I didn’t say much about the occasion on this date last year (although I had mused on a little beforehand), mainly because I had just returned from a week’s hiatus from this site, and it was also the first day of my new job. Sigh … doesn’t that all seem a long time ago?
So as Movable Type proudly informs me that this will be my one thousand five hundred and ninety-seventh post, I can also reveal that today is the second birthday of Wherever You Are. For some bizarre reason, on October 15, 2000, I decided to start my own personal site, including a frequently-updated journal or weblog type of thing (snappy title, eh?) Somewhat remarkably, considering that any project I’ve ever started has soon fizzled out due to circumstances beyond my control (or apathy, as it’s also known), this particular venture has kept going for twenty-four months. It also shows no sign of stopping.
I’ve wondered before why it is that I keep plugging away at this site; why — give or take the occasional pause — I don’t seem to tire of it. I’ve also wondered why anyone who is of sound mind would wish to maintain a daily journal on the internet, available for anyone to see. Quite rightly, many friends and acquaintances think it’s a ridiculous idea (although, having said that, I also find that I tell fewer people about my site these days, preferring to keep this aspect of my life a secret to the offline world).
I’ve never really come up with any satisfactory answers to these questions, then. Why did I start this site? Why does it keep going? Why would anyone maintain such a site? After two years, the best I can come up with is that I need somewhere to spill out all the words that fill my head every day. I need something with a little more structure than notebooks, because I’ve scribbled away on lined paper for my eyes only (and continue to do so, on occasions), but the fact that I have an audience here does prevent me from becoming too self-absorbed and introverted. Yes, obfuscation abounds but, believe me, it’s still more ordered and readable than anything I write in private.
I also do this because, increasingly, I don’t have to think about it anymore. This is why I’ve also begun to feel so disconnected from the whole world of weblogs. I don’t care about weblogs; I don’t care about the latest weblog innovation, because this site doesn’t warrant it.
It’s as natural writing here as — as — as — oh no, I’ve run out of analogies. Yes, me, run out of analogies. This is obviously the start of the slippery slope towards cancelling myself out.
And the downsides? Yes, there are downsides. The famous complaint of many people who run sites like this, that readers think you are your site. Wherever You Are is only an aspect of me, an extension of who I am. If I were to put a figure on it, I’d say that you know less than a quarter of the real me from this site. That’s the way it should be.
I guess the other downside is the one I most often regret — that because it’s so easy, such an automatic thing to write here, it possibly stops me from devoting words and thought to something a little more permanent, a little more long-lasting. Package together the quantity of words I’ve put on to these virtual pages, and I’d certainly have a novel there. Damn it.
Somehow I wanted to say something a bit more ordered and sensible about the second anniversary of this site. Unfortunately, it’s come out as an aimless ramble. Still, considering what the past two years’ worth of entries have been like, maybe that’s only appropriate.
Thanks for reading.