Blogging always struck me as a strange thing to do. There is no real-world equivalent to it, really. I mean, people stand on soap boxes and declare things to anyone who wants to listen, but they don't ruespiel (A fave fake-word of mine that I never get to use. Stolen directly from Norman Spinrad's "Child of Fortune") about the intimate details of their lives and their inner workings - if they do, it's generally a good way to judge that it's time they should be carted off to a special place.
Yet online it's positively de rigeur. Online we can preserve the illusion that we're all wildly interesting and everyone wants to hear about it. Which, weirdly, is often the truth. It's a kind of Grass Is Greener sort of arrangement - details that seem humdrum to the author can be powerful insight to another e-person depending upon lifestyle, age, culture and location. I've always said that the Internet was man's greatest invention and we managed to fuck it up utterly and almost instantly. It's the one place in existence where, if you choose it to be, gender, age, religion, race, geography doesn't have to matter. The potential the internet has to equalise us and spread understanding and equality is unmeasurable, and yet what did we do with it?
Porn and marketing.
But blogging does exist, of course. And while I find the voyeuristic element of it a little disturbing at times ("OMG! You HAVE to read this blog! TRAIN WRECK!") I mainly do it to remain a member of that part of the human race which wants to buy into the equalising potential of the Internet. And because I have an urge to write which has always been present, and because there's always the feeling that these rich, colourful days (even the bad ones) are ticking past me unremarked upon when there should be an effort made to enshrine and remember them somehow.
It's weird when you start a new blog. In a way it's the modern form of buying that brand new notebook and opening it for the fast time. Those uncharted, pristine pages waiting for something to happen upon their blank expanses. I used to love that sense of excitement; of anticipation. What am I going to write? Where will these pages take me? Should I sketch out a plan or just go for it blindly? (Blindly, always. Plans are for the nervous and the highly organised, and I am neither)
A blog is different in a way, because there's the tacit understanding that it won't remain entirely yours. As soon as the "Publish Post" button is clicked, your words become part of other people's universes, too. There's no closing the new notebook and tucking it away, and while you could do the equivalent of tearing out pages by deleting or editing your entries, I think it's kind of cheating. There's an immediacy to blogging that pleases me hugely. Whatever you wrote, no matter how awesome or terrible it was, represents a moment in time - a space in your head. All the undercurrents of your last day, hour or event, all your emotional colour and recent thought processes work to inform whatever you write, quietly influencing your choice of words, of jokes, of subject. To post it, wander off and amend it later (in my mind) changes the authenticity of the record, no matter whether you return to the subject more informed or calmer and more able to be subjective. You can't undo time, and blogs can be precious because of the moments they are produced from.
For this reason, as a record of being merely and utterly human, blogs are precious. For the author they can be cathartic or a way to feel accomplished or that they've chewed on a particular issue until it's been fully processed. For the reader, they are a snapshot of someone else's life taken from an intimate angle and boldly presented no matter the result.
I expect I'll over-share on these pages on a regular basis. I reckon there'll be times I say things so unpleasant people get upset (either at me for saying whatever, or at the situation that I'm describing - there's been a lot of outrageous stuff in my past). There'll be lots of naivete and ambition, lots of intentions that go ultimately unfulfilled and a heavy dose of parenting angst, joy and grief, too. But, in years to come, I hope that the entries I write here (on the shiny pages of my new e-notebook) will form a record that I can return to and use as a marker for both where was I at the time and where I will be at the future moment of reading.
Ultimately, ain't that the point?
(Writer's note: Irony is ironic. I didn't preview before posting and changed a single word. Honest! Authenticity still intact!)