Dec. 6, 1999

Why?

Why why why.. so many online journals have a page devoted to "why I do this".

Because I can.. and not so long ago I couldn't.. there was no such public platform for self-publishing.

Because reading others sparks a need to verbalize my own feelings, sentiments, superstitions, faiths, fears, paranoia, heartbreaks?

Certain journals are at times more like mirrors than written pages. I'd like to say I could have written this entry of Gail's.. but she did and was able to put into cohesive words some random sparks and images that have been mulling around in my mind. The part about friendship is something I particularly identify with. I too have trouble finding the balance between expressing concern and affection, and intruding upon someone's privacy. It's even more precarious with online friendships, as the usual nonverbal cues are missing.

Sometimes the "why" pages are set off in the journal's index.. other times they appear as random entries, like this one by Clio. Clio is another writer that I really feel a connection with. To me, this connection, understanding, even "click" is the real why. It's why I read and why I write, and why I am so delighted that others read what I write.

This journal is now five months old, and I had thought about revisiting my "why" at six months or even a year.. but it came up today, and far be it from me to ignore an urge to write an entry. There must be something to this unlikely (even oxymoronic!) genre, as thousands of online journals now exist, with more constantly being created. For the writers that go against common sense and put their lives, thoughts and feelings on this most public and unregulated forum, I'd like to say thank you, for reminding me that I'm not alone, for articulating that which I felt but could not quite grasp, for helping me return to my roots and constructively examine my past and present life, and for giving me the idea to put myself here, too.

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