A Single Step

All right, I’m going to be straight with you right from the start. I’ve never written a journal so you might be subjected to some seriously rough going at the start. Consider yourself warned. If you later regret not having run away, it’s your own damn fault!

I can’t remember when I started thinking about doing a journal but it was quite some time ago. It always fascinated me that in the past, some journals were used in historical research. Someone far in the past set their thoughts to paper, and a century or more later we’re reading it and not only know their thoughts, but we know more about the time and place they lived in because we’re seeing it through their eyes! I wonder what they’d think if they knew. I know I’d be very pleased.

You won’t find me aspiring to such a grandiose goal. It’s just not likely because current events are better documented today, and who’d want to read my journal? Certainly other people are more interesting than I am. Besides, it’s just too weird to be writing to some person in the future that I don’t know. That’s especially true when it won’t likely be read by anyone that far in the future anyway.

I actually did start writing a journal about five years ago. I started by introducing myself and after just a few lines, I felt so goofy. I deleted it and did nothing further until today. I think that one must find the one’s ‘audience’ before starting or one will get nowhere in a big hurry. That’s been my experience anyway. Take it for what it’s worth.

This later effort is a lot more focused and I actually have a better picture of an audience (of people I know!) and what I might like to say. In the early 90s I put together a few issues of a print newsletter that I used (poorly) to let friends know what was up with me without resorting to a form-letter. I see this journal as partly serving that purpose as well, but time will tell if it serves it better. There’s little doubt that it will be far more personal so the URL won’t be publicly posted as I’ll be giving it only to a few closer friends. Because of the way the world-wide web works, it’s possible for the address to be discovered unless the viewer doesn’t jump to another site directly from this one. In other words, you’d have to close the browser before leaving. I don’t even trust myself to do that regularly so I’m certainly not expecting others to do so. What I’ll do instead is change the URL periodically and e-mail out the new one to the people I want to have it. It’s not a perfect solution, but I think it’s a reasonable compromise between security and ease of use.

What I’ve come to realise between my last journal failure and this start is that despite having an audience in mind, one must write for themselves. It may sound selfish, but it’s the heart of self-expression.

I wonder how this will turn out.

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