Journals vs Blogging


The zerotohero question was: why blog instead of a personal journal? It’s because blogging enables expression without the need to either pay someone to sit and listen, or expose innermost fragilities to some poor bugger who will suffer being the unwitting receiver of an intimate offloading.

It’s because blogging is an anonymous platform. Granted, it’s not totally secret, anyone who knows me, my writing style and opinions will be able to do the math. It is secret in my living room. You’re in my head, ‘out there’, each and every one of you a veritable Adonis or Goddess to a person, you sexy gorgeous, highly intellectual beasts, you.

But you’re not likely to be anyone I see, someone who may end up knowing too much about my innermost workings. My highly personal version of baggage-laden, insecure vulnerabilities. Frailty, thy name is Sludgebelly.

The irony is that I do journal. This blog is hand written beforehand. It makes the creation simpler, more personal, less daunting than typing directly into a platform that has ‘PUBLISH! PUBLISH!!‘ screaming at you.

Do you remember that scene in ‘Seven’ where they enter the murderous loon’s apartment? They find journal after journal packed with tiny, obsessively precise handwriting. The contents have always been a fascination, not because they might give a greater understanding of the head space of a supremo nut-job from hell, but because the journals represent a thing of beauty.

They are time and thought transformed into a highly selective communication form. Through a series of electrical impulses we allow a pen, a dead, inanimate object, to spin our yarns, offer up our interpretation of memories and imagination. By writing a journal we conduct an intimate relationship with a single object, the pen, into a sacrosanct form, the book. Books are revered. Their destruction is the ultimate act of barbarism and repression. To destroy a journal would be to show contempt and disregard for its creator, or to signify that they are at an end, through either physical or emotional death.

A journal will always be ours, and only ours. It is a place of exposure and exploration, of self development that we are unlikely to want to have revealed. It enables us to understand ourselves. It enables the illicit, forbidden reader to both identify us, and with us, jeering at our weaknesses as they recognise their own. A journal in physical form is no secret at all. That it can be found, and read by those that know you means it is a false secret. If it were faithful and true why would we feel the need to hide them? To adorn them with shallow locks and token keys? A journal is as infallible and as human as ourselves.

So if a journal is a secret with the possible hope of being discovered, like a criminal aching to be caught, what is a blog?

It is a journal of sorts, but a journal that is deliberately soliciting attention. So are all bloggers attention seekers? That reticence to show oneself, the avoidance of the spotlight for embarrassment for fear, for humility; for whatever our reasons. It assumes the majority of bloggers are introverts, of course. Blogging can take up so much time, it is a marvel that people manage to maintain RL social lives at all.

I posit that a blog is the antithesis of humility. It is entirely a platform for us to reach out to somebody, anybody, in the hope that we make contact and that our small voices are heard in the abyss. To prove to ourselves that we matter.

A blog, I’m afraid, is a vanity project. How many times do you read ‘I’ in a statement, let alone a post?
Ahem, guilty, m’Lud.
It is vanity publishing for the writing enthusiasts amongst us.
Guilty indeed, do not pass go, do not collect £200 etc.

The glory of the blog is that we willingly expose ourselves to a global audience, but can keep our blogging catharsis private in Real Life. For people, readers, to read our writing is a glorious thing indeed. To have a post ‘Liked’ gives us validity. To receive a comment makes us real, makes a connection with another human being.

At least we hope it’s human…

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