Reflections on Career Journaling for Professional Development
Letting Go

Some Thoughts on Blogging as Your Career Journal

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? 


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Hi, Michele!
I agree with you that blogging is similar to writing to an audience, while keeping other kind of writing in our career or personal journals, even if, sometimes, they look just like confuse and obscure intuitions, allows us to work through them until they get a more intelligible form and are ready to be shared.
Besides, our hand written stuff may include some too personal issues or subjects there is no interest in blogging about, but that, with time and reflection, may reveal some hidden feature that will turn to be the core of an important idea that can be generalized and thus results useful to others.
Right now, I’m receiving strong inspiration from your last posts, as I must create a sort of “writing workshop” for my young students: I should keep them writing along the whole school year - both creative and utilitarian writing - and I’m finding strong arguments and motivating ideas for that purpose, in your blog posts.
And I’m surely very grateful.

Ines, I think you are so right about how the handwritten more "personal" stuff can eventually morph into something that can be generalized about and shared with others. Many of my blog posts have emerged from me wrestling with issues or ideas in my more personal journals. At some point I'll realize that I'm not alone in this and that it could be helpful to share some of the lessons I'm learning.

I'm so glad that these last few posts have been helpful to you in thinking about how to do a writing workshop for your students and agree that it's important to provide space for all different kinds of writing. I'd love to hear how things progress through the year!


Harold has been a real inspiration for my own blogging activities, and I find that it's a nice outlet for ideas, reflections, and observations. With the right platform, some of those "not ready for public consumption" entries can be hidden from public view but still available to you. I find that it's still helpful to take the time and articulate ideas and thoughts in writing, even if I know I'm the only one to see it. Who time passes, I may re-visit those "hidden" posts and see if they are worth sharing, along with any new revelations.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging and career journaling. I look forward to continuing the discussion. :)

Good point about articulating thoughts in hidden posts revisiting them later. I have several posts in draft format that helped me formulate my thoughts, but ultimately I didn't publish. The process of writing them, though, helped me refine my thinking. And agreed that Harold is an inspiration! :-)

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