Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Purpose of This Blog

While trying to explain the process of writing an essay to a student, I tried to help her understand that the conclusion you reach sometimes changes as a result of the process of writing. You may already have your outline ready and your conclusion reached but as you explain the outlined points, you often find the conclusion mutates to a different, and often better, one.

This blog has been quite a lot like that process. Initially, I wanted it to be a means of telling people about ways of accessing resources that would make living in Japan more comfortable for them as westerners as well as keep family and friends informed about our lives. What this blog has turned into, at least in part, is a means by which I can communicate about life in Japan from a highly personalized and psychologically-oriented perspective. It's turned into a journal of thoughts to some extent.

It occurs to me sometimes that I wish I could compare what I think now to what I thought about similar situations 10 years ago but I lack a detailed record of my thoughts from that time. I'm certain that there was a lot I "got wrong" and am sure that there are still things I'm getting wrong now but the point of my writing is not to be "right". The point is to think about things that happen and to be able to remember them. Writing about them also tends to push me to develop the thoughts a bit more and roll over certain situations in my mind in a more thoughtful manner.

In regards to being "wrong" in my conclusions, one of the best things about putting yourself out there in a public place with your thoughts is that there's a decent chance someone who knows something you don't will come along and (hopefully, kindly) enlighten you. The flip-side though is that people who don't know you will inexplicably develop a problem with you for the things you feel or say. That's the price you pay for putting your thoughts out in public but I believe it's a worthwhile one.

I've also come to prioritize personal news as a part of blogging even though I'm sure it's of limited interest to many of my readers and I sometimes have to push myself to write about such things. The main reason I do this is that so much of what happens in life starts to slip out of memory and days run together when you're preoccupied with the tasks of daily living. It's easy to forget some experiences or at least never find a reason to access the memories of them again. There's something rather comforting knowing I can search this blog and see what happened to me in regards to time as well as topic if I should choose to.

1 comment:

milton said...

Hi Shari,
It seems funny how life works for most of us. We spend so much time caught-up in the daily routine of earning a living that we forget that everything, including ourselves, is constantly changing. Your post reminded me that change is both unpredictable and good. I can't remember anything I have started that ended up the way I thought it would.