Monday, November 15, 2004

This Weblogging Thing

this is the first time in my life ever where i've made my very private thoughts and feelings public.

i've been writing on my personal journals since i was 13; i have like around 23 volumes now, more or less one volume for each year of my life since then.

a year or so ago, i came across, and once or twice, friends have actually sent me links to their own blogs. but it always struck me as an exercise in public laundering of private joys and pains, a waste of precious web resources (who actually bothers to read them all???), a narcissistic form of telling one's self how good one is -- well at least, that's how the blogs ive read so far (and still read) sound like to me. i even read one blog by a student who had nothing else to write about but cataloguing what he did since he woke up, minute by minute!

but i should know better. me, who has kept at HANDWRITING in private journals for 23 years!

more than anything else, journal writing in any form helps you reclaim your self, discover and maintain your own voice, find out who you are and are not, even if the writing output is initially about seemingly trivial concerns. journal writing is actually the most seditious act there is, i've always believed.

but writing on my blogs now have an added benefit: as a writer now seriously intent on improving her craft, blogging -- because of its very public nature -- necessarily forces one to think and write in a more disciplined manner, even in just the kind of words and grammar used. you cannot afford to be sloppy with words and grammar when you know somebody else MIGHT read you; it is like a personal writing workshop at the same time.

i know, i still have a long way to go. i do not actually stop every time and edit my self; that would hamper the whole creative and free process of journaling. but from time to time, after i've produced a blog, i go back to it a few more times and i notice writing errors and inconsistencies, so i improve them as i go along.

i explained to a new friend what writing is for me-- a way of talking to my self, to keep my own voice alive. and i liked his comeback: "so you talk to your self, too, huh? be careful! some people might try to sedate you!"

and that's the point of it all-- to keep from being sedated, whether journal handwriting or this weblogging thing.
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