Can a Blog be a Journal?

I have just started reading Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick. The book gives inspiration and hints on keeping a personal journal in the old style by handwriting on paper in a suitable journal book. With the plethora of examples, writing exercises and plenty of motivation I am very tempted to start a personal journal.

However I have just come across a statement from Stephanie that really annoys me. If I start a journal it will almost certainly be a private blog. Stephanie thinks that computer journals are just not the same. She makes good points about how handwriting variations convey information about the state of mind of the writer, that it distinguishes the writing from work, and that the hand moves across the page in tune with your thoughts. As an amateur cartographer myself I have some sympathy as I love the careful formulation of text with the dipping pens that we cartographers use. Nevertheless Stephanie totally underestimates the utility of a computer journal like a blog which is just not present with a handwritten journal. Great features like:

  • Searching: finding references to people, places, activities and emotions is very difficult when several journal volumes possible spanning years must be hand searched
  • Reformatting: computer journals can be transformed into a number of formats for easy rereading or sharing (perhaps tentatively) with others
  • Publishing: a number of online publishing sites offer the promise of turning your computer journal into a printed volume of varying sizes and cost, as well as electronic publishing via web sites and optical media

I really think that all of Stephanie’s ideas about productive journal writing can translate into a computer journal. Maybe I will prove her wrong.

Published with Word 2007.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Can a Blog be a Journal?

  1. Peta Hopkins says:

    If you really want to feature your handwriting in your blog it can be done. Ink blogging is an option. Sumocat’s Scribbles is a blog featuring the author’s handwriting. Late to the party is another example. Hung Sung has a video tutorial showing how to make an ink blog.

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