Saturday, August 4, 2007

More about journals

Women like silent men. They think they're listening.
--Marcel Achard

When I'm between books I invariably embark on a clean-up-the-office frenzy that usually ends with me sitting on the floor by the window, looking at old photos and reading old letters. That pretty much sums up what I've been doing since dinnertime except tonight I found myself drawn to my old journals.

They take up two bookshelves. Some are fancy artist's notebooks with silk covers. Some are plain old college-ruled spiral notebooks. A few are scientist's lab notebooks with numbered pages. The last ten years don't exist in paper form; they're carried over from computer disaster to computer disaster in electronic form. I've come to regret making the transition from paper to pixels. There's something so deeply satisfying about having more than words to analyze. Handwriting, choice of pen, sketches in the margin, grocery lists interspersed with to-do lists on top of the playback of the day's events. You miss much of that when you do your journaling at the keyboard.

Although there's one software that manages to bring a surprising amount of heart to the electronic journaling process -- Life Journal. I discovered it a few years ago and fell in love with its capabilities. I'm not quite sure how software can express both warmth and welcome but Life Journal does. Ruth Folit did a great job designing it. (And, no I'm not affiliated with them in anyway except as a very satisfied customer.)

I'm not sure if blogging will take the place of journaling. While blogging can be very personal there's a more theatrical aspect to it that is the antithesis of keeping a diary. Blogging is meant to be read. Journals are meant to be written.

Am I on the right track?


Anonymous Brandy said...

I used to write in a journal when I was first married to ease my frustrations without taking them out on the hubs. I let that fall away years ago. My blog as my journal, as stuck with me longer than any other diary or journal I've ever had. Of course it's also led me to new opportunites and to many lovely people.
I say, whatever works for you.

August 5, 2007 at 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Bretton said...

Brandy, I find I prefer blogging right now to journaling. I want to be read! Journaling feels a little like, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?" to me now.

August 5, 2007 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous KaliAmanda said...

The problem with blogging instead of journaling is that it *is* read. You have no control over who reads, in a public setting. So you may have to revert to cleverer code than when you were a teen and knew there was no safe place to hide the journal from prying parental hands...

Some things you have to keep to yourself because they are yours alone. Until you are ready to offer them to the Univeverse or whoever is reading/looking/listening.

August 6, 2007 at 11:34 AM  

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