I would get a real life but, eh, it's too much trouble.
I was reading through files of old material I've written. Stuff I haven't looked at in years. When I was in graduate school I wrote a short story about a ministrel. I'd forgotten all about writing that story. Turned out I'd written two more pieces to it, buried in my "write" files -- my offline journal since my high school days.
I'd forgotten something else, too: I write because I like to read what I've written. Some time ago, Lut was watching me as I re-read some of my old diary entries, and he asked me, "Why are you reading that?"
I answered, "Because I feel like it."
"But it's your diary. You already know what it says."
I guess this is why Lut doesn't keep a journal.
I like having readers. Some of the things in this journal I would never have written down if I didn't have an audience -- my explanations on 401(k)s or stock options, for example. I write more often because I have an audience here. Instant feedback.
But once upon a time, I wrote where I didn't think anyone would ever read me. With no intention of ever being read by anyone else. I wrote just because. Much of the story bits I had some vague notion that I might be able to sell, someday, in some form.
But every now and then, I wrote something just for me. Not to remind myself how I felt or what I was thinking at a given time. Just to entertain myself. Just because it made me smile.
On February 23, 1996, I had this to write on the subject:
"Look, I wrote another story fragment. I wrote it for me. "Nobody but a blockhead"(1) but I wrote it for me, to amuse me; not because I thought it would be good or worthy of publication, but because I thought it would make me smile. And it did. And it does."
But, y'know, the possibility of an audience has never been far from my mind, as the final part of the above paragraph shows:
"I wonder if it will make anyone else smile?"
Still. Some days I think it's good for me to remember that at least one person in the world enjoys my writing. Heh.
It still does make me smile.
(1) Reference to a quote by Samuel Johnson: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote but for money." No, I didn't footnote this in the original. ;)