Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Difference Between Blogging and Journaling

I thought blogging would kind of be like journaling on line and it is, except for a few notable differences. First of all, I have to start coming up with better leads for these posts. In a journal, how I start doesn’t really matter, ‘cause I’m the only one whose going to read the lazy words, at least in their initial form.

Secondly, I do a lot of complaining in my journal, complaining that I’m way too much of a hypocrite to do in public. You might not think nicely of me. I also reveal other thoughts that, to put it too kindly, don’t cast me in the absolutely greatest light. Haiti brings me face to face with unattractive truths about the world (e.g. how come Jackson is dying of a bum heart and 600 miles away he’d get care—artificial boundaries, John calls them. They certainly are if you’re the one who is sick) and unattractive truths about myself (e.g. how can I care so much about what brand of soda the hotel has on stock). I think some public personal revelation is fine, but I don’t want to send you scampering for the domestic blogs in fear and disgust. You'll have to wait until my journals are published posthumously to learn all the unattractive details.

Thirdly, some of the stuff we learn and witness about other people’s lives is confidential.
Some observations may be too sensitive or personal to report. Sometimes I’ll use pseudonyms to disguise people’s identities. None of us would want everything we do or say (see above) reported for lots of people to read.

Lastly, it makes me a little nervous putting a first draft of what I write out for public consumption. I am the writer for whom someone invented the saying, "It's all in the rewrite." I have to get over this because we're living in the world of the web i.e. instant communication. Hopefully, I will get better at writing first drafts.

My main goal for this blog, as I think I said in my first posting, is to give you a little idea of what Haiti is like, for a couple of Americans who spend a lot of time here and also for many of the Haitians who are essentially trapped on this poor, one-third of an island nation.

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