Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blogging vs Journaling

This is going to be a long so, get a cup of coffee (or glass of wine/beer depending upon when you are reading it!) and take a break!  I had an hour of driving in the car today to think about it....dangerous!

Why do I blog?
Is blogging better than journaling?
Should blogging replace journaling?

I do have answers for these questions (or at least my viewpoint) but first some background.....

I come from a "verbal" gene pool.  My mother can weave a tale that will keep both adults and children entranced for hours, waiting with baited breath for the end of the story.  My Father and Grandfather could create limericks, poems and quirky narratives about any subject of their choice.  Right after college, my sister could write so well, she was hired by the city's newspaper.  And my brother, well - he attended Princeton (need I say more)? The youngest memory I have of "journaling" is around seven.  We lived in Germany at the time (daughter of a doctor in the army) and my parents often left us for a week with babysitters while they explored Europe.  They came home to a "newspaper" (of sorts) of all the daily events that had occurred while they were gone!  Menus of our meals, weather, various reports of my sibling's antics, how my snail collection was coming along, and what the dog did that day were headliners and body of my homemade newspapers.  I only wish I had a copy of that; but during our many moves, it was lost in the shuffle.  Thoughout the following years, I journaled off and on - high school,  college,  summer abroad in Paris......I just have the need to document life.  When not writing about life, it is being photographed!   Those who know me will tell you that it is rare for me not to have a camera with me.  I am the person with 30,000 photographs taking up all the computer memory; my children are so used to being photographed that they don't even notice it anymore.  My prized possession is my Nikon D80.....Capturing the little things in life gives me great pleasure.  

When we bought the log cabin from Gary's grandmother, one of the greatest treasures that came with the house were her journals of her family's weekend adventure and holidays.  It is the one you see above - a life journal - amazingly; you can still find this style at Office Depot!   We have continued the awesome tradition of "journaling" whenever we visit the log cabin.  Yes, there are times that we forget to write, but that is OK.  The girls and their friends have been documenting for fifteen years via drawings, (scribble when they were young, with my translation), sometimes a short sentence and other times ~ pages.  It is now a wonderful book that details life, family and friends and most of all....Good times.

First entry from my family is December 25th, 1996

Pictorial description of a "crawfish boil"

1997 - Sara was three ~ her signature at the top

Mother's Day ~ 2001
I cut and pasted my mother's day card into journal.
I will always cry (the girls find this funny) when
 I read this book ~ I love you Forever ~ or hear the passage above.

Several years ago, when my sister came to visit

Last summer ( July 2009) when Ellen got Libby,
her beautiful golden retriever

 We had a bonfire/cookout for the cross country team

Various friends having fun with the journal

Can you spell "whittle"? I haven't
checked it but there are three different 
versions on this page.  Whittle, Widdle and 
Wittle.  By the way, our homemade
"widdled" Harry Potter wands are used
around the house daily ~ many
spells are cast between Sara and Ellen! 

Laura and Ellen perusing through entries

Documenting the weekend

I told you this would be a long blog ~ 
I did buy a "life journal" for each child which is kept up very sporadically.....but what I 
am most insistent about is keeping journals when we travel.  We have travel diarys and when we take a trip of importance, I strongly encourage journaling.  I bought a portable printer (HP- $100.00 or less), photo paper and viola ~ we actually printed our pics every night and pasted them in the journal with
good old fashion glue.

I do miss being called "Mommy"....

Trip to Barcelona, Spain; most of the beaches were topless so it was a bit of a surprise to the girls.

Sara lost her tooth!
It was interesting, sometimes Sara would write
the whole entry.


Sometimes, she would start writing, then get 
tired and I would finish.

Sometimes she would be too tired to write 
at all and just draw a picture.

and sometimes, I would start off writing, and
she would get motivated and finish!

By the time we went to visit my
sister in Brazil,  we were the "journal
masters".  Not only did I bring the
portable printer, but I brought along
scrap booking paper and some
cut outs that I bought at the local craft store.

 Elizabeth's journal was magical!

Then we discovered a way to make our own 
journals with scrap book paper and 
composition notebooks.  No tutorial 
needed here...just cut and paste.

Elizabeth took it to a whole new level and 
copied pictures, then water colored them.

This picture was the inspiration for......

This!  The ""amazing dotted Beatles creation" that took- 
literally, about 400 hours to make.  
Click on link above to explain! 

Now, back to my original question:  to journal or blog?
My vote is cannot replace the other.  Blogging makes it easier to combine pictures with text.  No portable printer, no running out of ink at the 9th hour, no cutting and pasting, and best of all ~
there is spell check!  Not to mention your "cheerleaders", those who comment and those who ask "what happened" when you don't blog. There are times, I would have shut blogging down had someone not said, Hey, I really enjoy reading what you write!

But journaling:  oh, the spontaneity, anyone and everyone can write in one book, if there isn't a picture of something, you can verbally describe it or draw it. And most importantly of all, it is there for posterity...the written word on paper doesn't change over time like VHS to CD to DVD to Blue ray.  It is there, on the table, available 24/7 for whomever that wants to write (or read)  whenever they feel like it.  The youngest to the oldest can contribute and they don't need electrical power, or technological knowledge to do it.  

Have you finished your drink yet??? What do you think?


  1. 1. love the new design of the blog! so pretty.
    2. the mother's day card made me cry
    3. I agree that both blogging and journaling are important- blogs are like letters- you are sending it out into the world for your friends and family (and strangers!) to read- for them to hear about your life and thoughts and such. Journals are more personal- letters to yourself, though in the case of the log cabin journal, letters to future generations, or even letters to Meme to let her know how much we are still enjoying the life she started for us.

    Wonderful post. No drink around here... I'm up at 330am, and it was nice to have something special to read!

  2. Hey Layne!
    I DO enjoy reading what you write (and seeing the great photos) - so don't you think about shutting down the blog. Though now it seems you're picking up steam, now slowing down. As for me, I'll journal and blog in my head for a while until life slows down just a teensy bit for me to get the thoughts on paper, or into the cyberworld. Thanks for the inspiration though!

  3. Did you see your "post" in the "journal! It has been too long since you have come to visit. My journal misses you guys!

  4. Those journals are amazing! There is something incredible about real handwriting on real paper.

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