I don’t know about you, but I am a journal junkie. I LOVE journals. Perhaps it is par for the course as a natural-born writer. For me, there is something very intriguing and stimulating in the patterns of a page, the scent of a book, and the alluring glow of ink gliding along with the page as I create a letter, a word, a sentence. . .
The spark of anticipation prior to forming your words on paper is an exhilarating experience for me as well. Since I am daring to share my personal thoughts on the journaling experience, I shall disclose the long-time, ongoing dilemma, yet enjoyable moment, but sometimes a debilitating moment, prior to creating those first few letters. (Yes, I intended for that sentence to be a complicated, run-on ordeal. Ah, the art of expression!)
“Should I write in cursive for this entry? Or should I write in print? With this pen, would my penmanship fair better in cursive or in print? Is this post an artistic one that requires elegant penmanship or is it more serious, and the thoughts just need to be slapped down on paper? If they need to be quickly and haphazardly slapped down on paper, then I shall resort to my chicken scratch. Aesthetics should not matter in this scenario.”
Let’s be honest: If you’re a writer who meticulously maintains a traditional journal, then you also have the same internal dialogue. Well, unless you are not bothered or affected by the aesthetics of words on paper.
Analog journals are more personal than digital journals.
I know everyone has their personal preferences and some enjoy digital journals more than analog journals. However, in my experience, a real, tangible journal is more personal. When you physically create the letters on paper, it actively draws you into the moment. It has a way of forcing you to meet and reconcile with the thoughts in which you are forming onto paper.
It also adds a more personal touch by literally offering your future self or someone else a tangible item in which you have touched and expressed your unique penmanship. No one else in the world, past or present, will ever have your handwriting style. Sure, you may share similarities with others and even copy popular penmanship fads. However, your handwritten words are truly YOU. It is your genuine and authentic stamp on the world that says, “Yes, I have been here before. This is me.”
DIGITAL TYPE CANNOT REPLACE THE PERSONAL TOUCH OF AUTHENTIC PENMANSHIP.
The benefits of traditional journaling don’t stop there. It’s very therapeutic to place your thoughts on paper. You can curl up in your favorite chair, play your favorite music, and record the experiences of your day or record the thoughts and emotions you’re encountering in a certain situation. Handwriting journal entries forces you to ponder your thoughts in a slower manner than typing. With typing, you can speed through a paragraph while simultaneously thinking about other things. It becomes less personal and less therapeutic. Handwriting your thoughts takes you down a road of slow, meditative consideration of your feelings, emotions, and evaluations of life.
Another great benefit to analog journaling is the fact that you don’t need a password to obtain it! You don’t need an internet connection to obtain it! You don’t need a smartphone or laptop to obtain it! You don’t need that darn battery cord and a wall outlet to obtain it! A book is a book: It is as simple as that. You pick it up and take it with you wherever you want to go. If you want to go off the grid for a while, you can take your journal with you. The ONLY worry you have with an analog book is losing it.
I also enjoy collecting journals. Anytime I am shopping and come across a beautiful, unique journal, I purchase it. My friends and family often gift me with journals for Christmas or my birthday. Everyone who knows me personally knows that I have enjoyed writing in journals since I was eight years old.
It’s nice to read through old journals and observe your progress in life. You are reminded of happy moments that would have otherwise been forgotten. You are also reminded of sad moments that are sometimes better left forgotten but are a part of your history. You can see old lessons that were learned and appreciate the older patterns in your earlier life. Perhaps you enjoyed a particular friendship that is no longer a reality. Perhaps you enjoyed the daily habit of visiting your grandparents’ house everyday for their hugs, laughter, and endless supply of chocolate brownies. These are cherished memories in which you can revisit with the reading of an old journal.
Remember this: What may seem like a boring journal entry such as recording what you ate that day, who you spoke to, or where you visited, will one day be a treasure to you. So don’t refrain from writing about your experiences of simpler days.
One of my favorite authors is Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m sure you know of her from the Little House on the Prairie books. She meticulously kept a journal her entire life. What if she had never kept a journal? Would she have written the popular and beloved Little House series? That’s just some food for thought.
Have a great day, friends!