Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Life Among the Hipsters

I had been counting down the number of posts on Hipsters Are Boring, looking forward to the momentous (to me) day when I would publish my 500th post. And then I had a baby, I stopped sleeping, and my brain fell out of my head. Having a baby is like doing a mild hallucinogen all the time: time is dreamlike, sleep is fleeting, and parts of it are dramatically uncomfortable. A tiny person can make a lot of noise. And, in the midst of all that noise, milestones can get missed.

So, here we are: my 504th post.

It's almost seven years to the day after I started this blog. It's been my biggest writing project of my life so far—literally thousands of words, hundreds of posts, one semi-viral post about Jian Ghomeshi, and over 200,000 page views. It started as a way for me to throw shade on hipsters, but has evolved into something else. It's a hybrid of personal writing and venting about the modern condition. It's often snarky and it's sometimes introspective. It's weird. I feel beholden to no one else when I write Hipsters. I feel no need to soften my voice or change my tone to suit some other editor's needs. It's where I feel most comfortable.

Hipster Are Boring is my hometown. It's where I'll always be from. It's the place where I can flop on the couch, crack open a cold can of Coke Zero, and talk about whatever. It's my oldest writing friend. Writing Hipsters has opened doors for me—an internship at Spacing magazine, and writing for Torontoist—and those doors have opened other doors. Those opportunities have given me a chance to dress my writing up, put it in a skirt and make it comb its hair.

It's taken me a long time to loosen up, to learn that, when I write for other people, I don't have to leave my sarcasm or my turns of phrases at the door. I used to think that my writing had to have a transatlantic accent: that any hint of my own voice had to be fluffed and flossed and smoothed and polished until it could be any old sap's byline; it just happened to be mine. And where did I learn how to do that?

Here, of course.

In a few weeks, I'm going to be launching a new writing project. It will reflect where I am now in my life—where my brain currently lives—and be narrower in focus. I'm excited to start something that feels slightly more curated than this shaggy, unwieldy blog...but I'm also excited to keep writing here.
In the inelegant backend of the Blogger website, against this never-changing background, I'll keep trying. Nobody cares if hipsters are boring anymore—we've moved past all that, with normcore and emo-rap and a million other post-hipster poses—but I damn sure care about Hipster Are Boring.