Blogging vs Journaling

January 6, 2013

  I used to be great about keeping travel journals.  I have one for every trip until this one.  I'd try to write every day because I wanted to remember everything about my (and later, our family's) experiences.  I brought one on this trip but when I was repacking our suitcases for the drive to Omaha, the journal didn't make the cut.  I hadn't written in it since we were in Honolulu and decided that I probably wouldn't have the time on the rest of our trip either.  I also have some carpal tunnel and arthritis in my hands that makes handwriting for long journal entries a little painful but there's actually more to the decision than that.  For me, blogging has replaced journaling as a way of keeping my memories.
  I started this blogging years ago as a way to keep my family in the loop about my travels.  It was great to be able to share pictures and stories with everyone all at once rather than having to write twelve different letters each month.  In part, this blog is still a photo doorway to our lives for our family here in the states but it's also a way for me to process life, the hard parts and the fun parts, and it's also become a way for me to connect with people. I know that there are some people out there who share everything on their blogs and some that keep it on the sunny side all the time.  I try to aim for somewhere in between and I love being able to look back over my old posts and remember what we did and what I thought.
  For me, the big difference between blogging and journaling is that I could write anything I wanted in my journal.  Someone else might read it at some point, but it would always be my words.  This blog has become a representation of the public face of my family and that limits what I share and how I share it.  If I were journaling, I'd be able to vent, to write out any anger or frustration that I had.   Blogging is a process for me- I almost never post without rereading and rewriting, and that allows me to relive what happened and really think about it.  This reflection allows me to be less reactive and more realistic and that has made me a kinder memorialist.
  In twenty years, will I want to remember the minutiae of my emotions at the day that I would have written in a journal or the funny moments and the sad moments and the big takeaway that this blog provides?  For now, my choice is the blog.  Has anyone else given up journaling in favor of blogging?  Do you filter what you share?  Has anyone chosen to keep both?  


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