Livejournal.com used to suck up a ton of my time. I spent days, nights, and weekends on the site, writing up incessantly boring treatises on emotional fallout, movie reviews, and experimental journaling, not to mention the usual mundanity of life (such as what I ate that day and what celebrity I found attractive that week).
Looking back at the beginnings of my online journal, one would never have guessed that I would eventually begin to turn essay-writing into a career. And in fact, it’s something I still struggle with (those of you reading this probably still don’t know who I am). However, if you followed my progress on Livejournal, you’d see someone who eventually wants to write more, and write better.
I never even knew I loved writing until years after I began writing on the site. Eventually, I built my own crappy little webpage, and began writing there. Since then, I’ve had dozens of blogs, writing things both longform and short form, yet it never occurred to me that I should really be improving my craft and maybe start doing it full time.
That all changed with an essay I wrote on how much technology has changed in my lifetime. I used to have an 8086 PC, a Commodore PC-10 III that was one of the early IBM clones. I used that (and later an Epson 286) to get online to local BBSes and, eventually, the pre-web Internet. I had an email address in 1992, just from one of the BBSes I was on, and I saw some really interesting technologies come and go during my early years on the Internet. It turned out this was a fascinating topic for a lot of people who read that essay, so I figured, “why not turn this into a book?”