There are some difficulties when writing a personal blog such as this one, which came very much in play regarding my previous post. The most obvious one is how much of myself I am willing to divulge to the public. Most writers (and wannabe writers), I believe, have both an exhibitionistic as well as a secretive tendency within them, and they need to constantly balance them against one another. This is the paradox of the writer. 90% of the stuff I’m writing here are things I will never mention to another single human being otherwise, and yet, I am putting it online for everyone to see.
This struggle was evident last night, when I published my previous post, just to take it offline an hour later before I went to bed. This morning however, I put it back online again, and since then I’ve contemplated about taking it down yet again, although I’m going to stick with my decision this time. One of the reasons why I was never really satisfied with my previous blog was because I still held back a lot. The result was that it felt mundane and superficial at times, even though I was writing very much about me. And during those sparse moments when I did try to bare my soul, it just felt awkward and strangely detached from myself somehow. I’m convinced that I have become a better writer in the last couple of months. Sure, part of it comes through mere practice, as I am writing now much more than I used to, but part of it is also because I’m censoring myself much less than before.
Another difficulty I only fully realized recently was that it matters when I am doing my writing. To take my previous post as an example again; if I had written it during the weekend, it would have had a more fearful tone, about the hopelessness and panic I felt. Had I written it a few days earlier however, it would have been much more about how proud I am of the way I was dealing with the situation, while prattling on and on about how much self-improvement I managed to achieve during the last few years or even throughout my lifetime. And had I written it last Monday? It would have taken on a decidedly more frustrated tone, and I would rant about the injustice of it all, not understanding why all this was happening. As it stands now, I believe I was able to take a more nuanced and balanced stance of the situation, but who can say whether this last viewpoint is any truer than the others? For all we know, it may yet turn out to be the biggest illusion of them all.
I started thinking about this topic a few weeks ago, when someone mentioned to me why she should write at all, when she always disagreed with what she wrote if she read it later. It was a good question, but as I thought more about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is precisely the reason why we should write. Looking at the above examples, it is evident that none of those viewpoints represented the Truth, but someone who read it might interpret it as the Truth. But it is essential to acknowledge that it does represent a truth, a specific truth within a specific me which existed during a specific moment in time. As such, they are all equally important, because they all represent a window to a previous self. Just as a historian needs to consider all the sources to be able to form a complete picture of the past, so I need to consider all these specific truths to be able to form a complete picture of my past. Consider again my previous post. Imagine that I hadn’t written down my fears when they occurred more than a week ago. Then I wouldn’t have read them again yesterday. Then I would have formed a different picture of the situation, which most definitely would have been further away from the Truth than my current version.
It’s a pity I haven’t kept any of my writings from the past. I wonder what I had written then, and what they would have told me about myself. I am especially curious about what I wrote when I was a child. I remember writing a lot about superheroes and GI Joes and stuff like that, but I wonder about what plots I had invented, what evils my imaginary heroes had to battle against. And I suddenly remember: I always wanted to write an encyclopedia when I was a child; for some reason they were endlessly fascinating to me. It was as if they existed within their own universe, a place where knowledge and structure prevailed, a place where everything made sense. But I digress. What I wanted to mention is that I am now writing much more, and I am also keeping my writings. My notebooks are full of unedited writing that I will never allow others to read, but they provide a reference of myself, and in the end, I hope I will gain a better understanding of myself.