My friends, there is a huge difference.
I'm taking a creative writing class, and night after night I'm forced to consider and critique what amount to personal sob-stories lightly costumed in fluff.
There is a terribly detrimental stream of thought in America today that everything everyone does, everywhere, is worth knowing about. We're all special.
Bullshit. Just because someone had a relationship that went sour doesn't automatically make for a good story. And yet time and time again, I'm stuck reading about pathetic individuals who make foolish choices and then lament them. In class, we refer to these as personal essays.
They strike me as self-help therapy.
Something has changed, ladies and gentlemen. A hundred thousand years ago in Africa, listening to a hunter tell the story of his day might have served some purpose. But do I really need to know that you once knew a girl--who it turns out you didn't _really_ know--and you noticed that her ass cheeks stuck out of her shorts a little? Who, besides the author, can come away from an inane story like that with anything of value?
Even if your story has no clear purpose, or statement, or hidden message--even if you intend it to be pure fluff--at least show me something I can't walk outside and see for myself. Save the journal entries for your journal. Capture people's imaginations and write something original, and just maybe they'll _want_ to read your memoirs somewhere down the road.