Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Journals, Diaries, Logs, and Blogs

I've always been rather worked up over journals. As a bookish kid, I was forever being given pretty little notebooks in which to record my deep thoughts, and thus was perpetually disappointed that I didn't have any. So many adorable diaries, fabric-covered or pleather-covered, some with little tiny keys, and only the first dozen pages filled. Even when I managed to keep one for a few months, it was deadly dull going--a routine litany of school, piano and arguing with my brother. And months-long absenses, followed by passionate exclamations of self-disgust, and resolutions to be more faithful. The most interesting material in those old journals is all rather meta-journal.

And yet, the absolute worst thing imaginable was my journal falling into the hands of a parent, sibling, school frenemy or, horror of horrors, a stranger. Who knows, I don't actually remember now, but I think I was actually keeping those books as a record of my *artistic progress*, or possibly as notes for my autobiography. Oh dear.

Good thing the internet came along and allowed me to be a bit more focussed in my journalling. Of course, as an adult, I can make a better effort at the interest factor--I no longer play the piano nor argue with my brother (much), and I definitely don't feel bound to keep anything so dull as a *record of what actually happens to me*.

Because, you know, who cares? Of the 1000s of actions anyone takes in a given day ("make microwave oatmeal," "have 3-minute conversation about insects with neighbour," "get hit by door on way off bus") only a few are even vaguely interesting, and even fewer are relevant to people who aren't going to be eating that oatmeal (or plagued by those insects).

Rose-coloured is mainly a public space for me-as-a-writer--what I'm writing, what I'm reading, what's being said about my work, what I'm saying about other writers. I try to keep interesting. For more boring matters, I do keep an everyday workbook, on paper, wherein I describe the work that I managed that day on whatever story I am absorbed in. Those entries are quitte regular and quite painless, being mainly a sentence or two each. And then I keep a reading log, where I write don't titles and authors and, again, a sentence or two about what I thought.

I guess I *am* a record-keeping type, after all, in my way. Making this blog was my reward for finishing my Master's thesis, and I've rarely so enjoyed a self-given gift. I like to write through my ideas to know what I think, and I like to know what others think, too. It definitely makes my day when someone responds to something I've written, be it in print or on-line.

So, if you've read this far, thanks for reading, and thanks for thinking about stuff I think about. I guess I natter a lot, but I do enjoy it.

Something underground / gonna come up and carry me

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