Journals are useful only to a point if you want to grow as a writer

I believe that it doesn’t matter if you are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or just an employee working at an entry-level job, writing a journal is a highly effective way to dissect your feelings, process those feelings and understand yourself better. Not only is it therapeutic, it also allows you to develop yourself further.

For me, I started blogging in 2006/2007 as it was the in-trend thing to do. I started writing and publishing my journals on Blogger because it was the only thing I knew how to do, having been influenced by early bloggers. Then I moved on to WordPress in May 2010. The platform was more powerful and more professional. And I continue to write and publish journal online.

Journaling has helped me be a better person. Or at least that’s what I like to think. But after reading some articles on Medium about improving your writing, I became aware that I have slipped up. Especially after doing some auditing on my own. Journals are no longer being used to look at things more objectively and draw lessons to put into practice. So, there were more and more rantings. More complains.

Putting these journals online have also, I believe, limited my growth because I wasn’t being intentional about the content that goes on to my blog. It was being treated as a dumping ground. And it may have also kept people away. After all who wants to read a blog full of rants and complains that doesn’t add value to their life? I certainly don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, journals are useful in their own way. Only up to a certain extent. When it becomes the main thing you write and post online, becoming the primary content you see on your site, it’s no longer useful. Your blog became your literal dumping ground for all the joy and shit you have in your life. And not a lot of people wants to read that. Worse thing could happen when you start pouring your heart and soul on to it. Imagine putting up something that put your bosses or friends in bad light. Imagine you got the facts about something wrong and rant about it online. It will ruin the relationships you have. I did that once just because I didn’t control my emotions well and damage the relationship I have had with a friend. And when you are an adult, it definitely don’t make you look professional or mature.

Those are the lessons I have learnt. And this is why my journals have been taken offline from my blog.

Please don’t repeat my mistakes if you want to become a better writer. Focus on creating meaningful and useful content that people wants to read. Be intentional about what you want to publish online. It will be something that I will put in practice too.