Monday, August 11, 2008


Is the number of posts I've written on this blog since it all began in April 2005. On the positive side, blogging is something I've been able to keep up with relative consistency and that I truly enjoy. On the not-so-positive side, blogging has cannibalized my private, hand-written journaling.

I've tried several times over the past years to resuscitate my journal, but to no avail. So while blogging has made me think more about the writing process and put more effort (sometimes!) into the finished piece than when I was just writing for myself, it has also led me to abandon the kind of truthful pouring out of words that private writing permits. I realize it's possible to make posts private, or to restrict access, or to even not publish and simply leave as a draft, forever suspended in the list of posts on the control panel.

For me, however, that doesn't work. When I sit down at the computer to write, it is with my public-writer hat on. Paper and pen are for private, personal thoughts. Obviously I've shared very intimate things on the blog on several occasions over the past 3-odd years, but I realize that there are whole experiences and thoughts and events that transpired in that same period whose detail has been effectively lost because I didn't manage to journal them.

I suppose that's how it goes - habits evolve and change, entailing both things lost and things gained. I have nearly a perfect daily record of my life from age 15 to age 23, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I realize how unique it is, and I am slowly transcribing the words on unlined paper, formed with colored inks and decorated with stickers and pasted ticket stubs and ribbons and other memorabilia, to my computer. It's an on-again-off-again project, but I intend to get back to it soon. I don't want to lose that history.

In the meantime, I will keep blogging, continue with my public, open writing that has led me to meet so many incredible people. It captures a different side of me, of the experiences I have, and this too is very valuable. Only 5 more years and I'll match my journaling record!


Ze de Curral De Moinas said...

At least you have the patience to do this!!! I on the otherhand have tried and failed miserably....

El Erik said...

Hey Ali, I feel the same but inverse: I have a hard time letting go of my journal, and have a hard time adapting to blogging, making it personal!!!! You are still my inspiration :-)

Ali la Loca said...

~Zé de curral de moinas - Do you have a blog I don't know about?? Quero saber, senhor!

~El Erik - You are my inspiration for frequent group emails. I think I may adopt your format, if you don't mind, because while I'm pretty consistent with the blogging, I'm terrible at emails and keeping in touch with people who don't come by here to read.

La Framéricaine said...


Congratulations on your wedding!

It sounds like it was the experience of a lifetime for you, your new husband, and all of your friends and family. I wasn't even there and I found it very moving. Especially the photo of your mother just above the photo of you.

I wish you a wonderful life together! My husband and I went to Montréal last week to celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss on 08/08/08 and it seems like only yesterday that we were married! The time goes so quickly!

I am happy that you wrote this post about the matter of private, handwritten journals and public blogs. I too kept private journals for ages and they are all in France now with the rest of my stuff. My own blahg evolved out of the need to communicate about the impending move but necessity caused me to move to the electronic format because I could no longer accumulate papers and I wanted to be in touch with other people doing a similar move.

But the blahg is both a blessing and a curse because I do find myself censoring many things that it would do me good to talk about. There are just too many other people involved in one's life who might not be ready for the "prime time" of cyberspace.

Congratulations again!

Ali la Loca said...

~la framericaine - Thank you for the nice words. I love that photo of my mom, too. We just got a new set of photos that my cousins took, and I will post shortly. They caputure yet another aspect of the wedding; it's nice to have so many photographers contributing. I'm glad you stopped by here, as I've discovered your blog as a result and really am enjoying it.