When I first started playing around with writing about career journals, I asked on Twitter if anyone was using them. I heard back from Harold Jarche, who wondered if a blog "counts" as a journal. Of course it does and many of us use our blogs this way, collecting, processing, documenting and thinking things through.
But I tend to think that we may miss something if our blogs are our only form of career journaling. Some things are just too raw to share publicly--ill-formed ideas you're barely ready to see yourself, let alone share with others. Or stories of how something may have gone horribly wrong, but you still want to learn from it. Some things that are in my career journal feel too personal to share--the work I do when I'm feeling really stuck comes to mind here. And certainly to do lists and plans aren't blog fodder.
I also have to say that in terms of process, my career journals answer a different need. When I do a blog post here, it's more for my readers than for me. Sometimes there's overlap, but often there isn't. When I write in my career journals, I'm doing that strictly for me with no worries about an audience or what they need or want to read.
I also, quite simply, enjoy the physical process of writing in a book. It taps into a different part of my brain, is more liberating and free-form. When I blog, there's a structure to it that doesn't always fit in with where I need to go in my thinking. And typing, for me, is about producing and communicating, while writing has a quality of "thinking out loud" that I just don't get from my keyboard.
Ultimately, I think that my blog has been a great complement to my written journal. Writing for an audience forces me to put some of my thoughts together in a more coherent way. It has also encouraged me to be more reflective about what I do and how I do it. For example, many posts here have been a result of conversations I've had with people or insights I've had in working with them that didn't make it to my career journal. If I didn't blog, then I'm not sure I would have been as good at teasing them out.
In the end, I would say that blogging as a form of career journaling can be incredibly helpful. At the same time, I also think you need a space to maintain those things that aren't ready for public consumption. I'd argue that you want to have both to get the full benefits of the process.
What do you think? How do blogging and career journaling fit together?