The Rulz, The Iko Version
Lynda, of (parenthesis) fame, wrote an entry about rules regarding an online journal. I decided to write a rebuttal. Kind of. Upon her enthusiastic encouragement (thanks!), I note them here.
Don't talk about work.
I talk about work. I cannot mention the name of the Soft Drink Company That
Must Not Be Named, but when I talk to people we'd like to recruit or other
clients, there is nothing wrong with discussing what the application
generally did, how it works to help that company. I don't think there is
anything wrong with talking about work. No job is free of negative elements
(anyone who tells you such is lying), but if you find the job generally
rewarding, (and if you don't, I always think, why are you working there?) to
discuss the good and the bad is okay. Know the boundaries. Work is 40+
hours of my life. To not write about it in any sense would leave out a huge
chunk of my life.
Thus: Talk about work, within moderation.
Don't talk about people I know 'in the flesh'.
I talk about Mike all the time. However, it is almost always in the context
of me. I think this is the key for talking about people I know in real
life and who don't keep an online journal. Mike has his own personal
problems that don't involve me and I don't discuss them in my journal. That
would be turning the focus away from me to him. His issues are his own to
discuss, not mine. As a reader, I want the journaller to focus on
Thus: Talk about others and how they influence you and your life.
Don't talk about people I know online.
See "Don't talk about people I know 'in the flesh'." It's the same thing. I
want the journaller to focus on themselves if they discuss others.
Thus: (see above)
Don't talk about things online that spark me into thinking.
Blimey, this is just, wrong. I want to know what sparks you. What
excites you. What makes you think. What are you thinking about? What
place holds your thoughts? Let me in.
Thus: Always talk about things that spark thought.
Don't talk about the past.
I do this all the time and I don't mind when other people do it. I like a
sense of perspective. I think that's why I liked The Virgin Suicides so
much. The narrators are talking about the past, but with a sense of
perspective. "Leaving the past where it is" doesn't show me how your past
has and is shaping you.
Thus: Talk about the past. Demonstrate how it has shaped your current
dreams and perspective on life.
Don't talk about the future.
Jinx it? Jinx it? I'm not sure I want to even dignify that bit.
Thus: Talk about the future. Talk about your goals and where you think
you're going. Excite your reader into wanting to take that path with you..
Don't talk about anything that will jeopardize ____'s situation with _______
or my situation with _____.
I think this is the only thing that I can partially agree. It's a part of
"know your bounds".
Thus: Know your bounds. Conciously choose to "play it safe" or "risk it".
Live with the choice, ideally without regret.