Today (July 2) is the second anniversary of this journal.
I'm trying to write an anniversary entry, but having some difficulty with it. If it were just a normal entry I might abandon it for the night.
I realize that the anniversary is of interest only to me.
I could go on and on about the evolution of the journal, my feelings toward it, how it's affected my life. Maybe I will, somewhere below. I'm not sure where this is going right now.
It's the same old question as always: do I write what I want or what I think people want to read?
It depends on the goal, the dreaded why behind this.
A week or two ago, in the course of an online conversation, it became apparent to me that, in a sense, I write here primarily for myself.
That fact was not as obvious as it might seem.
Would I spend two years doing something that wasn't for me?
Maybe.. I'm a mother, I'm always doing something that isn't for me.
I have never been able to keep up a private journal and after doing this one, I doubt that I'd ever want to. Why should I try to be clear if I already know what I mean? Why should I tell the story if I already know it? Even though I realize I'll forget, it's not enough motivation for me to go through the process, often uncomfortable and occasionally painful, of transferring thoughts and feelings to coherent words.
For two years I've been obsessed with my stats; I make no apologies for that because it's fun.
I enjoy trying to figure out where the visitors are from (geographically) and how they got to the page.
The fact that I gain more readers than I lose (and journals lose readers; it's a fact of life - or internet - and I don't get insulted over it!) is encouraging and an ego-boost.
The distinction that I failed to see until now is the following:
I write for others to read BUT I write for others to read because of what it does for me.
That why has shifted a bit in the two years. At first it was to see if I could:
if I could learn enough html to set up a functional (though primitive) website;
if I could write something coherent about my life;
and - most difficult for me -
if I could sustain the interest and the effort. I'm not good at sustaining an effort that's only for myself.
A big part of the why at that time was becoming part of a community. I had been through several, online, but they had either fallen apart or didn't fit well. This one fits and I feel that part of the goal has been accomplished.
Now that I know I can, why do I continue?
It gives me a focus.
It gives me an outlet for the occasional rant.
It give me satisfaction when someone writes to say they relate.
I continue to be amazed that people (most of whom didn't know me before) read what I write. Amazed, delighted, and flattered. Simply put, it's good for the self-esteem.
I'm beginning to realize that there are benefits that I hadn't anticipated:
It helps me accept what is.
It's enabling me to pull my past and present closer together.
It may have had a part in my rediscovery of a sense of spirituality. I don't know that there's a direct connection but I've been told that this happens when you look inside yourself in the process of writing.
Last year I said that there has been no downside to doing this. That's still the case. I may be lucky, or I may not have the type of journal that seems to bring out the weirdos, but there have been no stalkers, hate mail, or other unpleasantness.
Thank you, again, to anyone who humoured me by reading through to this point. Thank you to everyone who has ever emailed me or posted in the forum, and thank you as well to those who read in obscurity. (Is that as dramatic as it sounds?)
I hope to be sitting here (or somewhere!) again on July 2, 2002, wondering how to commemorate my third anniversary.
Don't forget about the forum!
Comments, praise, criticism, love notes and impertinent proposals will all be duly considered.
NOT the usenet archive - that's deja.com which is being gobbled up by google.
Deja Vu is a trip down memory lane for geeks.
Revisit those primitive, early browsers; surf the timeline of web history.
Gotta love it...