Can a personal blog ever replace a personal diary?

I was reading a post today,Β titled,
Are Personal Blogs New-Fangled Journals?
on the blog of Social Bridge.
In the post the author asks,
how real are blogs?
one question that creeps into my curious head is whether their posts are all sanitized and edited with the real version in a journal that they’ve stashed away in a lock-up somewhere.
I thought it was such an interesting question.

Personally I have always been a diary keeper.
My oldest one which I still have,
was written when I was nine years old.
It is filled with news such as,
“no homework today because my teacher was sick”,
to “I hate Michael” (my brother!)

My longest diary is the one I currently own.
I began it in 1987 six weeks after my Dad died.
It covers first days with my boyfriend,
our time in Australia, our engagement,
marriage and the births of our four children.

This diary evolved hugely over the years.
It began as my counselor,
the one I could tell without judgement,
how sad, lonely and lost I was with no Dad.
It helped to calm me when I was so angry,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophiadphotography/9200402579/">Send me adrift.</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
that a good man such as he,
would have suffered so much.

As the grief settled,
this diary allowed me to explore through writing,
my feelings for the man I had fallen head over heels for.
Whilst real events are recorded in my diary,
they are secondary to the feelings expressed.
The hopes and dreams I had as a twenty year old,
the happiness of a young bride,
the excitement and frustrations of a young mother.
Twenty six years of loving and hating.
Twenty six years of living.

In January of this year I began this blog.
Has it replaced my personal diary?
I think not.
Whilst this blog is aptly titled,
“my thoughts on a page”,
it is just that, my thoughts.
It is a day to day record of what I was thinking,
but it can never be a day to day record of my life.

I share a lot here on wordpress,
more than I ever thought I would,
but because I know my family and others are reading,
it will always be somewhat edited.

In fact I should probably rename it,
“Some of my thoughts on a page”
as the unedited version in my real diary,
is where I post the other ones!

This blog is a joy for me,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nightcats/9145540869/">campbelj45ca</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
but my diary holds a special place in my heart.
The feel of it in my hands,
the smell of it,
the different color inks used,
and the writing, which is often interrupted.

Maybe I am old fashioned,
but even if this blog was private,
I do not think it would ever measure up,
to my “other thoughts on a real page!”.

photo credit: campbelj45ca via photopin cc
photo credit: Send me adrift. via photopin cc

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47 thoughts on “Can a personal blog ever replace a personal diary?

    1. Your post hit at my heart as I was wondering recently if I was writing less in my other diary and whether it would soon be obsolete. However I know now it wont be because I need a place to write my other thoughts!

  1. I, too, kept a diary when I was a child. There is certainly a difference between the contents of a physical diary and a personal blog. I find that the ones in my diary were more raw and full of secrets. We tend to edit out deep thoughts (at least I do) in fear of being judged for them.

    1. Yes my personal diary is a lot more about what I am feeling and wishing and wondering than my blog. Looking back it is a great honest recap of the life I have lived. I do share a lot on wordpress but so much I still keep to myself.
      Thanks a million for the comment.

  2. I used to keep a diary when I was younger but gave up after a few months. I think blogging is a different animal to a diary, I know there are private blogs but even then they are not really private but open to a select few, so you are still writing with that little censorship monkey on your shoulder.

    1. Wow you really see things through, you kept a diary for a few months in your whole life!
      I think if you didn’t have censorship on your blog, you have problems!

      1. I’ve read an abridged version – the language isn’t bad at all. If you try to read the whole diary straight off it can seem a bit dull – lots of details of running the Navy! I suppose that might be what he would put in a blog. There are lots of great bits even in that – the restoration of the King, the Great Fire of London and so on. But the bits that he probably wouldn’t put in a blog are the best bits – about loving his wife, but how he constantly gets into trouble with other women (often her friends) and how he loves playing music or going to the theatre. His poor wife has a nervous breakdown in the middle of it, but somehow Sam is such a sweet character you can’t help but forgive him being so naughty. I don’t suppose he would blog that though!

  3. I stopped writing in my diary when I started my blog in February but only today I was looking at a diary as I want to start using one again. You can’t put your real thoughts about people, events and family on a blog!

  4. I never did keep a diary, though now I wish I would have. While I do have to censor many of my feelings, its nice just to be able to get some thoughts out. I agree…it could never reflect ones entire thoughts and feelings….unless you have no filter πŸ™‚

  5. I don’t have the habit of writing in a diary, but wish that I had. I have encouraged my daughter to start a little journal of her own (she’s 6, so I’m still allowed access to read it). It’s a wonderful way to express our feelings. A blog would not be able to compare.

    1. Yes writing a blog is lovely but you don’t really “own” it as it is not private. I don’t write daily in my diary it is really just an update on my life and other times it is a place to vent. I’d be lost without it. Now looking back it is a great recap of my life. My youngest is the only one of my four who likes to keep a diary. I am hoping it will be a habit she might keep up in years to come.

  6. i understand tric, i have been writing since i was a little girl and the books that i write in have served as a listening post/sounding board for many things, good and bad. like you, i enjoy the feel of the process, the ink, the paper, the look of the book, all a pleasant and comforting part of my ritual. on my blog i do share personal stories, however some stories will remain in their safe refuge, for my eyes only.

    1. Definitely “for my eyes only too”. Although just once I opened my diary and discovered someone else had written in it! It was after my third child was born. She was about four weeks old and I sat down to write an update when I read my husbands input. It was the night she was born and on arriving home at 4am, he had taken it out and written about her arrival. It was a pleasant surprise.

  7. I look forward to reading your thoughts. Edited or not they give a glimpse into you. I continue to keep a pen and paper record of events I will probably never publish.

  8. I keep my own, private journal that I would never share in public. They are mostly prayers, ways I keep faith and trust, and times I lift up other people. I do my best to write in it every morning. On days I don’t, I feel a distinct difference – unfocused, unconnected…unfilled. I have shared much more than I thought I would on a blog, but some things I find joy in keeping between me and God.

    1. In a different way my diary too gives me focus by allowing me work through things whilst writing. At times the need to write in it is huge, but then I can go months without looking at it.

  9. I haven’t been writing in a diary. I used to collage a lot.. but I wouldn’t save them. I wish I had.
    I have been thinking about doing more of that. I get the thing about the real paper..

  10. Great post that got me thinking. There’s definitely a difference between the two. I kept a diary for a few years when I was a student – I needed to write my feelings down to understand them better. It wasn’t intende to be a life history, but to keep myself on an even keel throughout a period of change. I was tempted to burn it a few years ago, and if I didn’t, it’s buried in a bow in the garage somewhere. I’m always concerned what my family would feel by reading such personal stuff- dairies are much more honest and shocking than blogs. Blogs filter out things that you don’t want others to read.

        1. Oh no. I remember just randomly looking at the television and seeing the Hillsborough tragedy unfold, it was so shocking. Definitely not a memory you would wish to revisit.
          Some day I would love to write a book about the extraordinary lives all of us ordinary people have lived. So many of us have stories of extreme strength, coincidence, sadness, bravery within our life. Your hillsborough memory would surely have a place in it.

  11. I think blogs and diaries are two different animals

    Diaries are written for ourselves. Blogs are written for other people

    Diaries are intensely personal things where one can pour out one’s uncensored thoughts and feelings. They can be cathartic at times. They are not made for other people’s eyes. That’s why we often guard them jealously and hide them away from prying eyes.

    Blogs on the other hand are where we open to public gaze what of ourself we are comfortable showing to the world and invite others to judge

    1. Agreed although I have on a few occasions shared more than I was completely comfortable with here on my blog.
      I think the truest thing you said is that writing a diary, of your uncensored thoughts is cathartic. That has certainly been my experience. Did you keep one? I have found out that one of my brothers and sisters have kept diaries for years.

  12. I love blogging but it’s many years since I kept a diary. I used to write about our renovations of houses and what we spent which makes for interesting reading but I remember reading one diary one and it seemed so ranty. Mind you, maybe I’d be better off getting it all out there. I know what you mean though – it’s easier to write personal stuff in a blog for strangers than censoring it for family and friends. I’m finding that with the book now too – trying to get past it as I’m editing πŸ™‚

    1. You sound more of a practical than emotional type! That is probably why you have achieved so much. Best of luck with that book. I look forward to checking it out.

      1. Oh gosh Tric, a busy fool I think πŸ™‚ rolling stone, no moss and all the rest. Yep, no nonsense I’m afraid – look to the future and get on with things / at least until emotions kick in πŸ˜‰ would love to meet you – are you coming to the blog awards by any chance?

        1. I have not even thought about it. I am so new to this blogging I keep thinking I am a small fish in a big ocean. I have quite a few followers but only about four from Ireland so I don’t really know anyone!
          I would suspect the word “fool” would never apply to you. πŸ™‚

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