According to the WordPress.com support forums, the username “12am” has been gathering dust since June 2nd, 2007—at least a decade ago, when I was finishing high school. My first attempts at blogging occurred during middle school, around 2003. I started with Xanga, then migrated to LiveJournal, WordPress, Tumblr, and so on. Each phase chronicled a brief chapter of my youth. While it might be illuminating to revisit past archives, I’m content knowing most of those entries were deleted.
The thing is that even though I’m older, I haven’t grown out of the desire to create a personal space on the web: something beyond today’s walled gardens, published using more meaningful formats than what TwitBook and InstaSnap allow. But writing is intimidating. So is image editing, and HTML. I’ve struggled for years to believe that I’m interesting or skillful enough to blog consistently. Now words don’t come as easily as they used to, and I’m unsure what my “voice” is supposed to sound like after all this time.
I let being busy stop me; I let self-doubt paralyze me.
I’m lucky to be friends with talented people who make incredible art. Yet when I’m around them, it is hard not to feel like a ladybug in the shade of a giant oak. It took me a while to realize I don’t need to excel at a craft in order to derive value from learning and practicing its techniques. I miss playing with different mediums for the sake of expressing myself in new ways. I miss sharing little moments, and drawing, and animating GIFs. Mostly, I miss telling stories.