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I have been online, in one way or another, since the early 1990s.
In the early days, I was on a desktop computer, a Macintosh LC II, with a very slow modem.
I think of myself as a fiction writer, though these days I write fiction and nonfiction in equal measure.
Most of my nonfiction comes in the form of opinion-based essays.
In 2010, an eleven-year-old girl was gang raped in Cleveland, Texas, a story I first heard about when acquaintances discussed the case on social media.
I hadn’t realized I was so opinionated until I started writing essays, and then I realized that I have rather strong opinions about nearly everything. The older I get, the more comfortable I am sharing those opinions or finding my way to them through an essay.
I sometimes also write from my life, but I generally prefer not to without a compelling reason for doing so.
I would tie up the phone line for hours, surfing what there was of the Internet but mostly participating in newsgroups and online chat rooms with people who were older and worldlier than I. I prefer quiet, even when I am happily around other people. Online, I can be in my head and with interesting people. Writing has been part of my life far longer than the Internet.
That sort of attention is powerful for a shy, lonely introvert.
It affirms that you have left some kind of mark, however fleeting.
Before and after that, I had a hardcoded HTML site where I blogged about my truly mundane life.
I had a very small audience, but what mattered was connecting with other people who seemed to understand me and be interested in what I had to say.
When I realized I could share my writing online, it was an interesting convergence.
Back in the day, I had a Live Journal where I blogged about my truly mundane life—college, dating, depression, drama.