I cannot tell a lie: I haven’t been up on my book game as much as I should be. Blame the summertime, the new job, or the 5k training program I’m on. Buying or even borrowing books has–sadly–been one of the last things on my mind, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. In fact, I read every day (and not just the captions on celebrity Instagram photos). Lately, I’ve been getting my story fix through my other source of entertainment/wisdom/procrastination: the internet.
Namely, I’ve been hooked on Medium. If you haven’t heard of it, Medium is a free blog-hosting site that focuses on offering writers and readers a clean, streamlined experience with words. You won’t find awesome blog themes, but you will definitely come across a host of short story collections and essays featuring popular as well as up-and-coming writers from all over.
The best part? You, too, can enlighten the world with your thoughts there if you so desire. Maybe one day I’ll catch myself reading yours while in line at Starbucks one morning.
Anyway, here are a few of my favorites:
According to their mission statement, “Human Parts explores the patchwork of the human condition through experimental and traditional personal writing.” With a mixture of first-person narratives and third person works of creative nonfiction (AKA journals with a dramatic twist), Human Parts really scales the landscape of what might be academically the “human condition.” The work displayed here addresses some pretty difficult questions ranging from “was that thing that happened rape?” to “did my sociopathic mother really love me, or was she just pretending?” If you’re feeling introspective, give this place a try.
Don’t be fooled by the name of this generic-seeming blog. Jason Wolverton is a whiz at the whole self-deprecating thing (not the be confused with the whole defecating in an outdoor trailer thing he recently wrote about). His stories have the power to both entertain and transport the reader to another time and place—perhaps a nine state road trip?
“Words for humans. Poems on topics diverse, engaging and authentic.” More than just another site cleverly aiming to tackle the human condition head-on, Poets Unlimited is a regular source of musing for me. It features diverse poets in a range of styles, with almost daily updates. The best part about this site is the fact that, no, not all the poetry is rad. Some of it is actually not that great. But I love it anyway (do you remember when I talked about embracing publication as an accomplishment in itself? Remind yourself.)
If you’re like me, sometimes you like to get all super-left-wing with it. Sometimes, you even like to get all super-right-wing, too. Don’t get me started on the terrors of censorship! Or the terrors of children watching who knows what on the internet! Oh, excuse me. Back to the topic at hand. Matter is a nonfiction blog featuring pieces on current events and popular culture, as well as politics, work life, as well as—relationship advice? Matter does it all. And I freaking love it.
So the next time you find yourself in a book rut—as I somehow am despite the fact that I write about books—consider opening your browser and taking a real-life peek into someone else’s thoughts and experiences. Then, feeling empowered, consider contributing yourself. Make the internet a little more scary, will you?