I mentioned on Facebook that I was reading a book over lunch the other day and my mother asked, "What book?" To which I replied, "'Narcissism' by Michael R. Bissell."
As I said on Facebook, reading my own stuff is amazing because it's like the author is in my head. I know all the words I've used in my writings, my style flows neatly through the passages of my brain, and I'm constantly nodding and thinking, "Yes, of course, that's brilliant!"
I never get that frustrated moment when I think the author is going somewhere with an idea and, instead, I find myself disappointed by some conclusion that's just blatantly wrong. Nope, when I read me the very fabric of reality makes sense. If it's wrong, it's only because I don't know it's wrong, so it's right as far as I'm concerned.
Oh, sure, I find my spelling and grammatical errors that have sat on the page for decades, but they flow by in an almost charming way. I certainly don't deduct the points for technical errors the way I do when I read other people's stuff. And some facts have changed over the years, but I recall how true the facts were when I wrote them, so I don't dismiss the passage as idiocy but, instead, a line in the sands of time.
It is definitely more interesting to me than it would be to anyone else when I get to some of my more personal writings, the ones that I never really edited with the thought of someone else reading them. Vivid dreams that I wrote down are still vivid when I re-read them and the visceral response I have to some of my writings, even public writings, will always be a personal experience that only I can have.
Reflecting on my reflections doesn't weaken the memory the way light dims through multiple reflections. Sure, it still may distort the memory like in a funhouse mirror, but I think, perhaps, the memories are less distorted if I review the documentation of the time -- I've found the way I tell some stories is actually quite different from what I wrote down in a private moment years ago.
So, is it narcissistic to re-read my own stuff? Yeah, sure it is. But in a healthy, self conscious way. As long as I'm still reading other things, and still experiencing new things, then it's probably good that I keep a sense of drift check by looking back as I move forward.
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