Journaling.

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Journaling.

#1

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:57 pm

I recognize that posting this thread here is somewhat counter productive to the point I am making, and yet somehow, it's also not. Read on if you want to see me ramble somewhat coherently and kind of introspectively.

I had a very literal shower thought in the shower just now. I've been trying to kick social media for a while. I used to be hopelessly addicted to Reddit, it took a WHILE before I was successfully able to get off that site and not really look back. I've logged back in maybe twice in the past 6 months lol. I've pretty successfully kicked FaceBook other than using it as a messenger to keep in touch with people. I've been trying to kick twitter too and have had absolutely no success. I am a very vocal and opinionated person and I recognize that what is keeping me there is this incessant need to scream all of these vocal and opinionated thoughts. I need SOME sort of platform to show off or I'll implode, basically. I'm kind of dramatic and kind of annoying. This isn't a self drag it's just the truth and I am really not sorry.

But.... I know for a fact I didn't rely on social media so much in middle and high school. Sure, the internet was different then, but also I had accounts on lots of places and yet the only one I religiously used was here on VGF, which hardly counts. That's the opposite of now! I'm more of a lurker than anything here and I spam all these other corporate-owned incessantly ad-ridden cesspools so much more. Why??

Well there's a lot of psychology about what makes those sites addicting, but that's not quite all of it. I asked myself how it is that I was able to express my thoughts and feelings and creations in middle and high school without the need to shout them on twitter and watch likes stack up and wonder what i'm hoping to get out of it before doing the same thing again the next hour.

And while I'm sure the true answer is much more complicated and nuanced, I think I realized that there is a huge thing I used to do a lot of that I don't really do at all anymore.

Jouraling.

..."Journaling" is a very generous term for it, but basically, in school I was always bored and frustrated so I would doodle and write in the margins of my notes. I had a ritual at the end of each year where I would go through my notes and tear out all of the pages that had my thoughts and drawings and messages between friends etc., because I wanted to keep those, and then threw out the rest because who gives a ****. I still have all of those pages from as far back as middle school.

It was a side effect of being forced to sit through long classes every day, but I developed a healthy outlet for myself that had as much or little audience as I wanted it to. Some doodles were collaborative, some notes were meant for friends; others were private. It was for no audience, it was for my enjoyment and communication with direct and immediate friends. And also just creativity! Unfiltered creativity!

(I literally have an entire chapter of self-insert Professor Layton fanfiction in one of these notebooks that the rest of the world is never, ever going to see.)

I know life changes, the world changes, and you cannot expect everything that used to work to work the way it once did. That said, it is pretty much objectively true that - without realizing it - me turning from these private forms of expression to public forums and curated platforms where I am (however consciously) filtering them through the lens of a perceived audience, is significantly less healthy.

It's so necessary to have private spaces. To not feel as if your every single thought and word and creation must be valued or appreciated by others. I got out of the shower and wrote a like 6 page essay in this Marauders-themed calendar my roommate got me that has a **** ton of blank pages because I am horrible at scheduling stuff. The blank calendar pages are now free reign for thoughts and doodles. I'd been drawing in it before, but would then make the fallacy of posting everything right after. **** that. This is my private sketchbook of thoughts and feelings and if something in it is really cool SURE I'll share it, but for the most part this is my escape from the insanity that is the modern **** internet.

Anyway, just sharing this here because despite my best efforts of wanting to use this private journal to express myself in favor of ranting on twitter and refreshing for those Likes TM; I still am missing that aspect of human connection and sharing those thoughts that makes it special (like passing notes in class lololololol). But at least if I post this here, in long form and in a space full of people I've known for a long time (and others less - hello everyone!); it will be a more engaging and positive experience.

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Re: Journaling.

#2

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:07 pm

Double post because I like attention; this is related to the fact that at some point last year I stopped commentating my speedrun streams and sometimes don't stream my attempts at all. I shifted my focus from what Gets Views toward what I actually wanted from it, for myself - I realized that my goals were to be better and faster, and that commentating and being engaging is counter-productive to those; so I said **** the viewership, I want a better time. I've slowly tried finding a balance somewhere in between, still enjoying the platform to talk to other speedrunners and friends; but that step, taking that motion to do something that makes it more meaningful to ME PERSONALLY and not what the platform is "for"... that was a very important step, and I am trying to take the same step in virtually all aspects of my use of the internet.

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Re: Journaling.

#3

Post by ScottyMcGee » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:31 pm

I can kinda relate to this. I am one of those people too with a huge need to express my thoughts and opinions, and not just online but also to actual people.

For example, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into romantic drama because I couldn't hold in how I felt about people. I'm not one of those people to simply be like "You're hot. Wanna go out?" I have literally gone on lengthy flowery speeches of, "You are absolutely glowing and your specific talent of X,Y,Z is breathtaking and I know I mustn't share my feelings but I cannot live my life without expressing how I feel and it would be wrong to let you live your life thinking nobody cares about you when somebody does and that person is ME but ALSO this could just be simple infatuation and platonic feelings therefore ergo and as such therefore this may be nothing but a fleeting impulse! Okay thanks bye!"

(I have actually expressed my love for people in handwritten letters and it was absolutely corny and ridiculous.)

I have done journaling but keep forgetting my journal is there. Instead, I consider my various social media accounts as pieces of my whole. I like to compartmentalize and do that with my social media accounts. My Twitter is for witty one-liners and observations. My Instagram is to show my aesthetics. My Facebook is for my friends and unedited harsh criticisms about society. My tumblr is for the edited versions of my harsh criticisms. My YouTube is for my visual art. Etc, etc.

I tried the private expression thing and just can't do it. Everyone is going to know how I feel in some way or another - that's just how I work. I have grown up ranting about government and society on forums. I suffer from word vomit. If there's one word that describes the most important goal in my life it's: Expression. And people must hear it. I'm a writer and want to ultimately get published. Each story I write has something I want to say about life. I don't particularly care if I get a thousand likes or anything because at the end of the day, what I needed to say is now forever out in the ether, so to say. Even if just one person reads it, I could have the power to change their perspective on something.

I haven't really been addicted to social media, so for me personally I'm okay saying all my **** out there. Has it gotten me in trouble? Oh yes. Very much so. I used to be very bad about thinking ahead, and once in a blue moon I do still think "Ah, I probably shouldn't have said that out loud." One regret many old people on their deathbeds seem to have is "I wish I told that person X thing". I seem to have the opposite problem. I probably will die on my deathbed thinking "Yeah....maaayyyybbeee I probably shouldn't have said that and kept the peace. You should probably keep some things to yourself." It goes both ways, really.

I have also been self-conscious about not getting any views or likes on something that I did that I think is amazing. It's natural. We're human. We thrive on hearing responses. But I am mindful about not being obsessive about it or letting it become detrimental to my well being. I just shrug and move onto the next thing I want to make. Maybe it's the wrong audience, or people don't get it now but will later. Sometimes I do think, "****, do people think I'm crazy? They probably do. Oh no. They all hate me," but then the next second get completely warped into something else like "Oh anyway so here's this NSFW fanfic for a niche audience that I wrote for money."

I think as long as I am continuously conscious of how I'm feeling and reacting to what I'm saying AND I'm able to move on if things go wrong, I won't let it get to me. I can continue being myself. So really, my path has been like the opposite direction from yours. If I keep things to myself and keep them private I honestly want to die. I personally find no point in living if I can't share everything with people, whether it's a general audience or niche group. There's a little revolutionary in me that absolutely needs to get out. The thing is learning how to properly manage it. When's the right time? The wrong time? How will this impact me on the long run?

I like to see metaphors and mine is that I've had my "I am Iron Man" moments. I tried to be private about things but the way I want to act and want things to work out just doesn't work well with that and creates such a conflict. So I end up being like "**** it. I am Iron Man."

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Re: Journaling.

#4

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:53 am

I think your ability to compartmentalize is admirable. I can't do that ****. All of my social media is a combination of all of my bull**** at once and I know you can't get an Audience TM that way but I've decided screw it I do what i want lmao

It sounds like you have a healthy perspective toward social media, though. I definitely reached a point where I realized, for me, I didn't. So I'm trying to cut back "too much" and navigate back toward a healthy balance. Where I'm not constantly refreshing for likes, because making the thing because *I wanted to* is more important to me than how it is received.

I completely relate to needing to have my thoughts Out There for the world, honestly, I need everyone to know how correct my hot takes are; but I think especially in this current environment where I've been a lot more stressed than normal and I KNOW I get bitter and salty when I'm stressed, I needed a private space to vent where I didn't have to watch my mouth out of fear for how my angry bitter salty feelings would be received by others. You know?

Also, I remembered when I was in middle/high school I wrote some poetry every now and then. It mostly wasn't great, but I enjoyed it and I have really fond associations with the poems I wrote. I wrote a new poem for the first time in SEVERAL years, because it's in my journal and no one is there to tell me how bad and cringey it is. :)

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Re: Journaling.

#5

Post by ScottyMcGee » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:36 am

Despite being a writer, I'm horrible at reading and writing poetry. I don't know how to critique poetry. It's all very hipster to me. Someone I met in college loved e.e. cummings. Her favorite poem ever was "pity this busy monster". She had me read it front of her and was like "Isn't this beautiful?" and I giggled, "His name is cummings."

I'm way more into the stream of consciousness kind of writing. Before it was really bad in the sense that my thoughts seemed disjointed and people were just like "What the HELL are you talking about?" I keep in mind that my writing should follow a very basic three-stage pattern of introduction, body, conclusion. I just constantly keep that in mind so that my thoughts are organized and follow a certain logic.

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Re: Journaling.

#6

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:26 pm

I like messing around with poetry because I like drawing comparisons between things. It's my favorite thing to do with Tarot reading, for example; find common themes and threads and symbols and images, and think on how they are used the same and how they are used differently. Poetry is kind of a way for me to pretend those big brain lines I'm drawing between things make sense when they don't really.

I honestly don't read poetry that much. And I'm pretty sure mine is bad. But I enjoy it anyway, and I needed a private space for it because I'm not about to have the internet tell me it's bad. I know that, but it's a cool exercise anyway.

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Re: Journaling.

#7

Post by Marilink » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:54 am

I love to write in my journal. Based on how much I enjoy it, you'd think I'd make the time to do it more than I do.

I started a "Ministry Journal" that I try to write in at least once a month. It's been routinely helpful to get me to organize my thoughts, and I think it will be valuable to look back t o as the years press on.

I'm definitely going to set aside some time to do it this morning, though, because I need to start writing about everything that has happened in the past few weeks with the pandemic. We're living history right now and I just feel compelled to write about it.

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Re: Journaling.

#8

Post by Apollo the Just » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:19 am

Yeah, the pandemic is definitely the stimulus that got me started. I found myself just constantly rambling on the internet about how stressed I was at work and my changing mental state and everything and was afraid people were getting sick of it. That's when I realized I need somewhere to be honest with myself and work through my thoughts with no worries about an audience; there's a lot going on right now and I needed an outlet.

And then I doodled in the margins bc of course I did so now it's a lot more of a valuable release I'll want to look back on than just me being sad. It's me being sad AND putting cringey **** in the margins.

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Re: Journaling.

#9

Post by ScottyMcGee » Tue May 26, 2020 11:31 am

Surprisingly, I have not felt the need to write about the pandemic. The lucrative SOB inside of me instead tries to find pandemic-related printed materials and place them in sheet protectors in a binder hoping that one day this stuff will sell for a lot of money. Time magazine edition of the pandemic? Get it. This flier we got in the mail about how "We're all in this together so come buy a Honda" ? Save it. I have also taken pictures of things that have been unique to quarantine, such as signs and notices and people in masks and empty places.

I was in a slump with writing anything in general for a while. But recently, I started writing a lot again because of my podcast. My stories are really where I insert my feelings and thoughts on matters, by dramatizing some situation I witnessed in public or adapting some friendship drama I remember from a couple years ago. But I especially like to satirize our current situation.

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Re: Journaling.

#10

Post by Apollo the Just » Tue May 26, 2020 12:46 pm

I've unfortunately had to cut back a bit on my journaling because I recently (well, about a month ago at this point) **** up my wrists by playing piano for like 7-8 solid hours 2 consecutive days without stretching or taking breaks. I was composing something and also my tiny hands are not made for doing octave doubling for extended periods of time. So I cut most of my wrist-extensive hobbies - drawing, journaling, gaming, cello, piano - pretty cold turkey and have been icing and stretching and resting my wrists and wearing braces on and off.

Luckily it's paid off and I'm feeling way better, but still have to kind of take it easy because I don't want to screw them up so bad I have to take another couple months off to heal them again. But I've been able to write and draw and stuff again.

I should probably say that what I consider "journaling" is, like, the loosest definition of the term. Mostly it's doodles but also rambles and some bad poetry and recently I've also started brainstorming and worldbuilding about characters and a story I'll probably never actually write. It's just kind of my form of pencil and paper venting, I suppose. It's sketching but not just like visual art but also concepts and ideas. I got a whole calendar system for a world with two moons. Have you ever thought about how werewolves would work in a world with two moons? I got some big brain ideas on the subject I'll tell you that much.

I've also started getting a better idea of how I want to draw eyes, which is nice. Rayearth is a large inspiration.

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