WordPress as an online journal

Making the switch to journaling online isn’t as easy as it seems. I’m past the love affair with paper, but I often feel digital is still too clunky.

As you know, I tried Penzu for a while. I liked that I could get online and start writing quickly. Over time, though, I realized (again) it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I think I was looking for something simpler, but I didn’t really know.

Eventually, after lots and lots of back and forth, I switched to WordPress. I use WordPress.org as the backend for all my sites. I’m constantly writing in it. The switch made sense.

  • Journaling in WordPress helps me feel comfortable in a blog editor. Since I’m always writing in WordPress now, there’s no visual distinction between personal and public writing.
  • Journaling in WordPress makes it easier for me to move my writing to different locations online, from journal to blog or the other way around. This is probably the biggest reason I switched from Penzu.
  • Journaling in WordPress means my archives are way easier to search, which is a big plus when I’m trying to reference something or add to past thoughts.
  • Journaling in WordPress lets me link on the fly. If I don’t want to expand an entry but still connect ideas, I can easily cite other thoughts, either from within the journal, from my other blogs, or from other people’s blogs or sites.
  • Journaling in WordPress cuts down on the actions I have to think about. It doesn’t seem like much, but having to settling into a different interface takes attention, attention I don’t have when I’m trying to get my thoughts out.

Finally, since all my writing is now in a WordPress blog, just set to private, whenever I die or muster the courage of a dead man, I can release it all publicly in only a few clicks. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to that, but the option is enticing, if scary.

Making the switch to journaling online isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s taken me – what? – like four years of trying. Now I think it’s finally paying off. (Then again, that’s what I said last time too.)