustration. I often sat with my head on the keyboard, my eyes welling up for the one escape that had now abandoned me.
I no longer knew how to write.
The years passed. I made several painful attempts, all of which were elementary and incomplete. Then, one day, I took a pencil and scrawled a story title on a one-inch Post-It note. Later that day, I wrote a character name. I bought a whole pack of Post-Its and limited myself to five-word thoughts. Weeks passed, and I graduated to larger Post-Its. My desk was covered in what looked like neon confetti.
After several months, I switched back to my journals and sketched a line or two of dialogue. A fantasy scene. A layout of a building. My words stopped making me cry. Plots came back.
Once a year of writing was gone, I developed an idea for a story that I actually wanted to publish. Years after this realization – in 2011, to be exact – I discovered that it would take more than just querying my novel to a literary agent to develop the writer/reader relationship that I truly wanted. It was time to return to the place that once housed my thoughts – only this time, everyone would know what I was thinking.
Eight years is a long time. Mindsets change. Habits change. Interests change. Fashion changes. Music changes. Technology. Health. Medicine. Politics. The economy. Religion. Sentiments. People.
Something definitely changed during those two years of writer’s block. My rehabilitation was a slow yet steady incline, and I’ve had to change every way that I record new ideas.
I think it’s for the best, though. Every lesson thrown is a chance to learn and grow. If I hadn’t gone through my past, I certainly wouldn’t be my future. If I went back in time to my 21-year-old self, I wonder if she would recognize me.
How has your world changed in the last eight years? How has your world stayed the same? If you met yourself from eight years ago, how do you think the meeting would go?