A fresh start with the journal

By Michael Gakuran | | Journal | 10 Comments |

From the journal of Michael Gakuran…

When I originally started my own website, after years of Livejournal abuse, I wanted to steer clear of the status-quo. Blogs were becoming popular, but I remember distinctly disliking the term ‘weblog’ and the type of writing that went with it.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, be it in the traditional form of pen-to-paper or this new age where our fingers fly over a set of plastic keys, digitising our thoughts. I should imagine the next step to be voice recognition. It’s been around for a while, but in no form suitable and perfected enough to cater for the masses. It would be another huge leap to be able to blog by simply talking. More time saved. More content pushed out onto an ever-swollen internet. Rush rush. Gotta hurry.

Perhaps after that we’ll be in that fantasy space-age where merely thinking is enough to convey information to some media. Perhaps a special blogging earset to wear when we want to record our thought stream. But anyway, blogs. Yes, blogs. That slightly dirty term that implies a lesser form of writing. Not of the same standard as written documents, books or the parchments of our ancestors. Not even the same standard as online newspapers or published journals. I immediately disliked the term.

Far better, I thought, to record my thoughts and writings in the form of a journal. Of course, it’s just a blog in disguise. Or is it? By calling it a journal, am I imbuing it with some sort of mystical academic power? It’s a personal journal – a diary, if you will – but the word ‘journal’ having several meanings, we also get that intellectual vibe. There’s also that long lost adventurer nuance; of a lone explorer cataloguing his thoughts and ideas on a road less travelled.

But aren’t most blogs these days little more than diaries with a few links and pictures? Surely they, too, are journals of the personal sort? Perhaps it says more about my mentality and aspirations than anything else. The desire for my writing to be taken more seriously. The desire to avoid being categorised as ‘just another blog’.

Whatever the reason, I’ve recently decided to resurrect this old part of my website. Dig back far enough in my archives and you can find posts from my pre-university days. Some embarrassing stuff there, to be sure. But I realised that, having been caught up in all this blogging business in recent years, that I rarely ever just write for the sake of writing. My penchant for playing with words and experimenting with language and voice. Nowadays, my thoughts are occupied by views and ratings, comments and analytics. Of course, I enjoy writing for an audience and I love my subject matter, but there’s a huge hurdle to get over in writing a full article. It’s a big reason why my updates are so few, despite having mountains of adventures and photos waiting to post.

So I decided to go back to basics and start recording bits of my life. Writing for my own sake. My Unwise Thoughts, as I like to label them. This being a public journal not under the veil of anonymity, it’s never going to be as frank and controversial as I’d like it to be (I have a paperback diary for that), but I hope I can push it as much as possible.

So if you do happen, dear reader, to be one of the few who regularly read my site, you may see an increase in the amount of posts coming out. My unfettered thoughts are, I quite imagine, not likely to be of much interest to the average person, but if you do feel so inclined, by all means, please read them.

10 comments on “A fresh start with the journal
  1. SW says:

    Stumbled upon you and am personally intrigued by your play of words and humour. Definitely looking forward to more good reads onwards.

  2. Joseph Tame says:

    Sounds like a good plan.

    Re. voice recognition, you should try Dragon Dictate from Nuance (same people behind Siri on the iPhone 4S). It’s incredibly accurate – I’ve started using it for long emails etc.

  3. Alvin B. says:

    I for one welcome our new Unabomber-esque diatribes. Just make sure to link them on Google+ :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    In my experience, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many people are willing to read and enjoy what seem to the writer to be rambling Unabomber-esque diatribes. Look forward to seeing you posting more stuff again.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good for you and best of luck with it. I like the feel of the design… it also makes my kitty picture look good. ^^; It’s been a pleasure to read your writings in the past and I wish I had more time for certain blogging.. and I think that the journal style does inherently suit me, but again, it’s a matter of how much time I can really devote to it, too. Still, language is a great love of mine, be it my native English or my adopted Japanese. Best wishes and good luck. – Jeremiah Bourque

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