not doing well: blog vs diary


I have not upheld my pledge to write here more in May. It’s already the 23rd (how did that happen, exactly?) and I have but two measly posts.

I've been wondering why it is that I don't seem to be writing this blog quite as much as I once was. Perhaps it's partly because, in the last couple of months, I've got back into writing a diary much more regularly. I have long been an avid writer of diaries: I started writing when I was twelve, and have continued ever since. But I do have 'on' and 'off' phases with it - and at the moment I'm definitely in an 'on' phase. I've got back into the habit of writing every day, and perhaps that has absorbed some of my need to write here.

But that in itself is interesting. I have always felt that a private, paper diary and a blog, however personal, were inherently different, separate spaces - one very much for yourself alone, and the other, whether you acknowledge it or not, by its very nature designed for an audience, for a very public readership. But maybe they aren't really so very different: perhaps secretly our 'public' blogs are for ourselves before they are for anyone else, after all...

I'd be interested to know what others think. Do you keep a diary, or write a blog, or both? Which do you prefer and why? What do you think the real differences are between them as formats - and what is it that motivates you to keep going?


Meanwhile here's a few other things:

Emily started a very interesting discussion about blogging and anonymity, writing and autobiography on her blog which Jenn and Max joined in here and here and here.

Ben unmasked himself as the author behind not only the Although I am not as delicious as I once was... blog by the mysterious 'Rosetta Hampshire,' but of a whole Patchwork Labyrinth of slowly-unravelling blog-based metafiction! I am looking forward to reading more...

Booooooom! and Design for Mankind’s Free Encouragement project (which I blogged about back here) has now launched its much-anticipated second stage. Take a look at their beautiful Free Encouragement postcards here.

I have another book review at Bookmunch – this time for Anne Michael’s second novel, The Winter Vault. You can read it here.

Manchester Writing is a new and most useful blog bringing together news and reviews of writing and readings around Manchester. Check it out here.

Main things I am doing at the moment: eating, sleeping, reading obscure 1920s prose poems for my dissertation, playing the piano (item number seven on this list), rock pool dabbling, baking cakes, watching the kittiwakes, contemplating whether or not to buy myself a bicycle with a basket, admiring bluebells and paddling in the sea.

[Pictures are via We Heart It here and here]

6 comments:

25 May 2009 at 09:55 Fiona Robyn said...

Hmm interesting. I certainly write my blog primarily for myself - it helps me to clarify things for myself, and gives me the simple pleasure of 'saving' things by writing them down.

My journal writing tends to be more 'flow of consciousness' - messier, much more about my relationships (which I don't talk about on my blog)... knowing that no-one will read it does give it a different flavour.

I don't think you should worry about needing to blog more. I think we should only blog when we feel the urge!

27 May 2009 at 09:32 Katherine said...

Yep, I agree: I'm all for blogging when, how and as you wish! I'm sure some people blog every day, but I can't see me doing that: like you, I prefer to wait for the "urge" to strike!

2 June 2009 at 10:01 Benjamin Judge said...

Thanks for the plug. Now I am back from my holiday I am hoping to get back to Rosetta and co. soon.

Whilst on holiday I read The Dark is Rising novels. Can I take this opportunity to say that you were absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong in regards to Ian McShane as Merriman (though he might make a good Dark Rider - too late now I suppose)

As for blog vs diary. I never seem to be able to keep a diary but do seem to be a bit of a serial blogger. Does that say terrible things about me? Do I need an audience?

I suppose in some ways the blog is halfway between a diary and a letter though I have absolutely no idea what to do with that thought.

2 June 2009 at 17:15 Katherine said...

Aha, victory is mine! Did you enjoy the books? And yes, you're right, McShane would have made an ace Rider - good idea!

6 June 2009 at 09:28 Benjamin Judge said...

I enjoyed them very much. Reading them back to back though I couldn't help noticing the amount of times she uses the words husky and huskily. A decent editor would have whittled that out.

I'm not sure if it will make a good film though. The child actors will have to be excellent. The wisdom of the old ones may come across as crass smugness in the wrong hands. And Ian McShane! No no no!

13 June 2009 at 10:30 Katherine said...

I haven't actually seen the film, but based on the trailer it looked awful and nothing like the books. Best avoided I'd say!