Before I had ever thought about writing as a career, it was a hobby. It was a way for me to pour out the feelings I had built up over 18 years of life as a privileged nancy. I thought I had known pain, but I hadn’t. I was over-emotional, self-centered and attention deprived.
I turned that into some painful introspective writing. Some “woe is me” prattle that I threw together haphazardly into a web page. That web page was called “…prying.” And for a year or so, it was everything I could be.
That’s how I look at it now, at least. I can cast a wary eye, afraid of what I was: unstable, longing and sad. I had just discovered freedom – my first few years at college – but I hadn’t yet reconciled what I had left. I wrote because it was a release, and when I moved to St. Cloud to go to school with Kerrie, I stopped. I had no need to feel sorry about myself – I was with who I wanted to be with.
Without knowing it, I had started my first blog – a personal journal, organized by date – long before blogs were even fathomed by the masses. It’s Black Marks on Wood Pulp version 1.0, a lost set of writings that, amazingly, were actually pretty good.
The front page is all that remains – it can be viewed through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine: …prying. I don’t think I ever backed any of it up. The Internet Archive certainly didn’t go any deeper than the home page, and even then didn’t save the picture of my dilapidated, non-running Volkswagen Beetle that adorned it. But here, saved for eternity (or, at least, until the Archive deletes it), is my first attempt at writing for the public.
I had printed some of it into a orange-covered zine that was handed out at All Ages shows for free, complete with cover art by my friend Eric. I’ve just paged through that zine again and rediscovered what …prying was.
It was misplaced anger. It was a sadness buried under vague poetics. It was tortured, like a faux-horror movie. It’s sometimes embarrassing. But it was real. It was what I was thinking – and who I desperately wanted to be (though I didn’t even realize it): a writer who could move people – to tears, to action.
More than anything, it was beginning.