Monday, April 11, 2011

Journaling: can it help us?

You would think having a blog about a diary, I would still write in one. I mean the old-school, handwritten, watercolor cat on the cover types. Sure, I'm occasionally looking back on my past journals, but I have no current handwritten, personal journal.


This blog post caught my eye:
WOW! Women On Writing Blog: Book Review: Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life by Mari L. McCarthy

Now, I'm wondering why I haven't picked up my own journaling again since I started writing more intentionally. I think subconciously, it's probably that I figured blogging replaced a personal journal. That's what happened when I started my LiveJournal account back in the early 2000s. Although, my current blog is not even close to a personal journal.

There is definitely a difference in having a personal journal that is intended for no audience but yourself, and writing for a larger audience. Even if you're writing about yourself, it's the intended audience part that changes it. I could care less about proofreading a personal journal (OK, that's not true. I don't like typos EVER.) I like that idea that personal journaling can help develop a writer. At the very least, it can help you as a person, which then carries over to more specific goals and projects. I guess it can be viewed as another way of accountability; I can hold myself accountable for my own goals.

Do you write in a personal journal? Would it be more encouraging to write in one if you had a specific theme, such as recording personal goals, or using it as a way to simply record events for family history?


  1. I've tried creating personal journals, but always seem to lose interest. I find that when I hand write I contemplate more what I'll say, because I don't like scratching out or making mistakes. BUT...when I type on my blog I will just purge-- get it all out--and then go back and edit the gibberish.

    I feel that my blog is my journal and I try to keep it as honest as I can. It has changed direction and focus as my interest have. Right now I'm not even sure WHAT I blog about, but I do feel that it is therapeutic.

  2. I don't journal but I used to. I do consider my blog a kind of journal but you're right, it has a different feeling because its public. I'm not sure I want to keep a journal now because most of my free time for writing I spend writing fiction. But it might be nice to get back into it and see what comes out.

  3. Thanks for the comments!

    I think if I were to keep a current handwritten journal, it would be sporadic. It would be less about what I did that day and more personal reflection and sorting out of ideas. I type so much faster, it's hard to even write anything in longhand these days!

  4. I usually use a personal journal as a way to "clear out" the guck. There is a book, I forget which one, in which the author advises sitting down and just writing out the guck in the journal every day before you write your real stuff. I see some value in that (though I don't do it every day) because it gets rid of the stuff that's in the back of your mind and might be keeping you from really getting into your "real" writing. Thanks for stopping by my blog - look forward to reading more of you. Plus I'm following you :-)


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