I started writing many years ago on a platform a little like this. The platform was easy, clear, and a community that was there to offer help and comments. I had always wanted to be a writer and reflected on my writings when I was a kid, doing a project in the summer holidays that usually caused me to use three or four writing books, which were full to the brim of my findings and thoughts.
The platform was the latest thing, and blogging was a word that had just seen the early light of day. I would read others writings and get enjoyment from them, especially a lady called JoJo (sounds familiar?) who was rather helpful, and gave some good advice on writing. Whilst there I was able to read her writing, she wanted to be a writer too but unlike me she had a million stories to tell and wrote with increasing volume. Some of her captive audience would get to read chapters of new stories, I too was one of those lucky readers. She persisted on her writing and is a very successful writer.
I found the platform at the time was restrictive and I wanted to branch out not just on writing, but adding other things to my blog, so bought server space and installed Typepad. This was okay, but again I felt restricted, so installed WordPress which did all that I needed. I was ready to write.
I posted at first once every few days, but then I started to get the bug for it and was writing several times a day. When I was at work I would think of something and either make notes or log into my site and write.
8 years passed, and I was still writing each day, and had a massive audience, and was not just writing for me, but for them too. In September 2008, I had a spat with a family member on what I had published on my site. Needless to say, it was not in any way offensive to anyone, but they decided that I could not celebrate getting married to my partner and publish the photos as it may cause a problem to them as my siblings were not there. So my wedding day memory was marred by this crass comment. Not only was it selfish of him to mention such a thing, but demanded that I remove the photos. Rage ran through me like hot lava, and anyone who knows me, knows I have no fuse, I just go from calm to explosion in a fraction of a second. As such, and obeying my temper, I deleted not only the “offending” article but my whole site. Then closed my account with the server providers so I could not resurrect it ever again.
Since 2009, I have thought about writing again, but with a heavy heart sitting in plain view of my thoughts I got as far as one or two posts then deleted them too.
My partner was always, and still is supportive of my writing urges. I went out and bought Scrivener so that I could write my novel, which is developing in the background. I got the bug again, but things do tend to get in the way of a writing session, be it life in general or just lack of imagination, some things do take time. I took up challenges to get my creative juice flowing again, and it worked, but I ended up wanting to write a completely different story to the one I was on.
I realised last month what was missing. I needed to write other things and talk about things. My mind could not stay in the same place too long, as like me it grows bored of the same routine and the same outcome, it and I needed a place to just go with the flow and create something that was organic and could change as and when it was needed.
My little part of the internet needed to be a secret shared amongst strangers, a place where no known eyes would peruse. I wanted something that would not identify me and in turn ensure I would write. A name generator would give me an indentity and a name to write under. Augustine Chain sounded like a name I could live with. It gave a thought of past times in history for me, so here it is, my new identity. Utopia is something we all want, and I identify with monkeys. An ape would be more fitting due to evolution, but I needed to be one step out. Therefore, Utopian Monkey was born along with Augustine.
It is not a dirty little secret that I write, but I like the idea that it could be, almost like a “bit on the side”, but this mistress will not cause my partner to divorce me, give me an STD/STI, drunk text me in the middle of the night, or turn up at my door screaming its love or lust for me. It is what it is, a place to write and think, a place to read, and a place to fall in love with words again.