Driving to work one recent morning, I heard Ta-Nehisi Coates telling NPR’s Bob Garfield about his efforts to moderate his blog on The Atlantic.  Coates suggested that reading vulgar and ad-homonym attacks in the comments section of a well-written, thoroughly researched piece was akin to finding a child’s name crayoned on the wall below a framed masterpiece.

His words resonate as I make an attempt to dip my toe into the river of blogs once again (and what they say about rivers is true; the last time I tried, it was a puddle).  If I ever manage to draw any readers, will I sacrifice as much time as he has to carefully cultivating a place for intelligent, respectful discussions?  I’ll be broaching the political for sure, but if I can’t even manage to respond to text messages the day they’re sent, how will I ever fit a website into my daily routine?

In the late 90s, I used a free site-builder to launch a .gif-ridden homepage for my fledgling animal rights group, Kids for Animal Rights and Education.  Within a year or two it landed me interviews in national teen magazines, awards from major non-profits, and views in the tens of thousands (with membership climbing into the thousands too).  I also posted my poetry on another free website with a laughable-in-hindsight design, and I had fans there too, even being asked to join a “faction” of opinionated, published, much-older bloggers on a new website that was quickly taken down for its controversial content (one of my co-writers identified herself only as “an angry black woman” and I mostly ranted vaguely about being an out lesbian in a conservative, small-town high school).  That was all before I even turned seventeen, and I had a screenplay under my belt too… but then the decline began.  My productivity waned to a sliver by the time I arrived in my first dorm room (which I eventually managed to flood with popcorn, in addition to scrawling a dry-erase-that-became-permanent-marker Sudoku board across the ceiling), which also marked the year that both I and my college were finally allowed access to The Facebook.  Wow, this is making me sound much older than I feel.

The sheer choice of topics has overwhelmed me for years, but I did what millions do every year in an effort to force themselves into the motivation to lose weight – I paid an annual fee.  I bought two domain names and a year’s worth of hosting, and I forced myself to do this thing once and for all.


Excuse me while I find my footing.

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2 Responses to Ahem.

  1. Aaron says:

    …and what a foot you’ve found, rooted in honesty and frankness. Congratulations for new beginnings: better late than never, better hilarious than depressing.

  2. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Many thanks!|

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