The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Journal Upkeeping: What I Don't Write
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Journal Upkeeping: What I Don't Write|
I had a friend of mine who expressed concern about talking with me, lest her personal issues end up in my journal. That's a reasonable concern, because I do give the illusion that I share everything in this journal. (I don't, but I share more than many people do.)
So let me list the things that I don't talk about in this journal:
I don't write about ongoing issues. I do often discuss the problems Gini and I have had in our relationship - but you'll note that those posts are on fights we had several years ago, and are invariably about problems we've solved.
But if it's an argument we're having now, I don't talk about it. There's no sense dragging people on LJ into a fight that neither of us have finished negotiating, for reasons outlined here (in Rule #4). Any sort of open debate does not get aired in public until it's absolutely closed, and Gini and I have come to the same conclusion about whatever it was that was bothering us. (Which is why I run all those posts by Gini first - she has veto power.)
Likewise, I don't discuss arguments I'm having with my friends. Being polyamorous, I've gone through three breakups in the time since I've had this journal - and none of that's ever made it to the page. I don't name names, I don't discuss specifics, I don't accuse. Breakups are painful enough without having to endure excoriations from strangers in someone's journal.
Until it's dead and trapped in amber, I don't write about it.*
I don't write about ongoing issues. I'm putting this as a separate bulletin point because it doesn't apply to just Gini: it applies to all my friends and their issues.
Now, I can see where it seems that I ignore this rule, because I do write about things my friends are going through. Often, though, those posts are just generic advice I've given to people that's not tied to anything in their lives.
But if I know they're going through a trauma that they wouldn't want debated in public, and the entry is on something where there's no question that it's them, I'll wait until it's something that's no longer bothering them. And then I'll change the details of their information. And, more often than not, turn it into an identical incident that I've gone through. (And if it never really ends, then I don't write about it at all. An entry isn't worth upsetting a friend.)
I've had friends read entries and not realize it was inspired by them three months ago. That's my goal.
Problem is, I have a lot of friends - and considering I often write about universal topics, it's almost guaranteed that my writing on someone's breakup two months back is going to be very similar to someone's breakup today. But there's not much I can do about that; all I can say is that it's not you.
I don't talk about anything that someone's specifically asked me not to talk about. If someone doesn't want to be talked about on my LJ, I won't. It's not that big a deal. If I know they're Internet-shy, I'll generally leave them off as well. This is my catch-all category.
(This is, I should add, not a letter of the law thing; I don't give universal veto power to anyone who says, "It hurts me when you talk about trees." With a large enough audience, almost every post is guaranteed to hit someone's button. But if it's personal and related to them, I'll usually avoid the topic.)
I don't talk about my children. I occasionally tell a funny story about them, or regurgitate some advice I've given, but their lives are their own. The things they go through don't make it here, and shouldn't.
I don't talk about work. Fortunately, I do actually enjoy my job, but on the days that I don't I keep my lips zipped. This is simple common sense.
I don't talk about anything that, to my judgment, would worsen the world. Which is not to say that I don't err in this occasionally, or make judgments that you'd disagree with as to what makes the world better... but in general, I want my LJ to be a positive force. So I try to avoid writing about things that are just complaining, and if I rant I try to have some underlying point. I want to write about topics that inspire people, not drag them down.
And that's it, I think. I reserve the right to add more things as time goes on. And I'll probably restructure my userinfo page to reference this.
* - I might write about my emotional state caused by the breakup, as in "I'm feeling really lonely and sad today and must listen to The Shins a million times," but that's a different thing.
|Date:||December 28th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)|| |
And that is why you ROCK.
but in general, I want my LJ to be a positive force. So I try to avoid writing about things that are just complaining, and if I rant I try to have some underlying point.
I'm struggling with this. I'm trying to figure out the line between using my journal to talk about what's going on inside my head and refraining from spreading ick around the internet. But that's because right now there's a lot of ick, and it's not always that way. Consequently, I end up being silent right when I need to be sorting things out.
I could write private posts, but then what's the point of doing it in LJ?
|Date:||December 28th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)|| |
I filter. Some people don't like doing that, though.
|Date:||December 28th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Also, if you are going out there with a mind of "I want this FIXED, I am trying to fix it" it is less negative. I'd rather read about someone who has a major problem, but is making steps to fix it, than someone with a tiny problem who won't do anything about it (and may even actively make it worse).
|Date:||December 28th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)|| |
Rules for EVERYONE to follow.
I follow similar rules, at least with my relationships. No wonder everyone thinks I have such a great marriage! (Well I do, but it looks flawless and perfect, instead of flawed and a work in progress, worth every minute of it.)
I have similar rules except for the general ranting, and "someone", for me, usually has to be someone I don't dislike. I do write about work, but I filter it, and there's so little interaction between my workplace and my friends that I think I'm safe enough there.
Good rules :-) I tend to find that airing grievances publically makes the airer look as bad as the accused, if not worse.
I follow most of these rules too, with the exception of possibly having told a few more funny stories about the kids than they'd appreciate. Since the 13yo got on FB, though, that's dwindled down ;-)
All the way through this post, I kept thinking: Of course you don't, it's obvious you respect boundaries. And you do have underlying points, which is one of the main reasons I read your journal. It's good to lay out these rules you have, just... to me it seemed obvious that they were there. :-)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has boundary discussions on her blog. Poly rules translate into everything! ;p
And, most importantly... you don't talk about Fight Club.
Some of these things I wish I'd learned years ago. Specifically when I was going through my own poly break-ups. I'd like to think that I've learned some of these things, though I do talk about work usually the good days and it's always under lock and key. Or it's public and I'm promoting an upcoming concert. I do know that the people I use to hang out with sometimes influenced what I wrote about as I was wanting to fit in and they talked about a lot of these things.
You have children? I didn't know that. How did this happen? I thought you were both snipped and child-free by choice.
And you were incorrect. See where assumptions get you?
I read your post where you detailed your firm plan of getting a vasectomy. You list it on your profile page, where I also didn't notice any mention of children. I've only been reading you for a short time, and part of what I liked about you was that you didn't indulge in cheap snark. I'd rather not be snarked at now, it wasn't a stupid thing for a new reader to ask.
May I ask how old they are without it infringing on their privacy? It's a new view of you for me to consider you as a parent.
Ah, but I DO indulge in snark, and it's not necessarily cheap.
When I was debating with you about the worth of humanity, you assumed I was child-free, assumed I disliked kids, assumed I knew nothing about parenting - in short, you assumed a whole bunch of things despite me trying to step outside of the opinions/expertise you had assigned to me, and were aggressively wrong about many of your assumptions.
Hence, for you to express surprise now IS, to my mind, something deserving of a little snark. Your surety is a hallmark of your brief history of debates within this journal, and the hope is that maybe you stop having that absolute surety.
For the record, I have two children, neither of whom sadly live with me, one of whom is playing Dragon Age next to me on the couch right now. Neither of them are blood, but that doesn't matter to me.
Assumptions aren't surety. I don't know how to NOT have assumptions. I'm quite happy to have them be refuted by additional information.
I don't recall making all these assumptions about you before in our "debate". If I was arguing against a position I was asserting you had, it probably came from something you yourself asserted. Honestly, I don't recall the interaction and am not inclined at the moment to go research it.
Have you made assumptions about me? I don't mind if you have. I'd only mind if you cling to them when you start getting evidence that would challenge your assumptions.
Okay, I went and checked. I didn't engage in the debate about humanity. I was in the post a few days prior to it (early December) about how stupid it was for women to act like they hadn't achieved something if they hadn't given birth.
It's true, I *did* assume that you hadn't procreated in that post, but more because of the way you were so blind to things that are so obvious to me.
Rereading it I also noticed you snarked at me then, too. Hmmm. I think I've found another assumption I made that is wrong, too.
|Date:||December 29th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)|| |
And you don't generally talk about poo. I appreciate that in a journal.
I have to agree with all your rules. I try to have the same standard, but since my journal is friends-only, I tend to talk more about drama than I should.
If something is REALLY bothering me that I don't think I should talk about, I'll make a private post. That way it's there for me, but not for everyone.
|Date:||December 30th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)|| |
And see, this is why I sometimes don't write for a long time.
I don't /like/ to write depressing posts about how my life sucks, but my life is pretty damn boring, so that's the bulk of what I'd be writing.
At the same time, I do like of like writing depressing posts, not because they garner attention, but it's a way of reaching out to others and keeping folks apprised of my life.
But I don't like that it basically looks like the world is ending in my LJ right now.
Then again, I often don't write about good news until it's firmed up and solid, so all the little bright lights I'm seeing? Not LJed unless they come through.