December 17, 2003

This is not

This is not a journal. Letís get that straight up front. I had one of those. I wrote about my day, my week, my life. It was fun. Also surreal. As I wrote once, itís like inviting people to become peeping toms in your life. It filled a need I didnít even understand. Then it didnít. Then it felt even stranger.

This is not a weblog. I read some of those. Lots of links. Lots of commentary, usually snide but sometimes profound about said linkage. I like the ones with more of a personal take on what they ferret out. I donít have time for that, though, and Iím not sure I have that kind of brain. Iíd like to do more, actually, more analysis or at least snark on the things I do read (not politics, it gives me a stomach ache), but Iím seldom at home and sitting at the computer long enough to properly websurf and cogitate coherent commentary.

This is not a set of stories, personal essays. I know because the bits and pieces I post are not adding up to more than bigger bits and pieces. The writing is not meant to be particularly graceful though I hope it entertains at times and perhaps makes you think other times. It may even annoy you sometimes. Thatís life.

This isÖ well, Iím not sure exactly what this is.

This is not a problem. Except that now it is, at least sometimes in my head it is. Because I may have made a tactical error. I signed up for the lovely and fun Holidailies challenge. Which is fine, right? I post most every day. I like having more readers. I like being part of a group endeavor.

I forgot to take one thing into account. Although the challenge is for anyone with a personal web page (which this certainly is), the fact is, only online journallers have signed up. Except maybe Kat. And me. And I read the entries posted by some of my favorite journallers and several others that grow on me by the day, and I canít help it. I start thinking in journal terms again. What can I write about my day? What happened today? What is going on in my life? How do I feel about it? I did it for so long, itís so easy to fall into that habit of thinking. Thereís nothing wrong with it (she hastens to add), else why are so many journals on my daily reading list? Iím a journal reading addict. I love Ďem. But itís not something I choose to do right now. (I donít count my occasionally updated journal of Damianís developmental progress; due to its narrow focus, it doesnít qualify, not really.) Iím afraid that participating in Holidailies might change the nature and definition of this page. Iím not sure what the hell to call it but I know it when I see it and it ainít no journal.

Or is it? Maybe Iím fooling myself. Maybe this is a journal in weblog disguise. Big hat, sunglasses, a wig and a fake mustache, but underneath a squishy, squeezable love-me Iím-a-journal?

See my dilemma? Either Iím the cow in a field of Holidailies horses or Iím in denial.

So okay. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe I have to come to terms with my self-definition, wrestle it to the ground. Weblog or journal, declare yourself, Ms. Postscript!

Okay. Insert deep breath here. Wipe sweat from brow. Wipe dirt from pants leg. Wipe smirk from face. I declare this siteÖ

Mine. For better or for worse.

Thatís about it.

Posted by Tamar at December 17, 2003 09:16 PM

I don't know that the journal vs. blog debate will ever be hammered out. I keep both, with a carefully defined difference (in my mind) as to what's blog content vs. what's journal content, but that's just me. For the common purpose, when it comes down to it, I'm not sure that the difference matters much anymore. The software is just a tool. The layout is really irrelevant. It's content that counts, and if you're writing what feels right, who cares what it's called? Don't stress about it, whatever you do!

Posted by: Dreama at December 17, 2003 11:14 PM

I call mine the 'magazine of me'. Sometimes it's commentary, sometimes articles already published elsewhere (ie, links), sometimes I editorialize. It's often a day-in-the-life feature. Sometimes it's a personal essay that helps me sort out there I stand on issues. Somedays it's humour.

It's my choice. It is what it is and it doesn't need a name.

Posted by: Sarah at December 18, 2003 07:57 AM

Um, Tamar? Who cares?

For what it's worth, in the blog community, there is a distinction made between "writers" and "linkers." There are some very popular bloggers -- Lileks, for example -- who usually don't link to anything, and then there's Instapundit.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We link when there's time to read other people's stuff, and when there's not, we just write.

I like blogs, they suit my relatively short attention span when I'm at the computer. If I want to read something longer, I'll read a book.

Posted by: Allison at December 19, 2003 07:59 AM