I’ve shared some of my reasons before why I think that blogging is more beneficial than journaling, but journaling certainly has its place. If you’re taking the time to journal regularly, even if you never publish your writing for others to see, there are huge benefits to it.
A big benefit is likely to be externalization, which you’ve likely experienced before. Josh Kaufman summed it up like this in his book “The Personal MBA“:
Speaking—to yourself or to another person—is another effective method of Externalization. Vocal Externalization explains why most of us have had the experience of solving our own problems while talking with a friend or colleague. By the time you’re done talking, you’re likely to have more insight into your problem—even if your listener didn’t say a word.
Many times, just speaking (or writing) about a particular problem will help you find the solution on your own. If you can develop a consistent habit like a journal or a blog, those benefits will appear frequently. In my case, taking the time to work through a concept or issue and refine it to the point of being comfortable publishing it often leads to increased clarity for me.
If you don’t have the time or desire to blog/journal, then taking the time to simply chat with a friend can help lead to some great insights, even if that friend isn’t able to directly offer any guidance. If you’re that friend for someone else, encouraging them to continue to dig deeper into the question might help lead them to the answer.