Monday, March 7, 2011

Blogging and Journaling Observations

Now, before anybody gets their britches in a wad, this is not a definitive "how to" on journaling and blogging. Rather it is a collection of observations that I have made about my own blogging experiences and journal adventures. Yours may (and possibly SHOULD) look very different from mine. But this is a ME-centered blog. So I'm gonna talk about ME.


So! Journal experiences first. I journaled before I knew what blogging was, so it only seems fair. I have found that I must make guidelines to follow that will shape and somewhat format the entries in my journals. For instance, with my current Leather Bound Journal (LBJ) I have the following "rules" (not really rules, don't let that throw you off):

-  all entries have the date and time recorded
-  entries are directed at the journal, not at myself or another reader (unless otherwise noted)
-  I may certainly write letters to others, but those others don't get to read them
-  known exceptions: prayers (God has that omniscience thing going for Him), and letters to my someday hubs. He will get to read those once he claims his title. Can't be showing his letters to some poser!
-  I do not do not do not have to write every day. Ever. And I don't have to write just once a day. Writing frequency it totally an up-to-me kind of thing. I've scared myself off from journaling for weeks at a time because I set high standards for my journal keeping and it was too much to handle.

Ok the whole point of these guidelines is to make my journal a safe place for me. I can exhale onto paper without thinking about who I am writing to, who may see it, and how much I'm responsible for writing. It's really nice. The only problem that I run into is when there's so much to write that I don't write anything for too long, and then I don't know how to record it all without missing something. I want to do it all justice, but I can only write so much in one sitting.

That happens with blogging, too (segue!).

The India trip, for example.  SO MUCH HAPPENED that I have no idea how to tell you exactly what happened.  There's another post brewing that will be a "this is what we DID" rather than a "this is how I FELT" kind of post.  Still brewing because I'm still trying to lucidly sort all that out.  Maybe I never will, though, and I should just go ahead and blog it out. Hm.

Anywho.  Blogging guidelines!  Not rules, not regulations, not for everybody, but they've helped make this blogging experience a better one for me (and possibly for you.  Unless you don't enjoy reading these posts.  In which case, why have you read this much?  You're lying to yourself.  You love my blog.  You can't get enough of it.  Embrace the love).

-  remember the audience.  Write knowing that your grandmom, little sister, professors, best friends, that person you want to talk about, and your future boss are all reading.  I'm (almost) too afraid to blog about the embarrassing story associated with the hard lesson behind that guideline because I'm afraid that it's still applicable.  Here's a hint:
-  don't blog during class and write about how you're blogging in class.  If you choose to ignore this advice, then do not subsequently give your blog address to the professor of said class, then requiring you to run frantically to the nearest computer to delete all said class-blogging entries.
-  that being said, write as yourself.  Don't create a fake voice--write as YOU, knowing that those who know and love you may be reading, and those who don't know and love you are GETTING to know you by reading.
-  read other blogs, be inspired by them, and encourage others to blog
-  please, for the love of all things good in the world, do not whine on your blog. 
-  unless it is side-splittingly hilarious.  Then whine all day.
-  if you provide a link in your blog, explain what it is.  This doesn't make me want to click here no matter how awesome it is.  Comprende?

Brilliant.  Now go start a blog, update your own, buy a journal, or just pick it up again.

I love ya like the Pioneer Woman loves her luggage :)

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