blogging, Motivational

Is a Blog an Online Journal?

“There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts and then acting on them.” -Wayne Dyer

Do you write in a journal?

I’ve had many diaries – I just don’t write in them, on a regular basis. To be truthful, I’ve started new journals more times than I can remember, being seduced by those blank pages and pretty, patterned hard-cover notebooks. I usually stop writing in them, after just a few weeks.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Travel Journals

Some journals are functional, chronicling trips overseas. I have a few of those. Travel diaries are invaluable for constructing blog posts and triggering delightful memories long after the actual events have passed by.

Some entries in my journals are records of inspirational sayings, useful tips and random information. Others are mere scribble: words written in haste; created amid a torrent of emotion. Words that tumble sadness or happiness in a wash on the page, in the same way a river breaks its bank, in flood.

It might be a good thing my handwriting is somewhat illegible!

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.

It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

~ Barbara Kingsolver

Despite journals having a place in my life, blog posts have become a substitute journal. Yet they are transient and have a short shelf life, (who reads old blog posts), so I wonder if a blog will become irrelevant, or less permanent than a hardcover, hand-written book over time?

That said, in the darkest of times, I find it helpful to hand write in real time, in a notebook. It constitutes a tactile flow of thoughts into a concrete form, (from brain to hand to book). It facilitates a release of intense thoughts from my headspace. Once written, I rarely read a journal entry again. The processing of emotion is complete.

So why then, do I keep a drawer full of old journals?

It seems there can be a deeper role for journaling, as this yoga teacher explains:

Journaling in tandem with meditation is useful. Expressive writing studies, (there are over 1000), show that journaling deep emotions aids physical health. It can help those who suffer from chronic health conditions. It can reduce days in hospital after surgery!

Studies show people who journal tend to talk, laugh, socialise more and sleep better. Those who journal are more likely to acknowledge when something bad happens and they use journaling to process their difficult experiences.

It turns out that putting stuff into words changes the way it is organised in our minds. Constructing a story from our ups and downs helps us recover from hard times and savour enjoyable times.

And it’s free.
pensive thoughful looking upward

Is blogging different from journaling?

Is writing a therapeutic activity for you?

Why do you think the creative writing processes transform emotions?

The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.

~ Edwin Schlossberg
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193 thoughts on “Is a Blog an Online Journal?”

  1. Amanda, I aim for a blog post once per month, though sometimes I skip a month. My blog is one of my self-taught retirement projects. Creative writing is far from what I did during my working years, as is photography. Being the skilled writer you are Amanda, I’m sure you’ve picked up this. 🙂
    “Learning is the essence of life”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once a month is fine! There are no rules about posts. That is the beauty of blogging. You write when you feel most inclined to do so. I don’t much like a strict routine, although the Friendly Friday challenge is an exception. Writing to a routine generally kills creativity!
      I would never describe myself as a skilled writer. I like words but am mostly self-taught too in photography and writing! There are many resources on-line which I am only now starting to find. I think I could improve much more yet. If you write from the heart, your passion shows through in your writing and it is never a chore.
      I so appreciate your kind comment. Thanks so much, Kevin.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I write in my journal EVERY day. Even if it’s just a quick “this is what I felt, did, want to achieve today.” Typically its verbal vomit which is what I really need! My Blog is really just another outlet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Alison, that’s exactly the purpose of a journal. It’s not just for the biggest moments of our lives, but even the mundane or ordinary. I’ve told people in the past that one can truly be themselves when writing in their journals. They don’t have to be prim, proper or politically correct. We can scream and yell just as much as we can express love and adoration. It’s one vessel where we can be true to our nature.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my goodness. Definitely following. This is me so many journals, mesmerized by blank pages and pretty covers. Lol someone gets it. I have totally never finished writing in any of the journals. My notes section of my phone is my usual go to! Definitely inspired! Great write


    1. I can hear the passion for writing in your comment, Elizabeth. I do agree it is therapeutic and yet we don’t have to divulge heaps of personal details in writing blog posts for them to be cathartic.
      I agree the distinction between a journal and a blog is that the blog post is written with the hopeful intent that others might find it interesting or useful, and the journal is a private matter for our ears and eyes only. Have you been blogging for long?


      1. Hi, I’ve been blogging, learning WordPress, setting up my website, learning about marketing- under a year and a half. I enjoy writing to entertain but also want it to be useful- I’m pulled in two quite different directions. But for me, freedom to be creative is the key to my motivation.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is the gift of WordPress. The freedom to be as creative as you like. Some folks make money through their blogs, but mostly it’s only a little; there seems to be only a few that make a lot. Whatever the motivation it is a person has to begin, (and to continue), blogging, will also be the underlying current that filters through the writing to the reader.


  4. Interesting questions. For me, blogging is different to journaling and I have set out my blog so that it is. Although blogging is all encompassing and can be like journaling too. Journaling is more personal for me where I can whinge and be confused on paper. I’ve started morning pages- an idea from the Artist’s Way book- which I do every morning just to get thoughts out of my head. These are so therapeutic (haha!) and a nice and peaceful way to start the day. I would say blogging for me is therapeutic in a different way and more about the art of writing?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have started so many journals – not my thing. But I bought an instant camera before moving to New Zealand. Every month we pick 4 images, print them and each family member writes something about that picture. That will be an amazing memory to take back home, one day, when we move back to Europe from NZ. And the kids love it – they really put effort in it and reflect the memories they have from that particular image.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Amanda – thanks for sharing that passage form the yoga teacher – especially liked this part- “turns out that putting stuff into words changes the way it is organised in our minds.”
    And also I know what you mean about “who reads old posts” but I did think some of them get read as they are indexed and might come up when someone searches – so they might get some reads – but not like a freshly posted entry!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I realise that this is a little off-topic, but:

    […] Yet they are transient and have a short shelf life, (who reads old blog posts) […]

    Well, since you ask, I do. In fact, I’m here after visiting one of your earlier posts via ?Random Raiders!… and, wait, what’s that, do my eyes deceive me or is ‘Forestwood’ listed there as a member, too? 😉

    Not all posts are transient. Some, as I’ve found, can have lasting appeal.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A blog is more of a diary but in this case an online diary because you share your thoughts online via links so that interested readers can click on it in Google and read the content📱

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I am new to your blog and find it very interesting. I have found an easy way to journal, I am using an app called My diary. But, as you had said, writing using a pen feels different than using an online writer, it entrenches our thoughts into words far deeply into our memory. For me, writing a journal is more personal than writing a blog, it is there for myself and nobody else to read and savour the memories again and again. Blog posts are there to share stuff with the world. I recently started writing a blog to improve my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to blogging. I agree that writing in a diary is deeper and more introspective than a public blog post.
      Reading blogs and writing posts is good practice for honing writing skills.


  10. I do not write journal and blogging is truly my first writing experience which I started exactly a year ago. It was not easy at first, especially finding the right balance between being authentic in sharing my life journey and yet not getting too personal about it. Learning to write from the heart, capturing and sharing experiences and always with Readers’ perspective in mind. It brings me joy and especially grateful whenever a reader is inspired enough to leave valuable comments to share with other readers 🌻😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Writing for me can be beautiful… but always painful too. So I guess that falls into therapeutic haha. I have always struggled to maintain journals because putting my inner self under a microscope brings up too much truth!!! The journey continues 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for the comment, thegirlthedreamthelife,
      Writing is both beautiful, therapeutic and takes a form that is whatever you want it to be! That is its appeal. If you feel that journaling is too painful for you because it raises darker thoughts, what theme do you concentrate on in writing a blog post? Travel/photography experiences?


  12. Good question! I think you could use it that way if you wanted an outlet, but I think that blogs that have a specific purpose might do better when it comes to gaining followers and reaching people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good answer, Sarah. Blogs with a specific purpose. Yes, this might relate to academic and informational blogs. But are they better at gaining followers and more importantly to me, engaging in comments and discussion? Not always. I see blogs with more comments that are chatty, lifestyle blogs, that appear to reach more people. I am not sure why other than people feel a connection with ( and are inclined to comment more) with someone writing personal experiences ( not necessary personal details), as opposed to impersonal information even if it is new, intriguing information.
      On the other hand, I do agree with you that blogs are an outlet. They can be cathartic, healing and fun! Have you been blogging for a while?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really! I started my blog up in August and it’s just been something I enjoy more than anything. I’m still learning how to engage with my readers more and what topics people seem to enjoy reading the most. You make a good point about being personal though. I try to make my posts sound as casual and relatable as I can. I try to write in a way that makes sense but also in a way that sounds how I would actually converse with someone

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You hit the nail on the head. Engaging with your readers through a post or a comment is like a conversation. I tend to write in this style more than straight information, which can be dry. It has worked for me. And it is much more fun that way.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I definitely noticed that when I did a discussion post based on something I read in one of my nonfiction reads, I definitely got a bit more engagement out of it. Just a comment or two, but it also made me start reading a but more analytically so I can come up with questions or interesting topics and invite people to converse about!

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved your post, coincidentally I wrote on the same thing a few months ago Blog Posts can never be a handwritten journal. There is feeling of warmth, affection, connection in those handwritten words which is a lot more than in typed peices of art. Even I don’t do journal everyday yet I love it more than my blog page as it feels more like a close bestfriend. 🤍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So glad to hear that you find journaling gives you so much and you can confide totally in the page. There are authors who dislike typed words, preferring to hand write their manuscripts as they have a different feel. I am happy typing as my handwriting is not neat at all! Thanks for a lovely comment and I will check out your blog.


  14. I’ve been wanting to get to this post because it speaks to me. There is so much research about how much difference there is in brain activity in hand written work and typing. You engage more of the brain when you write by hand and free form writing is the best way to work out any difficulty. When I blog about things in my life, I choose words very carefully. When I journal, I write quickly with feeling from the base of my feelings that day. I write morning pages when I first wake and a night time journal page as well as my one line gratitude journal. Each with a different purpose than my blog. The nightly journal is my download of any difficulty that day or thoughts I want to unload. Makes sleep sweeter. I’m on my third year of morning pages where I plan my day or expectations of myself for that day. Getting clear before getting up helps my focus. A lot of time I’ll ask a question when writing by hand and have an answer by the time I’m done. If you want something very much, write it down by hand, often. If you want to change your personality, change your handwriting. I did that to give me more backbone. Because both of my children are dysgraphic, I had to study handwriting and the brain so many years ago. Great post and good food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you want something very much, write it down by hand, often. If you want to change your personality, change your handwriting.
      This is fascinating Marlene! I will take a look at that link. Imagine unlocking the secrets of the connections between handwriting and the brain. Amazing but it makes sense. I still have yet to start morning pages but I think I will do that this week! I have a few diaries sitting around that I could use. Then a lovely reflection on the day at night.
      I do have bullet journals but don’t keep them up to date constantly. I did when I was working, but perhaps I would feel more productive if I continued that tradition now I am retired.
      I really appreciate your comment and your experiences. Again I think it is fascinating.


  15. I have a personal journal called “Triumphs & Tribulations”. I started it at Age 15 in October 2000 and I’m now on Volume 21. It’s where I write my innermost thoughts. All of my life experiences since the first entry is there. It’s strictly for my eyes only with the exception of the 1st entry I talked about my blog ( My thoughts in my journal are explicit and unfiltered. Sometimes they are very aggressive, sometimes very graphic in describing scenes and experiences.

    With my blog, I could agree that it’s somewhat of an online journal. I’m a largely private person and the thoughts and experiences I share at The Book of Juan are things that I feel may be good for public consumption.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. “It turns out that putting stuff into words changes the way it is organised in our minds” SUCH true words. I definitely agree.

    I remember mentioning to someone years ago that I write. “I hope you don’t mean ‘blog.'” A grimace adorned their face. “Pfff, no, of course not.” And I meant it back then. I thought blogs were things angsty teenagers did and self-centered people who only talked about what they have for breakfast. Obviously, I’ve started blogging at some point after that and changed my opinion on the topic. Yes, there are different kinds of blogs. I appreciate some of them more than others.

    I’ve tried journaling (diary-ing?) a few times, but it never really stuck. Either I would forget, or have nothing to write about. Blogging is different. It allows me to record my thoughts in a somewhat elevated way (am I just too full of myself?). Plus, it’s obviously easier to keep (rather than volumes and volumes of notebooks).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think notebooks/journals and blog each have their place. Trouble is my handwriting makes my diaries illegible to everyone else. You are right about antsy teens though. That is when I started writing a diary. It was an outlet of emotion, a safe one. There has always been that interest in writing though. I have never really been in to fiction. For me, it has to be non-fiction or somewhere in between. Maybe I should call it Fiction with a twist or Twisted Fiction?
      I agree that blogging thoughts allows for a deeper level of analysis, so no, you are not full of yourself. You are just a thinking style of person, much like me and many bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. My blog could never become my personal journal. My paper journal is full of too intimate thoughts, vents and confidations, sometimes I write what I feel in the moment, but I regret about it just few minutes after.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I started blogging years ago and couldn’t keep up. Every time I wrote, I felt like I needed to come up with new material to share. But my heart and mind are so full, I don’t ever run out. I used to journal/diary when I was growing up, going back and reading it was terrifying, but brought me back to those days. To all the things you forget. It was incredible. Journal blogging no longer has its place out there in the blogosphere, it’s now all about what you can answer for people, share, give tips, offer help and guidance… and that is ok. But I love writing and it is for me. My journal blog is still fairly new, it is not helpful for others, it is my life. And yes, old posts get lost in the past.. But one day I want to print all of my posts and throw them in a book. For myself to look back and remember. To watch my growth as a person and a writer. Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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