18 years ago today, I uploaded a bunch of files I’d written in a text editor, confirmed that the blogging software I’d installed was working, and I pressed publish on wilwheaton.net. It wasn’t the fanciest website in the world, but I went from knowing nothing about HTML and scripting, to launch of the website in just six weeks, and I built it entirely by myself (with some PHP and CSS guidance from a couple of guys I’ve since lost touch with). I enjoyed writing in my blog (powered by Greymatter!), and I felt like, for the first time in my life, I could speak for myself. My voice, which had only been heard through the filter of teen magazines, or vapid entertainment press, a voice which had been tightly controlled by the adults in my life, could finally have a chance to speak on its own truth.
It’s been a little over 6500 days, and hundreds of thousands of words, since I started writing a public journal and random people online started to give a shit about what I was doing. It’s so weird to think about how much smaller the Internet felt back then, how different our interactions were.
28 year-old me was struggling so much, in those days. He was trying so hard to be a good husband and stepfather with pretty much no support from his narcissist parents who weren’t thrilled about him marrying a woman with children. He struggled with undiagnosed depression, Anne’s vindictive and destructive ex-husband, and not meeting the extremely high expectations he had for himself. He has some real painful days ahead, but he gets through them with the love and support of his phenomenal wife, who he still can’t believe picked him, out of all the humans on the planet. He doesn’t know it, yet, but writing this blog is going to change his life, save his life, and make it possible for him to find his own dream, instead of trying (and failing) to live someone else’s.
So on this day, in 2019, as I look back on the early days of my life as a blogger, I have a lot of feelings, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has been around for all or some of this journey of mine. Because you’ve been an audience for me to speak to, entertain, challenge, and inspire, you’ve given me the unconditional support I never had to find my voice, and live my dream of being a writer and storyteller.
NB: This linked post from exactly 19 years ago is technically from the Blogger install I had at Geocities. I wouldn’t make a proper post at WWdN for another full day, but today is the actual anniversary of when I pressed the big red button to activate index.php, and since my website is actually old enough to go to a strip club, I thought I should mark the occasion.