It’s 3AM, and I can’t study any more. Hence I shall post a rather incomplete draft I wrote few days back, so that I can sleep knowing I got something done today.
Sometimes I find a random personal blog and read it completely over few days. The authors almost always start off with poor or average writing skills and evolve into interesting bloggers over few years. Nonetheless, there is mostly a lack of readership. This is understandable — people have too much going on in their own lives to take interest in the mundane activities of others.
It has prominent effects. Mostly it discourages people from maintaining personal blogs altogether. After all, a note on Facebook is more likely to be read than a post on WordPress, making people with blogs quite rare. However, the ones who do maintain such blogs are likely to open up to a greater degree under this veil of obscurity. People are honest and carefree in the absence of an audience. Take me for example. Sometimes I share more with this blog than I do with 99% of the people in my life. It might seem weird because the entire world may read it. But the entire world won’t. I think most bloggers would agree that their blogs introduce the readers to very intimate thoughts. To observe those thoughts grow in a neatly stacked timeline is one of the unique privileges of the internet.
There is often a misconception that a blog is a pretentious form of a personal diary. Since I maintain both a blog and a diary, I can tell that the differences are huge (at least for me). In my diary, I don’t watch my grammar or my choice of words. I don’t care if my writing has any discernible meaning to a reader. I don’t think twice before writing things which might be considered inappropriate by many. Whereas on my blog, I exercise necessary discretion. I have over 100 unpublished posts which I deemed too sensitive or revealing. Sometimes I post extracts from my diary, but the amount of editing I have to do is huge. My diary is a record of private memories or feelings that I want to preserve, whereas my blog is a way of presenting my thoughts properly to myself or whoever that reads it.
Why blog? To get better at language and to express things better. I’ve felt things powerful enough to move the entire world, and so have you. It’s just that very few of us possess the right words. Of course, at the end of the day, eloquence doesn’t really matter, but it must be a satisfying quality to have.
We are playing a game. The game runs like this: the only thing you really know is what you can put into words. Let’s suppose I love some girl, rapturously, and somebody says to me, ‘Do you really love her?’ Well, how am I going to prove this? They’ll say, ‘Write poetry. Tell us all how much you love her. Then we’ll believe you.’ So if I’m an artist, and can put this into words, and can convince everybody I’ve written the most ecstatic love letter ever written, they say ‘All right, ok. We admit it, you really do love her.’ But supposing you’re not very articulate, are we going to tell you you don’t love her?
– Alan Watts, Timeless as the Waves