Journaling is bullshit
I've been trying to journal. But realized something important.
Journaling is bullshit.
The act of processing and writing one’s thoughts inadvertently creates a form of fictionalized reality. The writer of the journal — particularly if that writer considers himself to be a writer-writer — can only filter his thoughts through his writer-writer brain. He doesn’t simply document his thoughts, feelings, and truths. He creates an inherently fictional version of those thoughts, feelings, and truths. He cannot write without writing like a writer. Word choice, syntax, rhythm, all of it. He writes with the idea that his writing will be read, even if he doesn't expect for it to be read by anyone but himself. He does it anyway. Because that’s what he does. He's a writer. It's like a form of muscle memory. And that impulsive feeling of “read me” that the writer experiences translates to “like me” or at least “engage with me.” He wants his reader to feel what he feels, even if there is no reader to read his writing and feel those feelings. But he wants to be felt. So he has externalized the internal and put the responsibility of engaging with himself on an imagined reader. An imagined reader that will eventually be a real-life reader? Perhaps.
But if that imagined reader is imagined by the writer himself, is that not a form of himself? So is he then engaging with himself, through his writing, in a quote-unquote, healthy and proper way? The way one should when one journals? I suppose it all has to do with the goal of the journal. Why is he doing it? To clear his mind? To expel demons? To discover something new about himself? To trudge up old and possibly forgotten memories? To eventually have his private journals discovered and read and admired and appreciated? To publish them as a book? All of the above? Maybe. And isn’t that the goal of all personal writing anyway? Is that why writers write memoirs? To understand and be understood? But again, who is doing the understanding? Is it the writer, or is it the reader? Does the writer first have to understand the writing before the reader can? Or is it okay for the writer to lack understanding of his own words and ask the reader to find meaning? And if that reader is imaginary, conjured by the writer himself, is the writer then sifting through his own chaos, organizing and understanding his ideas as both the writer and the reader, the performer and the audience?
Is this a performance? And is this writer performing for himself? I suppose so. At least until someone else reads the words. The first audience member to arrive at any show is the performer himself. Well, maybe there's a crew guy putting up lights or whatever, but I hope you get what I mean. The performer is the one who put pen to paper. The one who transferred thoughts into something that can be understood outside of his own mind. He hopes.
So in order to understand the truth, the writer must first understand the fictional version of the truth. Right? Or is it vice versa?
Anyhow. This is me journaling.