I have tried to keep a diary for a few years now, but I’ve never got far, until I started blogging. Handwritten diaries are tedious, computer diaries are distracting, both feel like monologues. For me, they become boring after a while, and must be abandoned. With my blog, however, the more I post, the more I want to post.
I think that keeping a diary is a good thing for a writer. It helps you capture fleeting emotions, analyze recurring dreams, and develop thoughts. All records can be later used for inspiration.
I see my blog as a diary, although it might not be that in the strict sense of the word. My entries are mostly about writing, not life events. But I live in my mind, and I stay in my attic all the time, and not much happens to my body. My blog so far is a summary of my mental life, as meagre as that is.
Traditional diaries are selfish. And they can be limiting, just as first-person narratives. With a blog, however, you always know that there is at least one other person reading your entry, and that makes you chose your words with care, and consider carefully the things you want to talk about. You will think twice before sharing anything with the world, and this is a protection against trivial entries, which abound in most diaries.
Blogging is not a monologue but a conversation. I have received many thought-provoking comments, and some made me change the way I view the world. I would have not had the benefit of comments if I kept a private diary.
I don’t read my blog posts, but I reckon that I might do it in a few years, when nostalgia about my younger years will seize me. My blog will always be there waiting for me. The same cannot be said of a dairy, which can be misplaced, lost, or damaged.
It’s easier to carry on with a blog than with a pen and paper diary. Your good entries are rewarded with positive comments and likes and views. It’s easier to do something and to enjoy doing it when you can get something in return for your efforts. Even when the rewards are virtual, they matter.
On some days I feel that blogging is a distraction, and that I would better spend the few hours I devote to it weekly to more literary endeavors. But I have to admit that my writing has improved since I started blogging, and dark corners of my mind have lighted up a bit, and I have also met a few interesting persons. And then I’ve also ordered my thoughts a bit.
In the end I see no harm in blogging, so long as you post with moderation, and only after your daily writing is done.
Do you keep a diary?
(Any typos or grammatical/syntactical errors in this post should be interpreted as lack of editing time, rather than as poor writing ability.)