Why I Still Paper Journal

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post entitled “A History of ….. Journaling” where I chronicled my journeys through journaling. Since then journaling has continued to be a mainstay of my life and has allowed me to vent and stay sane when life hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve always kept on blogging, to the point where I am now a dotblog and working on establishing “my brand” (please say that with the greatest sense of irony that you can).

It got me to thinking, why don’t I save all the hassle of paper and the privacy limitations inherent in a paper journal and just move to a strictly online journal? I actually did try that for a year and it confirmed to me why I have to stick to paper.

I’ve had quite a few blogs over the years (since ’03 or ’05) and at some point, I have always nuked them. Most of them were personal blogs and bordered on being online journals. I. Always. Delete. Them. Because even if I’ve made it private and under an account in no way associated with me, I end up saying or writing something that gets me in a funk and I act out like a teenager. 2 clicks of a button and it’s all gone. The recent private journal that I tried? It lasted me about 8 months before I deleted the content. Thankfully I was wise enough not to delete the whole thing, but it’s empty and whistling in the wind at the moment while I work up to trying it again.

But I have never been tempted to destroy my paper journals. Never. I don’t know exactly why that is, but the act of physically writing on paper is different than typing on a screen. My thoughts aren’t deeper. My insights aren’t clearer. There is no mystical connection to my soul. But I could not bring myself to destroy one of my paper journals, no matter what it might contain (which to be honest, is just the boring ramblings of a self-absorbed guy who likes to write, hahhahaah).

This is one of those intensely personal things that doesn’t translate to anyone else. Some people may feel the same as me. Other people may need the act of typing. But I need paper. I need ink. I need a physical container to put my words into so that the void is answered. I am a relatively straight forward and physical kind of guy and that has translated into my journaling.

So it all comes down to knowing myself and what works best for me. Of course, I’ve also learned that electronic journals are held hostage to the whim of the companies that host them. Is Live Journal still around? What about Xanga? I know Blogspot is. At some point even WordPress is going to crash and burn. My paper journals on the other hand are still around and sitting safe and sound.

Plus, if I may exhibit a rare moment of vanity, my newer Paperblanks journals look REALLY good. I mean, really, really good.

21 thoughts on “Why I Still Paper Journal

  1. Sad, but true about none of these platforms being around forever. We’re all writing on water here, or just chucking our words into the void.

    I do think that with the act of writing on paper the thought runs a little deeper, or is at least more focused. But that could just be me. Certainly fewer typos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Except me. My words will echo down the passages of time, inspiring teenagers to be their angsty best for generations to come 😉

      I know I am more careful, mainly because I use a pen and thus can’t fix a mistake 🙂 Plus, it is a lot slower!


        1. Stone tablets are my preferred method. Have to watch out for hand cramps though.
          Did you know Apple is coming out with a mini-tablet? Only weighs 5 lbs. Completely portable and you can carve whenever you have a spare hour. Like standing in line at the grocery store.


  2. Someone told me my 365 was my ‘journal’ when I told her of my failed attempts to write one, but really it’s more of a pictorial diary, I don’t put any deep thoughts in it. I like your fancy~pants one! 😊 Also is that not DonQuixote and Sancho Panza on the last one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When we’ve talked about your various journal attempts, I’ve always mentally thought of your pictorial posts as your diary. And trust me, my journal entries are about that deep 😉

      That is Don Quixote and Sancho. Considering my expanding waistline, I definitely am Sancho, ahahahhahaha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely get keeping your journals around and continuing the legacy. It makes sense to me, and I do love the cover look of the new ones. I also get nuking prior blogs. There have been three of mine over the years that have hit the electronic graveyard. I guess I felt like I wouldn’t return to blogging in those instances, and didn’t feel the need to leave them just “laying around.” This one may be the final blog…but either way I have a feeling this one might very well survive my delete finger. Might.😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t journal, but it’s mostly due to lack of time. If I did though, I would also prefer paper journaling. there is just something so cathartic about the act of putting pen to an actual piece of physical paper. I also think that paper journaling might be better for privacy. Yes, they can get stolen, but online is forever and anything can be hacked and sent far and wide.

    Liked by 1 person

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