Journals, Diaries, and Blogs – Oh, My!

Earlier this week I was talking to my friend about about Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It is a wonderful book that focuses on living a creative life. If you have this book and went through the exercises, you will be very familiar with what she terms morning pages.

The purpose of morning Pages is to clear out the mental cobwebs that block creative energy. The process consists on writing six pages every morning before you do anything else. This was not an easy practice for me, but I did recently stumble on my journal of morning pages. As I flipped through them (you are never supposed to read them as you go through the course if I remember correctly) they were filled with a lot of nothingness – especially on the first couple of pages each morning. Some of the content made me sad and I remembered things I prefer to compartmentalize and store in the deeper recesses of my mind. Some things that worried me at the time I do not recall at all.

As I contemplated destroying the book of morning pages, I started thinking about all the different diaries, journals and blogs I have kept over the years.

In my adolescence I kept a diary. It was white with a luggage type lock that gave the impression of privacy but would open with a strong tug if someone wanted to read it. Mine was filled with adolescent memories like boyfriends and friends and mundane tasks of the day.

Later in life I kept journals. They always seemed to be filled with my most intimate and private thoughts. I think maintaining journals helped me learn to process the events of my life and helped me formulate long lasting ideals. As such, these are not journals I would want anyone else to read. They are filled with immature thoughts and ideas which required even more thought as I lived my life.

Then came blogging. My first online community was a Prodigy message board – now I feel old. I connected with people from an area in Ohio where I spent my high school years. It was fun and was based on shared experiences.

From there, I moved on to LiveJournal. Back in the day, you needed an invitation code to create an account. An online friend from New Zealand gave me my first access code. They eventually did away with that requirement. I have not written on LiveJournal for years but I still have my account. I shared this space with one of my sisters, her best friend and her sister. I find comfort now in being able to go back and read my sister’s words.

I wrote a few short posts on Blogger, but I did not like the format or their method of designing a blog look. From there I went to WordPress and have had a presence here since 2010. My first blog was again a way of processing. I started my blog after the suicide of a friend.

I no longer feel the need to privatize my thoughts much. Maybe I have reached a level of mental maturity and I know better who I am now than I have ever known. There are a few things I will not share, but I am keenly aware of how much of our ‘private’ lives are public knowledge. Add to that my love of research and there isn’t much I cannot find if I put my mind to it.

Did you have a history of journaling before you started blogging? Do you still have diaries and journals from the past? What do you hope to do with them as you age?