Time for one of those reflective posts I mentioned earlier! I'm always asked why I started blogging and I'm sure that a lot of us can relate to growing up with the internet, listening to that agonising dial-up sound and letting MSN rule our lives. However a certain creative streak crossed with a need to document made me take things that one step further. Whether I was writing a story or making a scrapbook full of secondary school memories (I was the girl who wrote captions underneath any trip photos), I always wanted to house my memories in a tangible way. As soon as we got our first computer I was glued to it, even before the days of the Internet. I'd write stories that would never get finished (in between minesweeper stints, natch) and back them up to floppy discs. Drawing was always incorporated, I'd sketch characters and even floor plans whilst also jotting down storylines. There's no doubt that the the lack of online distractions and responsibilities really helped me unleash my imagination, I was forced to amuse myself in all kinds of ways.
I used to keep everything from school, even my first bus pass photo! - Random stories and a page from Just Seventeen that I had no idea why I kept - I made everyone write me messages in my yearbook, I can still remember the inside jokes - An extract from Mizzy's Diary, it was meant to be entered in for a Mizz competition but that never happened! - I also wrote a letter to myself, the rest of it is priceless! I told myself to be married by 25!
When people question bloggers, I must admit I take it a little personally. I know a lot of us started for different reasons, but in my case, I've always been writing, documenting and creating my own little identity on the Internet. I started my first website around the age of 13 and it was the perfect way to express my creativity. I'd upload stories, re-write songs and use it as a scrapbook of sorts with the main difference being that people could comment (mainly with nonsense). I guess I would bottle up a lot of my feelings and although I had friends to confide in, I used a few different forums for each random obsession that I had, television, Wir Sind Helden and eventually fashion. It was so easy to connect with like-minded people and I guess that's what I've continued to do now, finding people that are incensed enough to write about what they love. For some reason I grew out of Geocities and started an anonymous Teen Open Diary that only a few select friends would read. Luckily I managed to re-download it before the site ceased to exist, imagine the writing style of Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging (ish) mixed with the typical teenage angst, self esteem issues and Camden Market visits.
Once I'd grown out of the online diary, I had a few years away from documentation but gradually started to read sites such as Perez Hilton and the Teen Vogue blog. One day I saw an article on fashion bloggers, and I ended up clicking onto Style Bubble, Fashion Robot and Flying Saucer out of curiosity. I quickly became hooked, these were people who really considered their personal style and mentioned their trips to Topshop and posted outfits in front of the mirror, which I found fascinating. Even though I was studying fashion, we weren't really talking about our purchases in such obsessive ways (I have been known to go to five different branches of H&M on the same day to find a particular dress and not even end up buying it). Eventually I went to the Angels Sale, had the urge to document it and the rest is history! I knew I had a point of view to offer and it's the best decision I've ever made.
I've been in quite a reflective mood this week and discovering some of my old family photos has made me realise why I've kept this up for so long. I'm fascinated by nostalgia and looking back, even reading through my old stories and diaries has brought back so many memories and has made me see how far I've come. I deal with things differently now and can now open up to others instead of bottling it up and posting it online, I've always been a blogger of sorts but now I've found more of a balance. Every day there seems to be an article on the phenomenon and people just can't fathom why we do such things, but it all makes sense really when you know the back story. I'd love to know if some of you had a similar journey, navigating Internet life as a noughties teen and eventually starting a blog.
Now for a new beginning, I've just started YouTube and have uploaded my first talky video featuring some random facts. Let me know if you share any of my quirks!
TL:DR - I'm the girl who can't throw anything away, had an over-active imagination and got obsessed with creating stuff on the Internet. Enter my 6th blog birthday giveaway here!