A version of this post also appears at FungibleConvictions.com.
I recently rediscovered the virtues of journaling, something slower, more reflective, and of course more private than blogging.
For about five years---from the end of high school through my first year or so in Boston---I wrote in a journal nearly every day. Since then---another five years---I've thought a blog would fill the same function. But it doesn't. There's a gulf between the drawing of frustratingly slow curves on a page, forcing your thinking to remain coherent as it flows in ink, and typing the deletable characters between
divs, plunks on a keyboard that all-too-easily outpace your own ideas.
Put another way, I spent my late teens and early 20's learning how to talk candidly to myself, only to mistake blogging for the same action. It's not. Blogging is public. I know it's public as I write each post. I think of family and friends reading and reacting. Blogging has its place, and I still expect myself to do more blogging than journaling, but blogging simply doesn't do as good a job for helping a writer organize his or her own personal thoughts.
Above all, organizing those thoughts feels more and more like a precondition for being a good friend, family member, and husband. Like some say of prayer, you need your own thoughts in order before you can be fully available to other people.