This journey in using writing as a means of communication for me, did not start with the internet boom in the early 90s, nor did it begin as part of jumping unto the band wagon. Though I have to admit as a teenager in the mid 1990s, tell me.. who was not fascinated to be dial in your internet service provider and be ultra relieved when the internet connection is successful?? It was an achievement and relief at the same time to not be disturbed by anyone else, and having the computer at your disposal! It was definitely a great time to explore what the technology has brought for us, given that video games and hand-games were still by and large the coolest gadgets one could have (think Nintendo), other than the latest Walkman and music records!
How it started
Any who… the story of me writing started definitely from my interest and hobby in reading… I remember as a 6-7 year old girl, how proud I was to own a set of kids encyclopedia, and growing up as a primary school goer, the library which was located on the top floor of my school, was on of the coolest place to hang out. It balances off the times me and my friends will play ‘Moero Attack’ from one of the concrete ledges which demarcated one side of the school field, to the school hall, fondly known as ‘Dewan Merah’ or ‘Red Hall’. ‘Moero Attack’ was a Japaneses TV drama series about a female volleyball team. So jumping off those ledge and pretending we were hitting a volleyball those days were considered cool. And because we did not have any TV channels back then (compared to today!), we, the kids, wind up watching generally the same TV shows.. there was much more in common back then as a school goer which makes us easier to relate now, to what is mutual missed from our school years.! Most importantly, we genuinely did have a fun time growing up back then!!
With all this going on in the background, I felt there was equally if not more adventures in books. I can delve in and swim through the pages, and have that TV screen popped in my mind, projecting the visuals as I read. Well books do have illustration and all that.. but as I grew older, the books that I eventually read had less illustration. Giving me the sense of appreciation why books for younger kids should have illustrations, bold, colourful, imaginative etc.. it gives the boost to their interest.. to that extent that they keep on reading for the story for the story.. (So thank you Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, (can’t recall who were the authors for Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys etc”)..
Writing… by hand !
I will skip the part where I used to list the names of all books I have ever read… (or ehem, al the movies I have ever watched” , and talk about how this reading of stories, led to telling of stories,, in writing.. In school, there are always assignments to write.. that transferring of passion (reading) to actual skill used to complete school assignments, made me willing to write when writing is need.. for an essay, for a project, or a history assignment. Malaysia, in the early 1990s, school assignments were still hand written.. So hand writing it was.. fast forward to 1997, when I was first to boarding school, away from the parentals, the little practise I had in school in writing, was put into actual use. For what..? Take a guess !
Well, you probably guessed it if you were paying attention.. For writing letters to my family! Well, to my mom mostly.. She has beautiful cursive handwriting.. me,, well.. don’t ask! The whole experience in ensuring I have my stationaries, the time and freedom to write quietly.. or during school prep time (bad habit which survived the last few years of high school was very meaningful to me.. I don’t recall exactly what I wrote then.. (sorry mummy!), but my mum was among my first ‘pen pal’ if you will.. And no one can take that away from me! I have to admit both my mum played a huge factor in encouraging me to read,, and the obviously led on to this rave to write. I had a few other friends who I wrote internationally as early as at 14-15 years of age, and that eventually led to email correspondence.. but I kept on writing.
This is also the part where I skip that rushing to the mailbox after class to collect letters was always the best part of the days.. as I wrote to more and more friends, from other schools. (okay, so , it was the means of communication for most of school boarders back then..not all could afford phone calls, nor write electronically as email was still something new then in Malaysia)..
julieali.cjb.net and missjewelz.com
Fast forward 2003, I was in uni (still writing to mom back then).. It was a newly opened campus, we had a huge computer lab.. I don’t recall owning a laptop then.. but hey, I was a frequent goer and became a familiar face to anyone who was in charge of this campus facility 🙂 It was in Kuantan, Pahang where julieali.cjb.net was born ! Yupp, my first blog !! No particular theme.. just writing a way ! There was a time I moved to blogspot/blogger than eventually in 2006 to wordpress.com where you see this blog still stands, today.. (please excuse the cobweb).
It was ‘the’ time for sports blogger (or any other lifestyle/hobbyists for that matter) to write and engage with the communities related to their passion and likings. If you were in the early running/triathlon sport scene (of course there were batches earlier than me), who would not know Pipot ! Whover back then who had their own website/blog and more so with a chat widget on either of the left or right column is considered cool !! And… (ni confession), I had Pipot’s news article & picture up on my uni room cabinet! Lolz! People come and go, but who knows, knows.. hahahah.. Must thank all the people in the tri/running scene who I can relate to, and directly/indirectly encouraged me to write!
Setting the trend again.. to not getting stuck with fad
So you see, this journey is a mix and blend of various elements.. and perhaps.. the reason why its not solely ‘stuck’ to the phase or period I was super active in sports, training and travelling away for events, and posting my training plans, race reports and product reviews later on! But most importantly is the engagement that is build upon those who actually reads what is written, and responds. Being mentioned in another blogger’s blog is a validation that hey.. you’re recognised ! And this is actually the ideal organic validation to say that we have engaged with our community well.. and not reliant on quick double click or thumbs up. So, I do appreciate those days, and I shall not wean off like a trend which dies off just because everyone fell of the ‘buzz’. 🙂 I have to admit with the complexity of today’s world, and the demography of the blogger community then (compared to now).. one has to accept that people do change, evolve, have other priorities and commitment.. As much as I would love loveeee to my fellow sports blogger to write again, I am to see some of them still on it, via other means than blogging (IG, Facebook), and hey I respect that! It wasn’t easy for me especially during the ‘draught’ seasons where I simply run out of ideas.. or time to write!
Writing is part of humanity, and communication/storytelling is integral to the soul, the soul that likes to relate..and this is definitely my way of expressing that. So to you reading right to the end, Thank You for reading! Look forward for more posts in the coming weeks!
20 August 2021