Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Does a Weblog Count?

My question is this. In the world of personal journaling, does a weblog count? If it does, then I can consider myself a fairly successful journaler. Is that a word? Journal keeper?

Anyway, my grandfather (the one who lived in a one-room schoolhouse) kept a meticulous journal. He would note the weather and a brief synopsis of how the day played out. My sister has the journal in her possession. At first we thought he was being very frugal because he wrote very tiny and recorded multiple years on each page, separating the entries by drawing a horizontal line across the page. After giving it more thought, I've come to the conclusion that it was a conscious decision which allowed him to see the weather conditions of previous years at a glance.

The weather was of a major concern in his journal and his entries were curiously absent of any commentary. There was not a lick of personal reflection. His information was succinct and to the point, no revelations or gossip for grandpa!

Over the years I've told myself, "I should be keeping a journal", at which point I would buy a nicely bound book with blank pages and dive headlong into journaling. Every effort sputtered to an early end. The journal would be tucked in a drawer and forgotten until I got the bug again. There are at least five journals tucked around the house.

I pulled my most successful effort from the bottom drawer of my nightstand and to my surprise it spanned the time from August 2004 to September 2006. Mind you, these were not daily entries but just when the spirit moved me.

I'd even taped items into the journal including a feather I'd found on a walk and a parking pass from a very scary state park. (More about that another time.)

My journal is light years away from my grandfather's in terms of content. I made lists, reviewed public bathrooms and had my say on a number of subjects. Very early in the journal I mention discovering blogs. mygeeklife.typepad.com is noted. I wonder if he's still writing?

Oh no! Here's something.....August 14th, 2004 - I write an entry, "Ozzie's got nothing on me. Singing toilet paper holder, dysfunction junction.

ACKKKKKKK, the singing toilet paper holder!! I'd forgotten about that. The Other Mother buys an incredible amount of junk from Publisher's Clearing House. The Farmer and I were laying in bed trying to get to sleep when I heard something strange.

"Do you hear that?" I asked.

"What?

"I hear some wierd music playing somewhere."

"It's probably a radio," he answers.

"We don't own a radio."

The sound was so annoying I jumped out of bed and scoured the house in search of the bad, bad music.

The Other Mother had purchased a singing toilet paper roll. I am not kidding! The music would start playing when you turned the roll and would continue for a few minutes. It was insanity in a plastic casing. The musical roll would decide to play on it's own without any effort on your part, as in the middle of the night.

The Other Mother would not be deterred. She loved the thing and after all, it was in her bathroom. We tried to drown it in the sink when she wasn't looking. Darn those Chinese made some tough as nails singing toilet paper holders. The choice of music would alternate and it was equally insane. "Love me Tender" is NOT something you want to hear when you're in the bathroom.

In addition to testaments to our personal dysfunction, I include lots of quotes. I love quotes.

"The years thunder buy. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before you know it, the tomb is sealed."
- Sterling Hayden, actor, sailor, adventurer and world traveler. (Didn't he commit suicide?)"

Here's another entry:

The process of forgetting is sometimes referred to as "Being consigned to the tomb of the Capulets"

Oh, that's a keeper. I'm going to use that one. The next time the Farmer asks me where I put the socket wrench I'm going to say, "It's in the tomb of the Capulets." Ha! That will send him running for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

So my question is this, does a blog count as a journaling effort? If so, then I guess I've become a fairly faithful journaler.

21 comments:

Vee said...

Yes.

Louise said...

Of course it counts. I always want to journal, but I never do. When I started typing long letters to people (and saving them on the computer or keeping a copy for myself because the computer wasn't mine), I decided that was journaling. I also decided that blogging counted. No one (including me) would ever be able to read what I wrote in journal anyway because my handwriting strays terribly once I get going.

The singing toilet paper roll story is priceless!

Susan said...

Absolutely! I have never kept a journal even though, like you, I have bought many blank books. That is why I find it so strange that I enjoy blogging. I can only liken it to the fact that typing is quicker than writing. My mother-in-law who died at age 95 kept a journal every day of her life from age 13 on. Since she was on a farm, she wrote mostly about the weather. What was disappointing was on our wedding day she simply wrote, "D & S got married today." That's it! I was very surprised there was no emotion anywhere in the journal. Just years and years of weather and cooking and work.

Becky said...

I journaled semi-faithfully for a few years when the boys were little...I'm so glad I did, I leaf through them every now and then and get some smiles. Now I do the fits and starts as you describe, and more impressive than my attempts at journaling is the nice collection of journaling books I have acquired....each with about a week and a half of some such year in them.
Hardly worth taking up book space in my shelves, but I wouldn't toss them for the world. I'm the clutter queen and when it comes to books I have trouble parting with any of them!!

Cindy La Ferle said...

Like you, I've kept a few journals here and there, when the spirit moves. But it's hard to keep up with it regularly. I even tried the "morning pages" as suggested in "The Artist's Way," but can't seem to find the discipline (or the time) to keep up with it, though it's admittedly helpful.

I like your idea of inserting things from your walk into your journals. Your own personal "Walden."

And to answer the question, yes, I think blogging counts. It's much easier than pulling out a book and a pen -- and I think blogging affords us more freedom, because we know how easy it is to delete what we don't want to keep.

Rue said...

I think it counts. Mine is a diary/journal and I keep up with it much more than any hand written one I've had.

singing TP holder.... hehehehehe...

xo,
rue

dina said...

Oh my yes! Totally counts!

I know the feeling about the whole journalling thing. My Mom journalled - like incredibly faithfully and consistently - for THIRTY YEARS! I have them all now that she's moved to Heaven - wow! Each day a prayer for her children and grandchildren and little notes about the day.

The drawback with blogging - for me, at least, is the fact that due to some extenuating circumstances in my life, I'm not able to share deeply or give details regarding some fairly significant events that happen in my world - you know, legal stuff. I suppose one day it will all be a part of the past and then I'll be at liberty to blurt out all of the stuff captured in my heart/mind without release right now. I should blog about it now, I suppose, and just save it as a draft, not post it yet! LOL!

Anyway - yes, definitely counts!

slpstanley said...

yes, for a perfectly selfish reason, your blog counts...it gives me great pleasure to read it, I realize I am not the only one living with a farmer and, from time to time wondering about his (or my) sanity, and yesterday I learned after 25 years how to fry the perfect egg...I consider that of the utmost importance...thank you...

happyone said...

Yes, I say it counts too.
I kept a journal for over 30 years and have saved them all. Once I started blogging I quit keeping a journal because I started writing things down twice. Now I just have my blogs.
I've been thinking of throwing out all my old journals.

Steph said...

I've been keeping a journal since we got married. I don't write anything in it but what I did that day. I guess it helps me feel accomplished, lol.

BellaDella said...

I think it totally counts. I definitely consider it a journal for myself. I guess it is different in that I don't share my innermost thoughts and insights, but it's still definitely a journal to me.

Jody Blue said...

It counts!! My husbands Grma who lived to be 99.9 also did a weather journal, she would add when company came and garden facts and figures.

Kitty said...

Yes--blogging, journaling, keeping a diary--all are ways of keeping a record of daily thoughts and activities. I wish I had the discipline to keep something. I signed up for a blog a while back and have never written a word. I spend too much time reading someone else's blog--especially yours, Suzanne! I do keep ticket stubs or other momentos in a little notebook to remind me of things I've done or places I've been. And, I'm a sucker for picking up a rock or feather or some such item to keep!

Liz in PA said...

Very Definately it counts!

So as you backup your Blogging on a disc.........label them by year and they will forever be available to your grandchildren!
Store them in your Safety Deposit Box.....and be sure you tell your children where you've kept the
MEMORIES!

LDF said...

Of course weblogs count as journalling. i've never seen a written rule that only hand-written journals are journals! I've been like you, several handwritten attempts over the years, but they always peter out. I've kept up my blog much longer than any handwritten attempt! Perhaps I should qualify that statement as I have kept up many years worth of handwritten recipe notebooks ... maybe future generations can read about my personal life via the food I was interested in?

Marfa (formula for a life) said...

I think that blogging actually makes for the best kind of journaling, and this is why. If there is something that should not be read by other people (i.e. a secret) you shouldn't write it down anywhere, including a paper book journal because there's always the chance that someone will find it and the jig is up. You can change the look and style of your blog anytime you want. If you're looking for a particular post its easier to search a blog than a written journal. If you're using Live Writer, you're keeping a copy of your blog in your computer anyway so you'll always have it. Last, but not least, you get to meet people with your same interests and make new friends over time. So there, that is why blogs are the best kind of journaling.

marbea said...

I also think your blog is a great way to journal.

And reading Marfa's comment made me think of my mom's journals-she is filling them with her venom about family members. My sister, brothers and I made a pact to burn them. Kind of sad, but...

Steph said...

Check out my blog, I tagged you and left you an award! :)

Karen Deborah said...

It's better because we do it. I have the piles of journals too. Writers really need readers even ordinary people like us. Somehow having people come and read what we say is enough. Painters paint, singers sing, writers write, for me having even one person come and share the "thoughts of the day," is enough to come back again and again. It's more than just a journal and the amazing thing is that in doing all this writing we write better. We find community in blogville.

Karen Deborah said...

ps you cracked me up with the singing toilet paper roll and trying to DROWN it! BWAHHHHAA

and is Louise really that purty? holy mackerel, she deserves that close up shot.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

You bet it counts! But, as a lifelong journaler myself, let me say that blogging is more dimensional. I am the kind of person who WILL write, even for myself, but having others read and comment helps me feel connected instead of just talking to myself, as it were. So, keep journaling, and we'll keep talking back! - C