Do you journal? Analogue vs. digital
How I keep a journal in 2022
I was thirteen years old when I started writing in a journal. It was a small, cheap, hardcover lined notebook that I attached a ribbon to the spine with tape as a bookmark. I wrote my first entry on my first day starting high school, and the frequency of my entries ramped up when I got my first crush on a boy.
I continued journalling through high school, then university. The entries came to an abrupt end when I started working a full-time job. “Real life” was too uneventful to write about.
Those high school and university journals are still sitting in a box in the closet. Sometimes I pick them up and look through them. They are sooo cringey, but I keep them as a memento of those years.
I didn’t start journalling again until 2020. I had moved to Portugal for the year, and I wanted to keep a record of my time there. This time, I ditched paper for digital. It just made sense. My life had to fit into a suitcase, so lugging physical notebooks wasn’t a good option.
Fast forward to the current day and journalling is now a consistent part of my routine. I write often and a lot. It's not unusual for me to write hundreds or even thousands of words a day. I write about my dreams, story ideas, and anything else that’s on my mind. It’s a form of therapy.
I still journal on my computer. Obsidian is my software of choice these days. I tried to write a few entries longhand recently, but my wrist seized up after only a few paragraphs. With the sheer volume I write, I’m not sure a physical notebook will work for me anymore, unless I can somehow rebuild my dexterity lost to years of typing.
Even so, the allure of beautiful stationery is strong; stuffed, old notebooks full of gorgeous handwriting stacked in tall piles. And sometimes, I just don’t want to stare at a screen more often than I have to.
Digital journals are more private, more portable, searchable, and have unlimited space. But there is just something so inviting, so intimate, so wondrous about a physical notebook page. I miss it.
So what will I do? I think I’m going to stick to the digital journal for now. It’s convenient, and it got me back into journalling in the first place. But who knows? When the time is right, maybe I’ll pick up a notebook and pen again. It wouldn’t surprise me.