Tuesday, October 02, 2007

For the Love of Writing 2

The downside of loving to write with a fountain pen is that we live in a digital world. I resisted getting a handheld organizer for many years because it just didn't give me the same tactile satisfaction as writing things down. However I eventually gave in and started using one. About a year and a half ago I joined the all-in-one phone-organizer-datebook-handheld-internet-browser crowd and it is sort of adequate for my needs. My wife however has gone back to the tattered little date book because she wants to see everything laid out on one page. Paper has not lost its place just yet.

But I still keep a paper journal - for the art of it all (see the last post). I also like to see it all. I still go back to journals I had written years ago because I remember a poem I wrote or an insight I had that I want to think through some more or just experience that moment again. I have tried to keep a journal on the computer. It just doesn't work. I need to see it. For me, out of sight is out of mind. It is harder to maintain a journal on the computer. It's hard to have the same kind of journalling experience. It feels detached from my reality somehow. It's tough to be sitting out in your car or on the side of the lake recording thoughts and impressions with a laptop. Somehow that's just not natural.

At the same time, the phenomenon of blogging has allowed millions of people to journal their thoughts and express their opinions and make it available to the whole world. But it just isn't the same for me. I really can't pour out my guts on a blog. I can't have a conversation with God on a blog. I can't have that deep conversation or argument with myself on a blog - Oh wait, I basically am talking to myself most of the time on this blog - but you know what I mean (well I know what I mean).

On the other hand there's nothing like having the flexibility of writing and rewriting and editing and storing and sending stuff to others that is possible when you use the computer. I cut and paste and use stuff from old papers and emails to add to (and hopefully enhance) the stuff I'm writing or the papers I need to produce or the articles I write. It's all there and can be retrieved fairly easily (if one has a reasonably efficient filing system - but if not, then that's what Spotlight is for).


alan said...

Yes and when the power goes of you can still read your journal

Brigitte said...

"Tattered little date book?....!!!"