I’ve been blogging about the benefits of blogging for the past couple weeks, and while I don’t plan on beating this horse to death, I happen to like things in threes, so I’m going to give it one more shot.
Three words to sum it up: journaling with benefits. That’s right. Blogging is like keeping a journal, only it offers so much more than a journal alone can.
I don’t recall any writing instructor ever suggesting journaling is a waste of time, but I have been asked whether blogging is. I think there’s a disconnect between what people think blogging is and what it actually is. To me, it’s an improved way of staying engaged in the writing process on a regular basis. You’ve heard it before, right? People saying they want to be writers but never actually writing? Conventional wisdom says, if you want to improve at something, if you want to become more polished at it, then do more of it.
That time spent on “meaningless work”…will pay off in one way or another. I’m convinced that blogging can be an important way of getting things started well enough to keep things going and improving.
I no longer journal. Blogging fills the void that emerged when I locked up my high-school diaries and stowed them away in a dust-collecting closet. My blogging began as a new way of recording my life stories so that my children would have a record of them someday, but it’s become much more.
Blogging is a journal with benefits because it fills a similar purpose but without going into hiding. And though, yes, this requires a different kind of filter than the diaries of old, I have to admit that even when I was keeping a diary in high school, I always thought, “What if?” and filtered out anything I wouldn’t have wanted someone to see and repeat in print someday. Consider that The Diary of Anne Frank was one of my favorite childhood books.
Speaking of Anne, she can help make my next point. I mean, can you imagine how amazing it would have been if Anne Frank had had access to a laptop and Blogger or WordPress? There’s no question the act of journaling was hugely valuable to Anne, and it ended up becoming even more hugely valuable to the rest of us in time. Who’s to say our writing can’t have the same kind of impact, right here right now? Even if we don’t all achieve fame through our blogs, there is something edifying in the act of recording our thoughts, not just for us, but for others who might gain from taking a closer look at the ways in which we approach our lives. We learn from one another.
Writing in general is a journey of discovery, and I see blogging as specifically addressing our need to discover who we are and why we’re here. Blogging can help us reveal some of the most profound answers inside of us; things that can take a while to get at but need to be gotten at.
Blogging is not a destination but a process, one with unlimited potential.
Q4U: What void does blogging most fill for you?