Via Patsi Krakoff's CoachEzinesBlog, I found this blog entry by Wayne Hurlbert. Wayne opens his entry with this comment: "Blogging improves your writing skills." So many scrapbookers are "jumping on the blog bandwagon", I think it's important (and interesting) to point out this benefit of blogging. Fear of journaling is something I find frequently in my classes -- and actually, I find that it's not so much a fear, as a lack of confidence. People don't think they know what to write, or they worry that others will think what they've written is dumb. Blogging is a great way to work through these insecurities for three reasons:
- When you blog, you're writing. Any writing can help improve your writing skills. Consider these comments from Wayne:
- A blog provides a "blind playing field" -- you can practice your writing without knowing who's watching. You can even choose to remain anonymous. It doesn't matter who sees what you've written. It doesn't matter if someone doesn't agree with your word choice. It doesn't matter if it takes one month for your writing to improve or six months. You can try out a variety of topics, voices, and writing techniques, without feeling judged. Blogging also allows you to think through what you want to write before committing it to the permanent, acid-free, archival-quality, embellished-all-to-heck home in your scrapbook.
- Blogging also helps you become more observant of your daily life. Once I started blogging, during the course of my day I would often find myself thinking, "that would make a good blog entry!" My mind started viewing moments and events as little vignettes and anecdotes I could share on my blog. These anecdotes are also perfect fodder for scrapbook journaling. Consider a blog your personal notebook for reconrding snippets of conversations, your observations, and other details that you can add to scrapbook journaling later. Once you see how many blog entries come to mind so readily, you'll have worked through the misconception that you don't know what to write in your scrapbooks. You already know what to write -- you just need to believe it.
While most people think of writers as infinitely talented, living in some rarified air denied to the rest of us, writing is a learned skill. While some people are indeed born more talented with the written word than others, most people can become better writers simply through practice.
Blogging is as good a practice field as any. Other practice venues, for developing writers, include simply writing your e-mails in complete sentences and paying attention to your grammar and spelling. Both grammar and spelling are more fun without your school teacher watching over your shoulder.
...Like playing sports or a musical instrument, improvement in skill level only results from constant practice. The more you work on the skills, the better at applying them you become...With writing, the more a person does it, the better they get at doing it. There is simply no substitute for practice. Blogs are a great way to practice, and hone your ability to express yourself and your thoughts, via the written word.
Learning how to write well, and express thoughts in a logical and coherent manner, are hidden benefits of blogging.
Need more focused help on improving your journaling? Consider signing up for my Essentials of Scrapbook Journaling class through WritersOnlineWorkshops.com. Joanna Slan is teaching a session that starts July 14th, and I'm teaching one that starts September 8th (same course -- different instructors) I also teach Scrapbooking Basics at BarnesandNobleUniversity.com, which includes some journaling suggestions. That class is FREE, and the next session begins August 1st.