There are many reasons to blog. Some people love the community, others look for a large following in hopes of generating revenue through advertisers or promoting a product, and there are of course those who just want to keep a record of their lives for loved ones now and to come—often because of a love of writing and keeping a daily journal.
“The subject of keeping a journal, log, or diary goes in many different directions. There are so many psychological and therapeutic reasons and uses. But, the family history minded person has unique feelings about their personal journals and the writings of their ancestors. They are priceless links between generations.” (Regan, Robert. “Treasure Maps,” monthly e-mail genealogy newsletter)
If you are one of the journaling lot, there are a few resources out there to support, inspire, and protect your online investment to your family. Here are a few to get your "blournaling" jump started.
Turn your blog into a book with Blurb. Easy, step-by-step instructions will walk you through the process. This is the best possible way to take your entire blog, print it out into a book, and line each year up on the shelf!
Get your creative juices flowing with writing and blog post idea generators:Creativity Portal's Imagination Prompt Generator lets you click their button to view tons of new ideas for posts, like:
• Make a list of five ways you've changed in the last five years.
• What things in life sustain you spiritually?
• Describe a 'sound' from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?
Big Huge Thesaurus offers a "Blog Post Idea" link. Click "Get some more" to find endless ideas, like:
• Write a top ten list of top ten lists.
• Write about your favorite non-sense word.
• Post a funny IM conversation.
Post better photos!• Make sure you are posting photos in their full resolution. Check your camera settings (read the manual if you need to), and post a high or full resolution image to your blog. That way when you are ready to print your blog, the photos print clearly and in vibrant color.
• If you are a serious journal blogger, invest in a good camera. Try the Canon PowerShot SD 1400 for a pocket-sized companion, found HERE. Or the new Cannon EOS Rebel 2Ti for a DSLR-sized beauty, found HERE.
Use social networking to your advantageI use Twitter primarily for one thing: Recording all the hilarious things my children say and do. I never write down what they say anymore. I just hop on my iPhone or laptop and bang out a cute quip in 140 characters or less. For example:
"Finn told me for his birthday he wants 'A baby, no TWO babies. MANY BABIES!' Uhhhhhhhh.....not gonna be able to come through on that one.
I have my settings selected to post to the sidebar of my personal blog, as well as my Facebook status, every time I "Tweet" so that I maximize coverage, and minimize time. And of course privacy settings on both Twitter and Facebook can be adjusted for personal preference. And I especially love that you can print out a list of all of your "Tweets," to add to the printed blog books—just slip them into the front cover each year.
Watch your P's and Q's
Finally, Consider PrivacyThere's no need to go public if you are blogging for your family alone. The world doesn't need to see all you have to say. Your blog will feel more like a journal, and less like a conversation with all of blogdom. And that has its perks. You will feel secure using your family's true names, can happily post photos of your cherub-cheeked, bare-bummed babies, and reference locations without fearing that one rogue reader might start stalking your moves. If you click the "Settings" tab in Blogger, then the Permissions link, you can adjust who is able to view your blog. You can even hand-select individual e-mail addresses to make your readership exclusive and safe:
Here are a few more journaling tips to try for yourself
Tips for Writing:
* Descriptions – Tell the who, what, where, when, and why of the things you do. Relate the decisions you made and how you reached those decisions.* Names – Give the full name of a person when mentioning him/her for the first time. People who we think will always be our close friends may move away, and we may lose contact and forget names and situations.
* Frequency – Write something every day or at least once a week, and write for at least 15 minutes. It takes that much time to develop an idea.* Time of Day – Set a specific time of day to write, such as evening before you go to bed, or early in the morning when you wake up.
* Reading your Blog – Spend Time with Your Journal. Read your past entries to check on your writing style and content. Rereading revives memories and may suggest something else to record.
* Reminiscing – Writing about an event that you witnessed today may remind you of something that happened in the past. Write it down while it is on your mind.
Things to Write About:
* It is all right to mention problems, doubts, and dislikes, but emphasize normal days and happy times.
* Talk about how you feel and what is going on in your life
* Tell about the funny or embarrassing things that happen in your life.
* Note family events, vacations, weddings, deaths, special activities.
* Note medical history, both personal and family. When did you go to the pediatrician? When did your sister have her baby?
* Make a record of music you listen to, movies you watch, books you read, and what you think of them.
* Note the prices of things, how much is a CD, a gallon of milk, stamps, a candy bar, ticket to the movies, etc.
* Record typical outings with your family and friends.
* Write thoughts, quotes, maxims, aphorisms, sayings, proverbs, poems, etc. that you find thoughtful and inspirational.
* Write about deaths, births, marriages, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, and other religious ceremonies and events.
* Write about personal triumphs, failures and struggles and how they were met.
* Write about current events (local, national, and world) that impress you or influence your life.
* Write about good AND bad days. It can be a source of inspiration and comfort for your descendants to see that “Grandma” was human too.