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Re: conlanging and journaling

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Monday, February 11, 2008, 7:59
 --- Rick Harrison skrzypszy:

> I have this vague, shapeless feeling that conlanging and writing a > diary/journal are similar activities in some ways. > > If you're just doing it for yourself, you can sort of do whatever > you want; there is no right or wrong, no preferred practice or > unpopular options. > > But there is a potential audience in the shadows of the mind of > many journal-keepers. Grandchildren? Future historians? My future > self? For some of us the potential audience is not clearly > defined. > > And the existence of a potential audience limits your options. > > Erm... that's all I can put into words at the moment, the rest of > my thoughts are too amorphous to enwordulate at this stage. > > Has anyone blogged, posted or essayed about similarities between > conlanging and journaling?
Interesting thoughts! My personal feeling is slightly different, however. I would rather compare conlanging to all those kinds of creative activity, that people most likely perform in private, just for themselves... Writing poetry, writing stories, writing music, drawing, painting, sculpturing, photography, etc. Not by definition something to be secretive about, but on the other hand, the reactions of a potential audience, be it the internet community, be it future generations within your own family, are not the primary reason for doing it. Writing a diary is in my opinion a slightly different story. I'm not much of a diary-writer myself, but I would say writing a diary is a far more private kind of activity. Of course, I'm not speaking about blogs and the like. I believe most people who write a diary rather wouldn't want their children to read them after their death. I used to write music for a couple of years, quite intensively. Most of my work was performed, but I can't say there was a real breakthrough. Once I got a full-time job and a family, I couldn't uphold it any longer, and changed my path to conlanging. Although conlanging is something I had done before, I can say it really took the place of my composing. Those of us who have websites for their conlangs must surely be aware of the fact that there may actually be people reading them. I'm not sure how this affects conlanging itself, though. Sometimes I have made modifications in my work as a result of feedback by readers. But conlanging is still something I do for my own fun (or call it a calling, if you like). Pleasing the audience is certainly not my primary reason. I have the impression that nowadays there are a lot of conlangers who actually started conlanging AFTER they saw conlangs online. They start conlanging because there are others doing it as well. In other ways, a bit of the opposite from Tolkien's Secret Vice story. I can't speak for them, but it may very well be that they are very much guided by the opinions of other conlangers. Regards, Jan __________ "The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain." — G'Kar quoting G'Quon, Babylon 5 __________________________________________________________ Sent from Yahoo! Mail - a smarter inbox