February 25, 2004

On Blogging...
This Blog has given me a unique opportunity for communication. I'm a fairly quiet person by nature, not good at making small talk, even with friends or family. I do, however, have some ability to write. I can express my ideas more clearly on the page, and as most writers say of themselves, "sometimes I don't know what I think until I write it." The process of writing down my thoughts and ideas gives them a visual form that I can then dissect and tweak until they say exactly what I am thinking. Whenever I have anything important to say to anyone, I'll write it instead of telling them. It's the only way to get complete ideas across without interruptions or the failings of my speech skills.

I've kept journals in the past, and they have been a good tool to get the everyday stressors out of my head and onto the page. Journals keep your memory organized and force you to espress your feelings into complete sentances and paragraphs. Because of the "Unknown Audience" aspect of journals, writers have to place events and ideas in context. Through this process, simple feelings become narratives and essays, to a certain degree, saying "this is how I feel, and here's why.."

Writing out personal feelings in this manner is therapy of a sort, allowing you to examine your motivations and reasons for whatever you may be thinking or feeling. I know it does wonders for me. Not only do you feel a sense of relief unloading these feelings onto the page, but you feel as if you're sharing these feelings with the world at large, anonymous as it may be. It seems odd that people feel comfortable sharing thoughts they would not openly share with friends in a medium that is theoretically accessible to anyone in the connected world. That's the wonderful thing about anonymous Blogs; since everyone and their dog has one, the chance of anyone you know finding yours and reading it is almost impossible. With Blogging, global accessibility somehow equates to privacy.

That's the Journal aspect of a Blog. The other role of the blog is a test-bed for amateur or otherwise-unpublished authors. You can write essays and articles, even full novels, and publish them in a Blog. Once documents are written there, you can always find them again. You can easliy share your works with others, since clicking a link is less work than thumbing through a bundle of paper. I've had ideas or opinions that have been in my head for years, and thanks to this revolutionary medium, I was able to write them down.

My Blog is the latest thing to change my life. Here, I can organize my thoughts and express then more openly. This is an open channel to my mind, literally "Inside Chris' Cranium," that I can revisit and share. I can even communicate with my wife effectively, sharing my thoughts and feelings about our life together, since she reads it daily. In the middle of a workday, I can eat my lunch and quietly pour out my soul or just write about what's going on, and it refreshes me. After writing in my Blog, I feel like I've just did a brain-dump of everything that may distract me, and I can work more productively for the rest of the day.

A Blog is what you make it; a diary, a book of prose, a confessional, a vent, or a secret line of communication that only your inner circle know about. To paraphrase Mae West, "Keep a Blog, and someday it will keep you."

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