There are three reasons I feel compelled to keep a public journal.
1. I learned to be a good listener and conversationalist so in conversations I’ll let my points slide if the conversation has moved passed the appropriate time. But they rattle around in my brain for days after and writing them in a public way that people can respond to suits my introverted ways.
2. I think in conversations. My mind is wracked by insights, doubts, and devil’s advocates and writing slows it all down and keeps my head clear. Jay and I will talk about how we’ve already had a conversation in our own head and we’re just filling each other in.
3. I want to be remembered and accessible when I’m gone. When I had a paper and pen journal I always had the nagging thought the I was only talking to the person who goes through my things when I’ve died. I only wrote at the worst of times about really big things I couldn’t talk about because that’s all that was worth the paper. I’d like to be remembered accurately, highs and lows included, and I’d like to be more accessible while I’m alive.
I write a lot about suicide and depression and it’s really cathartic for me. I hate the feeling of hiding or living a lie so it’s good to get it out there without having a useless downer of a conversation. And frankly most people are awful at listening to those conversations, I only know a few people who I can discuss suicide around without them getting emotional and judgemental.
Sometimes my posts have changed the way people feel about me in a negative way, particularly when I wrote about religion or when I mentioned people by name during the falling out this summer. And I accept that. I think if someone doesn’t like my honest opinions then it’s better for both of us to know that rather than go on with an unexplored surface level friendship. I’m a difficult and opinionated person and I’d rather have a few friends who accept me for who I am than have a lot of friends who only like a compromised and incomplete version of me.
Something that happens to me as a song writer is that people would say casually that I should write a song about something. Not approach me with seriousness but if something interesting was said they would suggest it. At first it bothered me just because deliberately trying to write a specific song usually leads to a forced mediocre set of lyrics. But later when I realized that my songwriting was useful to people, people who had a hard time expressing or understanding themselves emotional were finding a way to do that through the safe external lense of things I had written that’s when I saw that people weren’t pitching me ideas because they felt they could tell me what to do, they were hoping I’d write something to help them explore an emotion I hadn’t written about yet. And now a similar thing is happening with this blog, people offer me things to write about because they don’t know quite how to write about themselves.
There are four people who’ve told me they read everything I write and I know by the analytics on the sight that more people (about twenty) read if I write about the band and especially if the title suggests somethings wrong, you gossip hungry jackals. Religion got the most public comments and writing about suicide gets platitudes in private messages. And I have a few friends who don’t read this but only one who’s enough of a cooch to tell me whenever he can.
And that puts a bow on this for right now, writing about my own writing. Since I started writing on my phone I’ve always got at least four drafts on the go so thanks to those who are keeping up and thanks to those who just dip in and out, this meant to be a conversation not a lecture.