I used to write until I started to care
TL;DR Started blogging. Loved it. Built audience. Loved it more. Platform imploded. Stopped blogging. Grew up. Blogging again like no one is reading.
I started a hand written journal sometime in the year 2000 and continued it into 2001. I started it because, oddly enough, I wanted my hand writing to improve as if I’d ever need again. But then I realized something. My early 20’s were highly dramatic, as that age is for many feeling out adulthood on their own for the first time. The journal was a way to release my feelings about… well stuff that happens to a 22–23 year old who struggled in college, eventually quitting, multiple jobs, a cheating long term girlfriend, day to day events and where I saw myself down the road.
During my hand written journal phase I quickly decided my prose were awesome and it would not be a shame to share it somehow for complete strangers to marvel at my written prowess. In 2001 I’d quit Engineering college, broke up permanently with the cheating girlfriend, and in late summer of 2001 quit a pretty decent, albeit dead-end job. Oh, lost my sweet location but shitty downtown apartment. Unemployment tends to make such dents in habitation. So with my life in shambles and nowhere to go and no idea where to go, I humbly found shelter with family and while searching online for jobs, found bolt.com.
Bolt.com, for the many of you who don’t know, was in my opinion, the best pre-Facebook/Twitter/whatever option of 2001. I’d say it was way ahead of its time. It had many social networking services you’d come to expect out of a social networking site of today, including a blogging section. I had no idea what the word blog meant at the time, but it was easy enough to figure out. I transcribed a lot of my early hand written journals to bolt and continued from there until late 2003. I don’t think it had view count stats, but bolt led me to meet a few far off people, who at the time were far more interesting than local folks. Bolt got me hooked on internet communication. It was a way for a fairly shy, socially awkward dude to simply let it go and be myself. I had no idea how many people were reading my blog at the time and didn’t care. For me, it was still just a way of releasing that early 20-something drama.
MySpace opened its doors in August 2003. I think I joined in September. I don’t remember my profile number, but I was one of the first to trickle into that site before its popularity essploded. One of the things that attracted me to Myspace was its blogging subsection. It wasn’t robust or anything, but with a much larger social networking site, and with many more locals which I was now interested in meeting, this became my blog home for several years. It’s also where I met my eventual wife.
My blogs were becoming far more humourous in a dark way as I battled the depression I can now chalk up to just getting through mid-20’s after having to reset the early adulthood. In my mind, 18–23 almost didn’t happen and I had started over… Maybe that’s why I now look early 30’s, not late 30’s. At 23 I started college all over again. At 25 (2004) I was hired at my current employer and started making money I had only dreamed of… New Year’s Eve 04/05, 26 years old, I got drunk for the first time ever on 3 shots and one highball. Money and alcohol, Bourbon Street Billiards and The Zoo, these four horsemen got me into more adventures, which found their way onto my MySpace blog. Influenced by the likes of Tucker Max and Maddox (among other greats), my blogs started to draw the interest of scores of strangers. I fed off the attention and wanted to share more of my creativity.
In the fall of 2005 I discovered new territory when bought my first DSLR and dove into the Winnipeg music scene. In no time, the Winnipeg MySpace music scene was filled with profile pics of my taking. I was being recognized all over town strangely enough as the guy behind the camera. Everyone onstage and watching it knew what clearasdirt was. It was a wild time tbh. Nothing like really famous celebrity level or anything, but for a kinda shy, socially awkward dude, being recognized like I was in the heat of oh-six-to-oh-nine or so was cool, I liked the attention. For my blog and photography, I needed to share it, and I needed for it to be on a platform that did the job.
2007 The year I stopped writing…
Facebook could no longer be ignored. I knew of it probably earlyish of 06, but it’s format I didn’t care for at all. I felt… and feel… that it takes away the online individual persona of its users. Everyone’s profiles were/are cookie cutter. And most importantly it couldn’t serve as my blogging platform. The “notes” option is garbage. The users photos essentially belong to Facebook, which was ok, I had been hot linking to my own photo hosting sites for a while in my blog anyway and would continue to do so. But where it failed for me, it was a big winner for the globe and that site essploded. I had to join it or lose the online friendships I had gained through MySpace, but I wasn’t happy about it.
I don’t hate Facebook… it serves the greater good globally, but it didn’t serve my need to have my scribblings read by masses of strangers and the other services out there didn’t appeal to me. Heck, I started a blogger account and wrote three sentences back in 2008. That’s it. Another beef I have with Facebook is my opinionated comments go in, they get liked or commented on, and then they are lost in oblivion as unsearchable or categorized by me or the public but sold off as advertising metrics for Facebook. F that Zuckerberg, I want legacy I can look back on and see how far I’ve come, I don’t want automatically streaming real estate commercials and spoiling movie trailers cluttering my feed.
I’ve grown up quite a bit since 2007 though. Or come full circle, I don’t know. I’m comfortable with the juxtaposition of saying I’ve grown up but don’t know what I’m talking about… I think that means I’ve grown up quite a bit since 2007. Anyway, it also means I’ve come full circle on needing that audience. I have a whole new batch of interests, talents, and problems as I push 40 and I just want to jot them down and flesh them out so I can be a proper cranky old crotchety man. I don’t care who or if anyone reads my musings anymore, I just need to do it. Medium.com seems like an easy enough service with the necessary services I require that was created by the Twitter folks. I can link with my Facebook and browse other creative people with tags of my interests. It could use some tweaks here and there but, overall I think this will work out just fine.
So what will I use this new online platform for? I will use it to highlight some of my photography with links to my photo storage service site. I will talk about my love affair with traveling which will include journal type stuff, reviews on food, and of course photos. I will talk about movies and my favourite tv shows. I will talk football. I will talk politics. I will talk about human rights with all its sidekicks — racism, privacy, freedom of speech and motion and yeah… Life experiences and opinions.
My life is no longer filled with drama, self manufactured or otherwise, so other than this here entry and maybe some auto-biographical stuff down the road, topics will remain fairly concise with purpose… Probably.