Especially, private words.
Private words are heavy. They have weight. I don’t keep many words private, percentage wise; but what I do keep private tends to mean a lot—albeit, probably, only to me and whoever else is concerned.
Keeping too many words private weighs me down, not in the sense that they are depressing, but more symbolically… and almost literally. Private words literally function like weights. They seep through the crust and stay close to my core. They ground me. They anchor me. They keep me from floating away.
Even so, I publish most things instead of keeping them private.
Because, first of all, it’s incredibly difficult to keep private things private. Even though I will of course omit personal details, something will get into the public words. It is near-impossible to keep things separated.
(Where does reality end and fiction start? Where does fiction end and reality start? I do not know. Everyone I know is who they are; they are also who they think they are; they are also who I think they are. I am who they think I am; I am who I think I am.)
Also, public words have their benefits. They become lighter, not because they are meaningless, but because they can spread and become ether… whatever is perceived as the “normal” air in this world—or in a small fraction of this world. The likelihood of kindred spirits finding my core—even when I keep some things private—increases with each published word.
Meanwhile, I use a note-taking app for private notes. Presently, I feel the urge to delete everything there. They don’t ground me anymore. I don’t need them to ground me, not anymore.
In fact, I wonder if having so many private notes is one of the reasons my fiction production has slowed down in 2022. Yes, I do more nonfiction stuff, but the decrease in fiction production isn’t a result of simple pluses and minuses of resources. (Ex: just because I spent 3 hours less on fiction didn’t mean that I spent those 3 hours on nonfiction. There was something else going on; something psychological; something keeping me away from fiction.)
In the early days of writing, I felt safe hoarding “ideas.” Now I know they’re useless. Everyone has ideas. They just weigh me down—and in this case, not symbolically/literally, but in the sense that they depress me.
Deleting the private notes won’t make those words any lighter. What would make them lighter is to publish them.
This is the last day of 2022. I think of the things I want to remove from my life. I think of the things I want to keep. Removing things will be required to keep other things. Keeping things will be required for removing other things.
Some things I want to keep require so much change, my whole mindset must shift. Why do I want them? I do not know. Maybe because I need them.
A lot of cleaning will be done in 2023.