A blog? What is it for? I suppose, a long time ago someone came up with the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now I could use this same saying and translate into this day and age, and it would sound something like “A blogpost a day keeps the psychiatrist away.” Blogging is soul massage. It’s in the same category as keeping a diary, but they are a bit different from each other. Both are daily logs in some way, but while one is for your eyes only, the other is for the world to see.
For me, there are two distinctive advantages to blogging over keeping a “secret” diary. The first is that if your blog is public, and even if you have only one subscriber, you need to keep writing. You owe it to your readers. They expect a new post, they are waiting to hear from you. You will be required to write, even when you don’t feel like it. The other advantage is in what you can or should write about. I will go into a bit more detail on that one.
Let’s look at a regular diary. Either one you keep on your computer, or an “old fashioned” handwritten notebook with a lock. You write down your thoughts and your feelings. The way they are, blunt and frank. You work through what happened during your day, and when the going gets tough, you pour out your heart and let loose. Because nobody is going to see what you’re writing anyway, right? But if your thoughts are dark and full of despair, is that what you really want to be writing down? For me, putting to paper how crappy my day was is almost like making it official, and even more true. It wasn’t just me who thought my day was crappy, but it’s a fact. It says so in my book, or in my digital notes. “Today was shit. I hate my coworkers. I hate my job. I hate this world.” It’s right there, in black and white (or blue on white, or whatever).
Posting on a public blog however, even if you have NO subscribers, requires a bit more diplomacy — even if your day WAS shit. You may have to fancy it up a bit, along the lines of “My day wasn’t very pleasant. There was this man in my office who..” Yeah. Now what? Suddenly you realize that you cannot really write that — what if your coworker reads it? What if your boss finds out that you hate your job? You’ll have to come up with something different, you have to find a way to package it up in a way that is not offensive to anyone. Not because you want to, but because it will be out there, on the internet. You owe it to yourself to be careful about what you write. It seems you may have to find a way to describe your feelings like you were actually talking to that offending coworker. Be diplomatic. Don’t be blunt. Package it in cotton, if you wish. Verbal cotton. Wrap it up nicely, so it doesn’t offend anyone — neither the coworker, if he ever reads it, nor yourself, while you write it down. Because when you write “unpleasant” instead of “shitty” and “dislike” instead of “hate”, in your mind the process of digesting that hard-to-swallow day has already begun.
I know, it’s only a theory. It’s my theory. But for me, it applies. Finding a way to write down what bothers me is refreshing. But finding a way to write it down with some diplomacy and humour is even more refreshing. So tomorrow, when you feel like writing in your diary how crappy your day was and how much you hate your mother-in-law, change it up a bit. You may not only feel better right away, but also a few days later, when you go back over your notes and realize that it wasn’t such a bad day after all. Or better yet, write a blog post about it.