Keeping a Journal vs Keeping a Blog?

    Mari L. McCarthy August 13, 2013

    Technology gives you many different ways to express yourself on any given day. You can post a Facebook or Twitter update, jot down notes in a smartphone journaling app or publish your thoughts in a blog post (like this one!). Many writers have started to blog as a way to communicate their ideas or find the right creative outlet, but does blogging replace journaling? Though blogging and journaling have similarities and can both be beneficial for self-expression and reflection, they are two very different media and can co-exist happily.

    Journaling vs. Blogging: Which Is Write for You?

    1. Keeping a Journal

    Unless you are writing a shared journal with a partner or hoping to publish your entries one day, you are only writing for yourself when you journal. In fact, most people hope no one ever reads their journals because they are so intimate and personal.

    Your journal contains your innermost thoughts and your deepest secrets. There, you allow yourself to be vulnerable as you write honestly and freely. If you have hopes, dreams, fears or thoughts that you’re embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about publicly, your journal becomes your confidant and sounding board. You never have to censor your journal writing, which makes it a perfect place to work on your personal challenges, goals and questions. Your personal journal is just that: highly personal and customized to whatever role you need it to play in your life. Journaling helps you understand yourself on a deeper level.

    2. Keeping a Blog

    When you publish a blog, on the other hand, you write in a different way than when you journal because you know you have an audience. You are aware that your words will be public and potentially read by many people. Indeed, if you are keeping a blog, you hope you have an audience, so you write content with the intention that your readers will learn or gain something from it. You want to connect with others or communicate a message that resonates with people you may not even know. Blogging is a public face, even if you incorporate some of your private life into your posts.

    Because your writing is public, you probably reread and edit your posts before you publish them, which gives you time to hone and reflect on what you’ve written. Reader can comment on your writing – leaving both positive and negative feedback – which leaves you vulnerable to criticism but can also be rewarding and make you a stronger writer. Some writers use personal blogs to garner interest before they publish a book or take on a bigger writing project. Blogging helps you find connections with others in meaningful ways.

    So which medium is right for you? Do you seek the introspection and privacy from keeping a journal, or do you want the community and visibility of keeping a blog? Do you feel drawn to one or the other, or do you prefer to find the perfect balance by doing both?

    Please share your thoughts in the comments


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