At one point Wednesday night, lying in bed, I had a sudden realization: My throat felt fine. Upon further examination, I realized I was breathing. With my mouth closed. Through both nostrils. A week earlier, almost to the minute, I was taking my New Year’s Eve shot (of Nyquil) and heading off to bed at 9:30. Now it feels like the new year has begun. Happy New Year, everyone.
While I wasn’t writing, I was thinking a lot about writing. I just haven’t felt like sharing. I have felt like writing tremendous amounts, but it’s kind of strange — I feel like writing for no one else. I kept journals for a long time, fell out of practice in college, but wrote lots of long, heartfelt e-mails for several years. And then I started the blog. For a while, the blog was my main outlet, and journals felt self-absorbed, and letters were still fine. But then I stopped writing so many letters. And now the blog feels stifling. Not in and of itself, but the-blog-as-primary-outlet is stifling. I can’t (or won’t) write very much about a lot of things when I can’t control who reads. Not that there are secrets, necessarily. There is simply frustration and heartbreak, excitement about plans I’m not quite ready to reveal to everyone… There is, above all, privacy — my own and my friends’.
So for a while I thought about not blogging. But I like blogging. I’m more than pleased with the results, namely the relationships it’s created and strengthened and sustained. I just got a little burnt out for a while. I felt blocked, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I didn’t have anything to share with everyone (everyone not necessarily meaning the people who I know read my blog, but the people who could potentially read it). Maybe a better explanation is that the things that were in the front of my mind weren’t, in my view, appropriate blogging material. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write here, though. No, not at all. What it does mean, though, is that I shouldn’t write only here.
So I’m not. I’m resuming the journal habit. I’m inspired by reading other people’s journals, or pieces thereof. I read/experienced Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far while I was visiting my parents, and it was fantastic. And it grew out of a diary. Next up is Brian Eno’s Year with Swollen Appendices, which is, literally, the diary of a year with hefty appendices (as in the book’s appendix, not the body’s). I might lose readers here, but I only barely know who Brian Eno is. But Stefan Sagmeister said that Eno’s diary inspired him to write in his own. So I figure if I can follow this line of inspiration, that would be nice. I might just polish off a few diaries for my 52 Books Project. I hear Susan Sontag has a good one (though I feel I should finish at least one of her books first)… And maybe I’ll move on to letters at some point.
Anyway… In terms of the blog (if you’re even still reading after such neglect and verbosity and general self-centeredness), this is what I’m hoping: I will share things I find — music, film, events, etc., etc., etc. Which is not to say that this won’t still be a personal blog… I’m hoping my more personal posts — at least some of them — will be more polished, a little more thought through, a little more to the point. So there — that’s one of the goals for 2009 (already well underway, nearly 1/40th of the way through). Write in a way that is more meaningful to me, whether the ink falls on paper, or pixels float into cyberspace; whether the words are directed towards a specific person, many unknown people, or just a future version of myself.