"It's your blog. You write for yourself. Don't think about what they think."
This was a long time ago. Definitely back in college, when I made "blogger" my identity. I think it was Icka who said this. I can imagine her face when she said it. About what, I don't remember.
Occasionally, even up to now, this would echo in my head, especially now that I take weeks planning an essay, particularly those really long ones. I'm sure nobody reads those, because attention spans are short and demands for one's time are many, but still, I write them. It's my blog. I write for myself.
That mindset's probably a stupid one to have these days, though, considering how blogs have evolved from diaries one foolishly posts for public consumption, to an essential part of one's marketing and content strategy. (Are there still personal blogs left, or is everything now devoted to selling stuff, influencer-style?) I'm writing for myself, sure, but now there's always an eye towards making sure it does not offend anyone. I mean, being civil is always a given, sure, but beyond that, it's like I always have to impress someone. I have to be worth their time and trouble. So, I may still write those really long essays, but I'm no longer writing them just to articulate my thoughts to myself. Foolish of me to still post these for public consumption.
Lately, also, I've been thinking about all these words I am leaving behind. I've been writing on this blog for sixteen years and one month, roughly. This is the 1,736th entry. There are many other blogs. (I've written 2,622 entries on the music blog - that mostly excludes what others have written - but then, that was an almost daily concern.) I imagine that, if I somehow become an influential figure, someone would pore through everything I've written to figure out my inner thoughts. I don't think that happens anymore unless I somehow achieve a status of being worthy of academic study, and even then that only applies to people who have been truly monumental, life-changing, epoch-defining. I don't have those delusions, but then again, these are idle thoughts I entertain myself with.
But when I die, what will become of all the words I'll leave behind? It's not like anybody will read them. People will have to move on, and if they haven't quite fully done so, there will be other means of contemplation. Not everyone. I still think of Anna. I was at her blog a few days ago. Between that, and her last tweets, and the last song she had on repeat days before her passing, at least according to her Last.fm account, there were no indications the end is nigh. (Definitely there were, but I wouldn't know.) There are no proper resolutions unless you're happy with the inevitable, and I am not, and I never will be.
And I am certain that it will happen sooner or later. Are these intrusive thoughts? Yes. More so in the past year, I have imagined my death under circumstances both horrific and peaceful. A car accident. with me in the driver's seat. A car accident with me walking on the sidewalk. Three gunshot wounds to the chest. I go to sleep, never waking up. More so in the past few days, when we seem to have been left for dead, when the future is bleak whichever way you look at it, when I think there really is not much reason to stay until the ending, when you just want to get straight to the last page, the last word, the last punctuation mark, if any, just to relieve yourself from the pain of slugging through chapters you're certain you wouldn't enjoy and would rather just skip.
When that happens, what will become of all the words I'll leave behind?
Nothing. They will stay "here", on whatever assortment of data servers they are stored, but people will have to move on. After the required period of mourning, there is no choice but to press ahead, especially now that it's so easy to leave others behind.