“Blueeeees in the Niiiiiight,” Ella Fitzgerald croons in my ear. I’m up and adam, despite having taken two sleeping pills, and am exploring the vestiges of my music library. All around me, people are watching movies, snacking on peanuts, sleeping (jealous!), and otherwise occupying themselves at this beginning of our 10.5 hour flight.
My plan was to try to get myself on India time as soon as possible. I changed my watch (it’s currently 1:39am in India), bought some Sominex, and bundled myself in a hoodie, comfy pants, and comfy underthings. Sadly, nature will have her way…at least for now, and I am stuck wide-awake.
As my in-flight movie/TV/game/music touch screen won’t work (yes, I tried practically punching the screen with my thumb), I have opted to put some initial thoughts on paper to begin my blog.
I have been wary of starting a blog to chronicle the 1-2 years I will spend in India. For one thing, I don’t read blogs. Online, my reading consists of the following routine: Facebook, Gmail, Facebook, New York Times, Facebook, The Daily Beast, Twitter, Facebook (you get the picture). If I don’t read blogs, how can I expect anyone to read mine? Will they get anything out of it? Will I get anything out of writing it?
Probably the coolest thing about blogs is that they can serve as sort of digital scrapbooks. If I keep this up, I will close my time in India with a whole site full of stories and pictures from abroad. In addition, I have seen how blogs can serve as a nice central location for friends and family to find out how you’re doing.
My concerns with a blog lie primarily in the amount of time required to create one and in the type of content required. Between learning Hindi, starting a new job, studying for the GMAT, and generally doing my best not to get Malaria, it may be hard to make time for writing. While writing about an experience can enrich that experience, I also don’t want writing to take time away from my actually living it.
My second concern has to do with the sort of “middle space” blogs occupy. Up until now, the way I have used different communication mediums has been fairly split. I have posted only relatively personal bits of content on Facebook and Twitter, while reserving my handwritten journal for processing much more personal thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a completely unfiltered manner. A blog, particularly one that chronicles personal experiences (rather than politics or fashion) sits at the intersection of these two spaces. How will I remain authentic in my blog while being sure I don’t write anything offensive or incriminating? It’s not the first time I’ve pondered this question.
In addition to time and content type, I think part of my hesitation also has to do with length. At heart, I am a poet. Writing anything long intimidates me. I’d rather focus on getting a few words just right.
Blogging will be an interesting process—one that will facilitate growth both in my writing and in my ability to process my experiences in a thoughtful manner. I like that in some small way, I will be accountable to my readers to a) keep writing, keep processing; and b) to document my thoughts and experiences. Without an audience, my personal journal tends to be more of a platform for processing emotions than a place where I thoughtfully record and process my experiences in detail. Here we go….