My mentor in university once told me, “There are pieces of writing that you write for people to read. And then there are pieces of writing that should only be for your own reading.”
That there is a public and a private side to writing was new to me at that time. Writing wasn’t just a tool. It was my lifeline to the outside world, my main means of communicating with others.
In my naïveté, and misguided hopes of becoming famous, my writings were entirely public. I wanted everyone to be able to read my works. Secretly, I was waiting for the opportunity to be talent-spotted by some eminent writer or publisher. That never happened, obviously.
But learning that writing could be private or public changed the balance for me. I started to look at my writings anew. It’s like being able to sort the seed from the husk, and I no longer carried the burden of trying to impress people with my voluminous and discombobulated writing.
I began to separate my writings into that which I wanted others to read, and others that I was contented to let stew in my own mind. And in some strange way, my writing took on a sharper edge. I also wrote a lot more. And I thought I was all sorted out with my diary that held my secrets, and my notebook that followed me everywhere.
Until this phenomenon of blogging caught up with me. Which has created this whole new dimension of writing that is neither public nor private, neither fantasy nor grounded in reality, neither here nor there.
So how much of this is me or not-me? I’ll let you readers decide.