January 05, 2004

shutting down

Melissa is shutting down her journal. This makes me sad, though I've seen it coming for a while. Melissa's was one of the very first online journals I read regularly. When she was invested in the writing, she wrote with passion, intelligence, and a touching vulnerability. I think it's that very vulnerability, which I found so moving, that she now finds too uncomfortable to continue. I understand that. I've been and am there too. My response has been to reframe my online presence. Melissa may end up doing that too, but it's also just as legitimate to step away altogether.

At the same time that Melissa has been pulling away from journalling, my mother has started one up. Watching my mother's joy at starting her blog, the lyrical way she shapes her entries, the obvious pleasure it's giving her, makes me remember that newness. That delight.

It's an odd thing, writing personal thoughts in a public forum. It was and will always be an odd thing. It can be intensely rewarding, which I see in my mother's reaction. But at a certain point it may start to feel dissonant, out of sync. Wrong. Which means it's time to stop. It's not that time for me, I'm having far too much fun with this new format, this new definition of online writing. But when it's no longer fun, I'll close up shop. I'll miss Melissa's writing but I understand her reasons for saying goodbye.

Posted by Tamar at January 5, 2004 09:43 PM

Thank you, Tamar, for this. I wouldn't count me out for good - not quite yet - but it's definitely the end of what I've been doing (or not doing) for five years. It's too much, this overexposure. I feel stifled and silenced and the audience is not too large but too familiar. I once had to appear onstage in just my bra and it's a very similar feeling.

I'll be around. And back. In some form. Perhaps secretly. Perhaps password protected. Perhaps under a psuedonym. In any event, you'll be among the first to hear.

Posted by: Melissa at January 6, 2004 08:31 PM