After my last blog post on Journaling I had someone reach out and ask about digital journaling vs paper journaling. I don't write my journals online, instead I keep a variety of journals around the house. In addition, when I travel I always take a journal with me.
There are several reasons I write on paper. Here are a couple of them in no particular order:
- Speed - When I have a thought, idea, or just want to write something quick, picking up a notepad that is always within reach and a pen is a quick way to write something down. Don't have to worry about powering up.
- No Distractions - I don't know about you, but there are many many times I begin to write and something distracts me. Facebook, Twitter, email, cat videos on Youtube, the list keeps going. When physically writing on a page, it is easier to avoid distractions
- No spell checker - When I write by hand, with paper and pen, I can't edit as I go. I'm a pretty fast typist but tend to overthink and hit the backspace key a lot to get the message just write and to fix a spelling error. Probably happened 6 times just typing this sentence. But when I physically write, there isn't a spell checker, there isn't a backspace key, there isn't a way for me to easily rewrite what I don't like. This tends to slow me down to think a bit more and to speed me up by not stressing about the details since I really can't fix it
- Sensory input - Typing is boring. Block black letters on a plain white background. My fingers touching the keys being the only sensation. But when I write, I can feel the paper under my hand. I can feel the tension of the pen as it glides across the page. The paper itself pushes back against my writing, and resists. The words seem to appear as if my magic when I really begin to write, disconnecting myself from the act. Writing is a physical experience when done on paper
- Technology - Writing digitally is challenged by technology - WHAT?!?! I'm serious. I have been journal writing for 30 years. My first attempts at writing on a computer was a PC with dual floppy drives. 5 1/4" floppy drives. I had to move my journals to new disks, 3 1/2". Then to CDs, and then to thumb drives. And I have to have the same technology to get them back out to read them. I tried the cloud once, back in its early days. Forgot the password and email account and lost the data. Yes, I know it is easier today, but guess what. I can write any time, anywhere, without worrying about dust dirt or sand and read those same words 10 years from now without plugging anything in.
Each person has their own style, for me, it is an old-fashion set of notebooks and a nice pen. Where I plug in my headphones and watch the magic unfold in front of me.