I was eating a PB&J out of tinfoil during class and thinking about blogging, as I often do. I had recently read a friend’s blog that he just started a few months ago and doesn’t update very often. Its future doesn’t look good—a few more months it will likely become another blog corpse silently occupying net space. As I read his first tentative posts, I was reminded of my own blogging beginnings that stretch back to my senior year of high school.
It was a secret blog, called The Drevet (now deleted), and I posted a mere two times. The first one was the obligatory and awkward, “Hello world,” in which it seemed I was preparing to face all of humanity and be utterly rejected. It was the kind of introduction that set the bar so low even I couldn’t reach it. After only two months I stopped thinking about The Drevet and life moved on.
As I continued to reminisce and munch on my sandwich, I stumbled across another phase of beginnings: college. At this point, I suddenly realized the striking similarity between getting drunk for the first time and blogging for the first time.
When I first overindulged, not a moment before I turned twenty one (wink), I was fascinated with the very experience of it. “Wow,” I thought, “so this is what being drunk is like.” It didn’t matter what came next in the evening because we were already having an awesome time through the act of inebriation itself, which was to us was inherently interesting.
In the beginning, I was also captivated by the phenomenon of blogging. The fact I could publish whatever I wanted for strangers to read and maybe enjoy was both thrilling and terrifying. And just as newbies feel awkward around alcohol, like they’re doing something taboo and exciting, I would get nervous in front of the computer screen, staring at the blank blog post box and wondering what I would say to the world. What if someone actually read it?
As a baby lush, I felt the constant need to discuss my level of sloshedness with my fellow drinkers, “I’m not drunk guys,” “Do I seem drunk?” “I’m drunk drunk drunk drunk drunk,” etc. To everyone else this kind of blathering indicated it was time to change conversation partners. The more experienced drinkers had already found out that being drunk is not interesting or special, but to me the topic was endlessly engrossing for everyone and worth repeating dozens of time in the same night.
Similarly, in the first blog posts, I was self conscious about the fact I was blogging and tended to talk about the act itself, how it was hard to think of something to write or that I didn’t think anyone was reading it (no one was), and the end result was that I wouldn’t say anything at all and my predictions would come true. And just like a group of okay friends that get drunk at home hoping for something exciting to happen and then end up going to bed early, I wasted the potential of blogging by using it in a sarcastic and apathetic manner, only to defeat myself in the end.
Through many unfortunate nights and some unfortunate blogposts, I learned the real magic comes with a critical combination of both substance and medium: blogging and content, or alcohol and activities. But like most things, this is the kind of lesson that one must learn through their own experience, though we hope for our own sakes that newcomers learn it before anyone heads to the bathroom to vomit.
And my metaphorical vomiting days aren’t over yet. I will always be learning both how to drink better and how to blog better.