June 6, 2008

MikeyA’s recent comment got me thinking about how to bring this web site back to a more personal feel. I’m trying a slightly different tack the last few days. The following was originally written long-hand.

June 6, 2008

I recall in my Tellme days that more than one person expressed enthusiastic enjoyment of my online journal. “It is so damn funny!” I of course appreciated this praise but it left me wondering because I wasn’t trying to be funny. I just figured that my sense of humor shone through and that everyone has their own experience of a text.

Later I came to the awful realization that the humor was in my playing the awkward “straight man” in my own life and that to an extent the humor was along the lines of David Sedaris dressed as an elf. They weren’t laughing with me, they were laughing at me, but they thought I was in on the joke.

At any rate, over time I dropped away biographical detail from the journal. The difference between a journal or a diary and a modern blog is that a blog isn’t about the author. My web site has evolved that way.

Still, the maxim for good writing is to “write what you know” and the biggest subject that anyone may be an authority on is themselves. How do you write about yourself without giving yourself away?

Paul Theroux provides a clue. I have read a few of his novels about train travel. While traveling he talks less about the places he goes and more about his experience of travel and his experiences of people met along the way. In this way you learn something that he cares to reveal about his character without really talking about himself.

And he doesn’t lack for interesting material.

So, my mission here would be to talk about some of the adventures I have in my life, with some focus on those where I interact with interesting strangers or at least “public figures” or at least people who don’t mind or even like being written about. I can share my own thoughts and reveal something of myself along the way.

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