i'm still not sure. maybe i should've thought about my answer a little bit more before hitting that pesky little addictive post button. i'm sort of fleshing this out as i type, so...sorry if it's kinda muddled.
in any case, i'm not sure that i draw the distinction between journals and letters vs. art. it's more between public and private. i like my journals a great deal. in fact, i think there's some really good stuff in there that i wouldn't necessarily mind sharing (hence the journal posts on roadgoing) but there's a lot of stuff that's just craziness and/or drivel. of course, i never kept a journal before i spent my semester in italy. and i only did it then because i had to as part of an assignment... one of my professors collected our journals a few times, read them, and provided commentary on what sorts of topics or ideas we could flesh out into full-blown writing assignments. so since that time that i have kept a journal, i've always been pretty conscious of writing for an audience, even if i know that i don't have a teacher who's going to pick it up and read it now.
i'm totally babbling, aren't i?
i guess the journals are fair game. after i die, i won't care anyway, right? but the correspondence, which is in many ways much more personal, i don't save. i don't know what people do with the things i send them. so, who knows?
and this will probably seem really bizarre... but i've learned my lesson. anything that's really important, i won't say in writing.