When we’re young, and I mean, very young- we are all asked the most common small-person question; “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While most little girls answered with teachers, ballerinas, veterinarians, and princesses, I wanted to write magazines. Granted, I really wanted to be a magazine-writing princess.
From the time I was about 8, I had a little green spiral-bound notebook. Every time I thought of a “great” idea for an article, I’d write it in the book. All of my articles consisted of extremely shallow information, however, I wasn’t all that off-track from your average issue of “Seventeen”, minus the boy-crazy articles and quizzes (I was married to my cat, who is really quite handsome). I used our 2004 clunker computer with Broderbund Printshop software, which I think at the time was Printshop 12. I used library clip art and created how-to articles on how to decorate your room, how to make smoothies, (which were probably terrible) and “tutorials” on craft projects. I also liked to write movie and book reviews, as well as “Press Releases”- (I remember a particular one about the opening of the American Girl place in Los Angeles- I never went but the thought of that much expensive doll clothing and fine china within 300 miles of my house just made me really happy).
When I first completed a magazine, I named it after the initials of myself and my three best friends- it was called “SLRJ” and I took a copy of it to my local library. I was so proud, it had been printed (ooh, double sided!) and stapled to perfection. The librarian took it kindly and displayed it on the children’s table. Granted, I lived in a town with about 13 kids and a total population of 540, so I didn’t get a lot of big-time exposure.
So along comes the internet as it is today. We have blogging platforms, video platforms, and pretty much every form of digital self-expression you can think of. With minimal equipment, anyone can create their own television show, e-book, or blog. For me, my blog is my magazine. I never really realized how much that first elementary publication of “SLRJ” (which to me, now sounds like ‘slurge’, and really not very appealing in the slightest) carried over into what is now one of my favorite things to do. Sitting here now, I realize I can accomplish everything I wanted to do as a child on the internet- and no one has to hire me to do it. I can have my own radio show, I can write my own book, and I can make my own video series. And the best part is? I have a little more exposure to influence than a population of 540 people.