This blog has a purpose. It’s had the same purpose since 2006, though there was a year I didn’t write at all, though all the entries from the old site are lost on a dusty server someplace. (If I didn’t have a hard copy of every last one of those entries I might not stop crying till I drowned — it’s not that they’re that great, it’s that they are a record of my life and what else do I have?)
John Dewey, the 20th century American philosopher, once said, “If you are deeply moved by some experience, write a letter to your grandmother. It will help you to better understand the experience, and it will bring great pleasure to your grandmother.”
That’s why I make this. Dewey nailed the best reason to write anything. PaperGirl is me, deeply moved by the experience of life, writing to you, my hypothetical grandmother. You look fabulous, gramma!
But how to do it right? How to balance my privacy and your interest? How to wisely navigate my public job (decorum = critical) with my desire to tell the truth about absolutely everything? (Good writing must tell the truth, but the whole truth? I refuse to speak of my lingerie preferences, much as I’d like to.) How to make sure you stay? Images? Guest posts? Advertisements? All these questions are valid and because they are innumerable, the best way to form the form of the blog is to make a pledge.
The PaperGirl 10-Point Pledge:
1. I pledge to deliver a fresh paper at least six times a week.
2. I pledge no clickable links, save for references to previous PaperGirl posts. When you’re here, you’re safe from outside tugs. We’ll have a moment, you and I. There is one exception: should I reference an artist, a piece of art, or the work of a writer that ethically must be attached to the post, I will do so — judiciously.
3. I pledge one image per post.
4. I pledge honesty. See No. 5.
5. I pledge class. Details including (but not limited to) my menstrual cycle, my sexual exploits, business matters, or other people’s matters will not be published. Oblique references can and will be made to the above.
6. I pledge to ask anyone mentioned in the blog if I may use their name. If they do not give permission, I will change their name. Direct quotes published in print or online are, by journalistic standards, fair game. See this post about mean people on the Internet. Suckas!
7. I pledge to give you a nice mix of heartfelt, funny, and weird. I will vary the posts so that you will never say, “Geez, that blog is a real drag” or — perhaps worse — “That blog used to be honest and like, sincere, and now it’s just goofy.”
8. I pledge to share what I learn. Poetry, sage words I come across, recommendations for places, people, art, and life choices, etc. — if I learn it, you’ll know it.
9. I pledge to value my readers. Every last one. Even if they don’t ever comment or say hi on Facebook.
10. I pledge to love writing today as much as I did when I was six.