November 30, 2001
While I Wasn't Looking
once in a while I get e-mail from people looking for advice about how
to build an Internet journal. How do you get started? What
do you write about? Does it help if you've been keeping a paper journal
since fourth grade? Or else they want more practical
guidance: do you have to know HTML? How do you upload
graphics? Would I critique a couple of preliminary entries?
(One time a woman actually asked me if I would mind writing her first
couple of entries for her ... just to "give her a jumpstart.")
initial reaction is invariably the same:
in the world are they asking ME?
not a "real" Internet journaler, forcryingoutloud. I'm only here for
the free picnic baskets! Real Internet journalers are people like Willa
These people are the real deal. These people are the legends. (These
people are the journalers *I* was reading, four years ago, when I first
started thinking about considering to plan to think about writing an
Internet journal ... only I was too chicken shidt to ever write to them
for advice.) Real Internet journalers write about serious, important
stuff -- or else they write about seriously funny
stuff -- and they do it every day, or almost every day, or almost
every-other-day, and they do it with flair and authority. Real Internet
journalers occasionally find themselves living their lives around their
journals, rather than the other way around ... but that only makes them
a more powerful 'read.' Real journalers get together IRL once in a
while and eat food and play with babies and talk about journal stuff.
real Internet journalers have real readers, don't
that's when it dawns on me. Somewhere between The Tree House and The
Dirt Company -- somehow, sometime when I wasn't looking -- I appear to
have morphed from a hobbyist into the real deal.
an Internet journaler.
still doesn't qualify me to dispense advice, of course. But then again
I'm not qualified to dispense advice about bruschetta-making or
bike-riding or bladder control, either, but I do it anyway. (I'm not
Dear Abby: I just play her on the Internet.) Not being qualified has
never stopped me before, in other words. I'm not about to let it stop
what would I tell a fledgling Internet journaler if
they were to write to me tomorrow, seeking advice on how best to start
an online journal? Once I got over that initial "Why are you asking
me?" moment, I mean?
you, everyone. I am truly honored ... and I am truly glad
to be a member of the family.
a great weekend!
thank you very much!