People like me spend hours blogging or journaling or whatever you care to call it because we get some kind of personal satisfaction from doing so. I’ve always done this in one form or another. For me it’s a lot like thinking out loud, or confiding secrets to a trusted confidante. It’s a way to sort out problems, get a little distance and perspective, reconsider an issue, record memories, or release pent-up emotions.
Way before word processors and computers came around, I was scrawling page after page in personal journals or sending lengthy letters to trusted recipients.
Now comes the dilemma. I’ve kept a lot of those journals, and although I don’t recall how they got back to me, bundles of those letters. And in more recent years, on blogs and personal websites, and my computer, more writings.
All of this has served my purposes. And still does, as I occasionally find reason to go back and reread the older stuff.
But what happens after I’m gone? All that stuff, some of it extremely personal, is going to be found and possibly read by those who survive me. It might be of interest to them. They might learn things new things about me — both flattering and not so flattering. And they might also read things they find hurtful.
I wouldn’t want anyone hurt. But should I destroy all my writing to make sure it doesn’t happen? Should I reread everything and just destroy the potentially hurtful things? I don’t know. More than once I’ve deleted things I’ve written, only to regret it later when I wanted those words back for some reason.
It’s probably a silly thing to worry about. Nobody leaves this world with a clean slate, no matter how hard they try. And, besides, I plan to be around for quite a while.