Why do I write here?

Very complex answer to follow. First though, the simple answer. I enjoy it.

More complex answer.

Why write for the world? Have you ever felt not understood? I have so many times .. I'm learning expressiveness, coming out of my shells, meeting quanitifed leapers, and generally enjoying the hell out of living without secrets. There are a few left .. time will spill those out.

I want to do the content thing in a artificial world of structure only - the internet. irc is foolish, www structure mostly so far, and the news groups are impossibly narrow in subject matter. Each of these mediums effects the quality ofcontent badly as there is little room to really spell things out without gettinginterupted, flamed or passed over. So I read my things, do my life, and put into the diary what I need to say for myself and to stay sane, learn more, understand - to be understood better by everyone who knows me. It has worked really well.

Its thrilling to be so public. Like I said, no secrets. My thoughts stir around in me so, and people get tired of listening in person - as they should if they have lives too. So I listen to myself instead, and lots of different people listen at different times as well, thanks to the web. I am cared about - maybe only as a soap opera character, maybe as an intense drug, maybe for myself. I guess all of these.

But there is more to it. I have so much education and worldly experience. I am an understander of human nature more than I ever have been. I have acheived more then my present incarnation ever was destined too, etc. Although I don't believe that I owe something in return for all that I have gained ans the so-called priviledged position I find myself in (as if I didn't cause it), I do want to do something in return. Not for reasons of obligation, but instead through the feeling of pleasure I get when I create something. I helped Carey a bit, or so I think, when she came along - to blossom a bit - to get through institutions somewhat better - as a role model of how an insane sociopath can live happily with only self-control and much thought. Similarly, now, I write my thoughts, as they happen usually.

That is enough, for now.


Why other diarists write.
Mon Sep 1 10:34 1997

At 03:03 1-9-97 -1000, Carl wrote:
>>What reasons do *diarists* have for reading others' diaries?  That's 
>>my question.
>  I expect that the reason many people are diarists on the web is that 
>they began by reading the journals already extant. So your question 
>might more accurately be phrased: "Why do diary readers become 
>diarists?" Which is a somewhat less mysterious phenomenon.


Thanks for taking the time to explain this. I remember inventing the online diary. I simply sat down and did it. I needed someone to talk to, and the Internet seemed more willing to listen and follow along than any other source of ears and eyes that I'd found. I've noticed many readers become online diarists since I started, but I never thought about the difference between our experiences.

Funny. For me, having a diary online has been feeling crowded, less like the thing I did, and more like a phenomena. I still write because I need to, but with the over 200 diaries in Open Pages, I often feel the urge to bug out. :)

Your explanantion really plugs in nicely to why I asked the question above originally. There are really different sorts of diarists around nowadays. Your answer captures the heart of it.

1) those who "made up the idea out of the blue" - not just me I know

2) those who saw the phenomena as a reader of online diaries and really thought they should become an online diarist too

3) those who wanted to put their existing diary writing efforts online

I've never been part of the phenomena (of working within a literary genre) although I get a lot of media credit for starting this same phenomena.

When the diary-l list started discussing 'burbs, I was against this although silently so. I was also against the diary-crit-l list. Why? I suspect that my experience differs substantively. For me, writing online never was a group activity. The whole idea that there are styles, or standards, or even that this can be a genre, is foreign to me. I encountered the idea from the other side of the drawing board - when there were only critics and I was the only one they could direct their flames to. :) The good ole days.

I recall very literally sitting down and thinking what to do with my brand new webpage. I remember thinking that what I had to offer were ideas and obserations, and a feeling that I owed the world soemthing from having gathered such an extensive education. The idea of writing out what it is like to be a person turned into an online diary with an emphasis on metaphysical discovery. I never thought this would become a popular though obscure authoring genre. :) I had hopes that I could do some good by showing what a person is like on the inside; telepathy was my working model.

>  Now, many diarists also keep or have kept private, paper journals well 
>prior to opening a web diary, but this is not surprising. Many 
>articulate, thoughtful people who love to write keep diaries. I am sure
>the demographics of internet access and patterns of web browsing explain 
>how those who keep diaries in private find their way to the public web 
>diaries we ourselves provide.

Again, I find a divergence. I have never written anything in my life apart from three short stories, not even in school.

Perhaps that is why I have trouble seeing this as a genre, and not simply as me trying to work out my life.

Which sort of diarist are you? C

Carolyn's Diary
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