Last week I attended an all day workshop on journaling in order to learn how to better use it in my job as a psychiatric nurse. Journaling has always been an important part of my life. I remember the 5 year diaries with the little locks on them as a kid, writing secret things but really too busy with life to do much writing. The beginning of chastising myself for not writing on a daily basis.
In my adult years journaling got me through tough times. Journaling has helped me to get my thoughts in order and solve problems some that I didn't even know needed solving. I found I journaled more when I felt bad than when I felt good. Many self help books I read suggested writing the daily dialogue or morning pages. All encouraged daily writing. I didn't do it.
The workshop I attended explained that there are many types of journaling not just the free writing that I had always done and had my patients do. There are fill in the blanks, timed writings, lists and unsent letters to name a few. Some more structured than others. I got a lot of ideas that will be helpful for both my personal journaling and for use with my patients. But the best piece of information was "You don't have to journal everyday!" Wow. I can quit beating myself up for not being a consistent journaler.
I've thought about the process of journaling and the process of blogging. What is the difference? The most important difference, obviously, is the audience. Journaling is for just one person, me. I can delve as deep as I want into my thoughts and feelings. I can explore areas of my life I might not want to share with others. But journaling is kind of like talking to myself and sometimes I just get really tired of doing that. Sometimes I want to talk to others. And blogging allows me that opportunity.
Whether I'm writing about my cooking experiences or just random thoughts that I want to pass on it is nice to know that there is someone out there listening. It's great to read other's thoughts and feelings about day to day life. I suppose it is a little like writing an essay, or perhaps more like writing a letter to a group audience rather than an individual. Sometimes we get a reply in the form of a comment or in another's blog, sometimes not. But it is all good. Writing is good whether it is to our self or to others. I highly recommend it. Maybe just not every day.