Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Blogging is better than keeping a Journal

Image via Sight Center

I just read through Robert Marello's quirky little book Robert's Rules of Writing and the following quote struck me: "If you're serious about writing, burn the journal and get to work."

This quote resonated for me because I'm one of those veteran dedicated journal keepers. My mom got me a (pink) diary for my 5th birthday and helped me keep it. My journal was the major crutch of my teenage years. It's been a major boon and a major drive for me.

But it's got limitations. During the past couple of years I've run repeatedly dry in journaling. I seem to go over the same crappy inner dialogue again and again. I've made repeated resolutions to spend more time writing about books or world events. But when left in a room by myself what I end up thinking about is...myself.

Now some would argue that being able to transfer one's inner venting to the world via blog is even more selfish than sitting at home and keeping it all in a drawer. The blog Textura Design notes that blogging is an ironically "anti-social" medium that "rewards persistence, self-aggrandizement, and talking about yourself all the time."

Now it's true that with blogging, as journaling, what I end up talking about most is that well-worn subject of me. But with blogging, there's this nifty little tool. It's called linking. With one click you jump to another's blog, another world, another subject.

I've found that with blogging I start to organize my thoughts in a different way. I strive to make them clearer (there's an audience, after all). I start thinking of extra little bits of information I can include. I start clicking my way around the world. Blogging is worlds away from journaling in a room by yourself. And worlds better, too.

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