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Why You Should Start A Blog

Being Passionate and "I'll Be Gone In The Dark" By Michelle McNamara

By Lauren Writes AustenPublished 11 months ago 4 min read
Why You Should Start A Blog
Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash

It has been a few months since writing anything for my blog. But everyday that I haven't written anything, I've been thinking about it. Thinking about ideas and schedules, all the fun little details (or at least I find them fun). And I've been meaning to get back to writing, I mean I have about seven different articles started in my drafts, all at varying lengths of started-ness, but it wasn't until today that I've purposefully sat down and started to write something, and that is all thanks to a book I read for my book club.

I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

I will be very up front and say this was not my book pick, nor is it something that I would normally read. I'll Be Gone In The Dark is a semi memoir about Michelle McNamara, a writer and obsessed true crime lover, who had a particular interest in The Golden State Killer (a, now, popular nickname that she created herself).

In her book McNamara says that she had always been a writer. There is actually a quote that I found touching about how her mother supported her writing that I will include here:

"We swim or sink against our deficits in life, and she made it a point to encourage me in ways that she [her mother] had not been. I remember that she dissuaded me from trying out for cheerleading in highschool. "Don't you want to be the one cheered?" she said. She thrilled at any of my academic or literary success. When I was in high school, I came across a letter she'd started to write years before to Aunt Marilyn, my father's sister, who was a theology professor and accomplished archaeologist. My mother was looking for advice on how to best encourage me as a young writer. "How do I make sure she doesn't end up writing greeting cards?" she wrote. I thought of that question often in future years, during the many periods when I would have been ecstatic to be paid to write Hallmark greetings."

(As someone who is lucky enough to have always been supported by my parents in every endeavour I take on, this section just really stuck with me.)

McNamara started a blog called True Crime Diary to share open and cold cases. Over ten years she wrote for her blog, she also wrote articles for things outside of her own blog, and of course eventually became a published author. Although she sadly passed before finishing her book, and never got to see it published or The Golden State Killer brought to justice. It's truly heartbreaking how many great artists and writers never get to see their accomplishments, it reminded me in a few ways of Jane Austen. Writing for years, for a lifetime, with success to be sure, but unfortunately passing before seeing how big of a success they could really be.

At the end of I'll Be Gone In The Dark they've now added in sections from news articles about the capture of The Golden State Killer. To be honest I wasn't entirely sure that they were going to catch him, I don't know much about true crime and so I hadn't known anything about the story going into it. But it serves as a perfect ending to this book, and although there are detectives cited as saying that McNamara's book did not really help catch The Golden State Killer, there are others who disagree.

Michelle McNamara was relentless in her search. She spent a lot of time looking into clues and leads, writing about all of it for her blog or book. She helped keep the story relevant, and definitely pushed law enforcement for answers. Her curiosity, her passion for the truth, for justice, drove her writing and you can really tell. As I said in the beginning I am not one who really reads true crime and I was hesitant to even read this book for my book club. But as soon as I jumped into this read, I was hooked. McNamara's writing is detailed, strong, but still caring for all of the victim's. If you can, I highly suggest diving into I'll Be Gone In The Dark (please look into trigger warnings). I also suggest starting a blog because with Michelle McNamara as proof, it can be life changing.

Find something you're passionate about, something that you could talk about and never shut up about, something that you are willing (even wanting) to spend hours researching. That could be true crime, it could be books or movies, certain authors. You could even start a blog about your own life and experiences, or make up short stories, write fiction chronicles. Whatever your heart fancies. And since you're reading this, you're on Vocal, you're here, you're already halfway there. <3

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About the Creator

Lauren Writes Austen

A dedcated creator to all things Jane Austen!

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