Friday, June 19, 2009

So it Begins (Nov. 10, 2005)

So, I’ve been playing around with creating this page here on Yahoo! Just goofing, really, no point to any of it. But, at the top, there’s a mostly blank space that only says, “Start a blog”. It’s taunting me, I think. Making a mockery of my indecision. To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

I think back on the few times I’ve tried to keep some kind of diary or journal. And, notice, I did use the word “tried”. I wouldn’t say that those undertakings have been of the successful sort. And why is that, do you suppose? I mean, like most people, I have plenty of thoughts every day; it’s not like I couldn’t write them down. But, upon reflection, I think I never pursued my journals very diligently because of my preconceived ideas of what they should be.

First, I strongly believed that anything labeled “Daily Diary” should have a daily entry, and I will be the first to admit that I am not the most structured person in the world. So, right away, there’s pressure involved. Don’t let the day end without putting something in the diary, for God’s sake. Who knows what might happen if you do.

Secondly, it seemed to me that if you were going to take the time to actually put something in writing—preserve it for posterity—maybe it should be at least a little bit important. And I will also be the first to admit that I live through plenty of days without anything particularly “important” taking place.

But I think maybe that’s where I missed the boat.

It occurs to me now that journals aren’t really for posterity any more than blogs are really for the masses. Sure, a great-great somebody might dig a journal out of an attic years from now, and complete strangers might be browsing the net and stumble upon a blog, but so what? Any type of journal—electronic or otherwise—is about the writer. It’s about taking a moment and saying, “Here’s what I thought about that”. There aren’t any rules. Journal keepers can write what they want, when they want. If they don’t have anything to say today, well, by golly, they don’t have to say anything at all.

And, as for being important…well, maybe I’ve expanded my definition a bit in my old age. Because now it seems to me that if something is clattering around my head with enough gusto to want to come out and be seen, maybe that’s important enough. I mean, it’s the little things that make up a life, right?

So there you have it: my newfound approach to journal keeping in the modern world. I’m the boss. I get to choose what goes in, and when. It’s liberating; no pressure at all. And, best of all, I no longer have to be taunted by the blank spot at the top of the page.