I never kept a diary as a kid. You know, before the internet. I had a couple of people give me diaries or journals that I was meant to write in, but I never would, or I would for a couple of days: “Today Tim was jumping rope and he sang down in the valley where the green grass grows, there sat Tricia as sweet as a rose. She sang and she sang and she sang so sweet, along came Tim and kissed her on the cheek, how many kisses did he give her? And then he jumped 100 times!!” (He must have stopped after a hundred because he figured he’d made his point.)
I love to browse in bookstores or online for pretty journals, but whenever I look at them I just know that I’m not going to use them as much as I would like to; there are just too many awesome journals out there. (Like this one.)
But there’s an added anxiety to starting a blog. Sure, online you’re not going to waste a tree’s life by using a couple of pages in a notebook and eventually throwing it out when you get a bit too old for The Little Mermaid (and besides the lock was broken on it anyway), but on paper, you don’t have to bother with any silly titles. You don’t have to name your diary. You just write down the thoughts you have. You don’t have to identify yourself to be distinguished from anyone else; who else is going to be writing in your diary? I would hate to start a blog, name it something, and then think of something better later but it’s too late to change the url. blergwhateverblah.blogspot.com doesn’t look terribly professional if I were to want to be taken more seriously than that in the future. (Currently, blogger.com says, “Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name blergwhateverblah is available to register!" How comforting.) So previously, when I have thought about starting a blog, I would skip thinking about what to write about and go straight to "WHATWOULDICALLIT,IHAVENOIDEAOHWELLFORGETIT," which is always a fine way to promote personal creativity.
My livejournal account was the closest I’ve ever come to keeping a diary. A friend of mine told me about the site, got me to sign up, recommended a few other journals to follow, and then blindsided me by deciding that I wasn’t allowed to be friends with him anymore, and blocked me.
Good ol’ lj is still there, saving my silly 20-22 year old ramblings for anyone who is me to peruse. There’s some good stuff in there, too: a grocery list that included such things as “meat for the tigers,” hilarious recollections from working the late night drive thru at a crappy fast food place, and an entry written one half before, one half after my friends who were supposed to have high alcohol tolerances drank an entire bottle of Sailor Jerry’s in an hour and then got sick all over the place.
It also had all the bad that comes with being a casual blogger: complaints about my roommate or friends I was annoyed with, school and homework woes, and worst of all, quizzes. A survey about how old you are and what your favorite color is tells your reader nothing about you except the fact that you’re willing to sit and waste time filling out a survey that tells your reader nothing about you.
The best part about the anonymous online journal is that I can still turn to it if I absolutely need to vent my feelings and there isn't any convenient person around to rant at. Or maybe I should get a journal for that.