How and Why to Keep an Online Journal: Keeping Track of Your Private Life in Public
For me, keeping a journal of some sort has always been important. I have, however, struggled with finding the time to sit down and keep a journal and I have traditionally lacked the discipline in order to make it work. I am inclined, for several reasons, to keep a journal in digital format, not the least of which is the fact that arthritis makes it difficult for me to grip the pen.
I am also a natural sharer. I like to share my life, my stories and myself with other people. I appreciate getting feedback from others about some of the things that I have experienced and this can also be a good and interesting way to make friends. While I am not currently keeping an online journal (it got deleted in an accident on my server), I am planning on doing so again in the very near future. It is healing for me and soothing as well.
Why Keep a Journal?
Regardless of whether or not you choose to keep a journal online or in a paper copy book, there are several reasons why keeping a journal may be beneficial or attractive to you.
- Keeping a journal is a way to jot down your daily thoughts that you want to remember.
- Keeping a journal is good for writers who enjoy stream of consciousness writing.
- Keeping a journal can help you to work through a problem.
- Keeping a journal allows you to look back at how far you have come.
- Keeping a journal leaves a legacy of who you are for those who come after you.
There are many more benefits, each which is as individual as the person who has chosen to keep his or her own journal.
Why Keep a Journal ONLINE?
I prefer to keep my journal online and public. There are those who agree with me and those who disagree with me. Because of the type of closely intimate relationship that I have with my husband, I like to keep my writings available to him, and we both benefit from my keeping a journal online. Here are some of the reasons you might decide to do the same.
- Keeping a journal (blog) online allows others to offer you feedback about a particular problem, if you allow it.
- Keeping a journal (blog) online allows you to find others who have common problems or interests.
- Keeping a journal (blog) online can offer you the opportunity to make some cash from your ramblings (but don't count on it).
- Keeping a journal (blog) online can give you an additional sense of accomplishment
For me, the best part about keeping an online journal is the fact that I can share with others who are able to actively respond to my postings.
Be careful though! Always keep a backup of your posts lest you lose them!
How to Keep an Online Journal
To begin with, you're going to need somewhere to put your ramblings. You have several options (see to the left) for free hosting for your online journal. Some allow you to monetize your blog and others don't. If you wish to make money, choose Blogger, but bear in mind that a "rambling" blog isn't likely to monetize well!
A few tips for keeping an online journal/blog.
- Write often. Try for once a day, but if that isn't possible, then once a week.
- Keep your posts relatively short but try not to edit. You want to be able to return to them and understand what you were trying to say.
- Allow comments but keep them moderated so that you can remove any comments that are "spam."
When to Write
Write whenever you feel the inclination to do so.
- Write at three in the morning when you have a brainstorm
- Write after the fight with your wife
- Write after a great day at the park with the kids
- Write when you're in a good mood
- Write when you're in a bad mood
- Write any time -- the point is to WRITE.