Virgin VoyagesEveryone starts somewhere.
Brandon over at One Child Left Behind, wrote a wonderful post about that first time. You know. That special first moment. That day you decided. It. Was. Time.
The first blog entry.
He wrote, "When I visit a blog for the first time, I head right to the archives, to that very first, er, entry." And he goes on to describe the different voices that he typically encounters. There is certainly a tentative nature to dipping one's toe into the vast weblog pool. You wonder if you should really expose yourself. You ponder your central conceit. So, you hesitate.
Then, you realize, there are millions of these things. No one reads it but me. I can say whatever I want.
You get bold. You write about what you want.
And then, it happens.
As Tequila Mockingbird puts it, "Then, lo and behold [well, more lo than behold, really] there came a comment from someone who was not my friend. and it hit me: holy crap, this interweb thing is, like, available to the public!"
Initially, it was just g8s and I, posting to entertain each other. And then, I started poking around other people's worlds. Reading other people's journals.
In the last year, my central goal as a writer has been to develop relationships within the writing community. I started by joining some creative writing forums at the Gotham Writer's Workshop.
Still, I felt I needed more daily feedback. Something that felt immediate. I decided to maintain a weblog to force myself to work everyday. To put something out everyday. To meet other writers, and connect within a web of creative people.
I had no idea what it would become.
When I discuss happenings with my non-blogging friends, I describe you all as people in the world that I have come to know, if only marginally.
I say things like, "Oh, Lauren's reading an Ann Patchett book. Summer's going on a road trip. Matt's job hunting and Freddie's wooing a younger man. Jessie's moving and Deni's at a gig in Florida. Jackie wrote the funniest thing about her co-workers. Amanda said the same thing I did about Tom Cruise!"
What is wonderful to me is that I have come to know you as characters of your own writing. You have created yourselves from your own words and photos.
In the next few days, I plan to check out your Virgin Entries. Your baby steps. Like all writing, eventually, you learn to develop a voice, a style. You learn what works for you as a writer and what doesn't. Great writers allow themselves to be informed by other writers. And although, the act of blogging may seem to be completely self-serving at times, it is an act of creation. That is something that can never be understated.
So, the value in the Virgin Entry is like the value in the first line drawn of a masterpiece. You can't really tell until there is great distance between the former and the latter.
Plus, it's never too late to check out someone's first impression.