Thursday, November 11, 2008

My First Month As A Blogger in Federal Prison

In just one month I’ve learned quite a bit about blogging. First, I must continue to be 100% transparent and totally open. This is not always easy. Blogging, particularly on a daily basis, provides the author little time to change or reconsider previous statements and opinions. I have found this to be good and also a little scary. Blogging provides the reader with new content every day without much editing or revision. My initial thoughts tend to be my best and with strict time restraints, I’m rarely tempted to edit my work. Done well, the reader should get an accurate description of my thoughts at that very moment, as I write about prison life.

Blogging is scary because the writer has no way of knowing how the message will be received. The writer is not afforded the same opportunity as an author writing a novel. An author has months or even years to edit and revise his or her work. I spent some time today reviewing my blog and I have mixed feelings. One day I’m describing prison being too easy and in the next blog I’m longing for my freedom. It’s quite obvious that my adjustment to confinement is continuing to develop. It appears as if my blogs, at least for the near future, will continue to show this erratic pattern ranging from happiness to loneliness and everything in between.

I’ve made my prison experience an open book for anyone to read. I often wonder why I’m doing this. Will my daily postings about my prison experience help those who are confronting criminal charges? Am I providing readers with a correct glimpse into the unknown world of confinement? Am I empowering those who anticipate a struggle with the criminal justice system? I sincerely hope that the answer is yes to all those questions.

Justin Paperny

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