journaling into the night seems a fitting image for this post about personal blogging

This blog doesn’t get updated much. The effect shows in the non-readership and I’m not really terribly concerned about that. This blog was originally created with the intent that it would be a “personal” blog, but blogging about my personal life seems to me problematic.

At first, I thought it would be a great idea to have a personal blog. After all, I’ve kept journals off and on for years. My journals don’t really record all that much in the way of deeply personal things; someone finding them would probably just be bored with the reading. Much of it pertains to ideas and thoughts that are best labeled “philosophical.”

No surprise there, as I majored in philosophy.

The point is that my journals, while personal, aren’t deeply revealing (except insofar as they reveal the “philosophical” things I consider). Sometimes, too, I share what I’ve written with friends and this often leads to fun discussions where I get to learn what they think on the same topics.

And so I thought that maintaining a personal blog could be even more enjoyable and would not be a big deal.

What I’ve found, however, is that because of my work as a criminal defense attorney, I’m not as willing to keep up a personal blog. It’s enough to provide fodder for prosecutors, judges and potential jurors through my specific thoughts on criminal justice — or the lack thereof — and the criminal legal system — or the lack thereof — on my law blogs. I don’t need to add into the mix that someone may not appreciate some of my more generalized thoughts on life.

Still, I live in an area — Fresno County, California — where I find it difficult to meet people whose company I enjoy. All of us like to occasionally hang out with people with whom we don’t perpetually need to defend our world-view, or justify our most basic thoughts about “the good life.” Blogging is something that I discovered, years ago, opened up the possibility of having discussions with a range of people, some of whom disagree with me, to be sure, but many of whom don’t.

At Unspun™, for example, I wrote about social and political issues. I largely stopped after becoming an attorney. I miss the community of commenters I encountered there, both the good (people who are still friends to this day) and the not-so-good (people like “Nat” who could not conduct a discussion without personal attacks). I’ve even thought frequently about resurrecting Unspun™. After all — and even though I voted for him — our current President provides much to debate and criticize (and even perhaps a few things to praise).

Another thing that has held me back from building my personal blog on this website is the thought that I may, one day, simply take this site down. The things I write — the good, the bad, the poorly-written — have some weird hold over me once written. I hate to see them go away. That’s why Unspun™; remains online to this day, even though I haven’t written anything there since early 2009. So I don’t like the idea of writing here when I know I may very well just erase it all someday. (One reason I might erase it is that if I decide to practice a different kind of law, other than criminal defense, my other websites aren’t easily adaptable to that; I may need a “generic” web URL to use for a non-criminal-defense-oriented website.)

Finally, there’s the whole idea that there’s already a Rick Horowitz — and not a very pleasant one, if you ask me — who is somewhat famous, at least in some circles. I have people mistaking me for him often enough as it is. If I try to redeem the name, to connect it with less idiotic and thoughtless ideas, it could just confuse people. After all, that other Rick Horowitz has been around so long that it would be hard for people to understand if suddenly someone named “Rick Horowitz’ started to sound intelligent and sane.

So I’m not sure what’s going to happen here with this blog. At the moment, when I want to write on a more personal note, I journal offline. But the more I think about things, the more I wonder if it wouldn’t be fun to start writing about non-law things again, on occasion, and see if I can’t reconnect with some of my non-law online friends of the past.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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