"Have you ever gone back and read something you've written, and been tempted to change it?" They asked me.
My response was: "I've ripped out pages, but I've never actually altered my words or thoughts in any way. I'm recording my personal history, and just because I change or grow as a person, doesn't mean my earlier thinking was wrong; it's just the way I saw the world at that time. I like to see my progression. I still go back to my older journals every now and then and borrow ideas. I take good notes."
"Well, then how do I journal better?"
|look into my eyes, tell me what you see|
So, to consider that others may eventually read my journals and be uninterested by them, felt strange, because I was never attempting to write for an audience in the first place. This sounded downright invasive, or voyeuristic, and I didn't want to have to consider this hypothetical situation of protecting my secrets from future public analysis.
The only advice I could give this person, was to think about journaling as if you were writing a letter to yourself twenty years from now. What would you want to remember? What details of the day stood out most to you? How did an event or an experience make you feel? How did it change you? What new knowledge did you gain? Is there something specific you're trying to work through? What does it mean to you to love life? Why another person would want to read my deepest, darkest ponderings, could only be to get to the root of my psychology. And frankly, god help them if that's what they want to read into or remember me by.
But I know I have come across a few epistolary collections over the years, and have flipped through the pages of Anais Nin's diaries, wishing I was as eloquent in my solitude. Recently too, I have found that I am not keeping up with the daily accounts like I used to, since I have discovered how much more rewarding it feels to put everything into the construction of fiction. I started another novel last month and get anxious as my days wind down, just so I can back to the latest scene I've been working on.
I guess if people had a choice between understanding me through my journals or through the writing that is meant to be out there, I would like to think they would learn more through the latter. One's capability and intellect, of course is derived from the flawed version first and foremost, but don't we all want to be remembered for the best representation we can put out there into the world? I know I do. And why do we applaud those who tell-all, when all it does is lessen or weaken the imagination?