Posted: September 21, 2010 in Headspace

I have stuff to say, stuff to write about, stuff that’s on my mind… but not stuff that is fit for public consumption. Since I started journaling on-line, I completely gave up keeping private, hand-written journals. I remember what it was like, making that style transition from writing by hand to typing at a computer. I would scribble furiously or pen thoughtfully, writing until my hand cramped and I’d look up to find that I’d torn through a dozen or more pages. You could see my mood reflected in my penmanship – careful thoughts garnered careful, neat handwriting. Excitement or anger saw the words slanting and looping across the page at a messy gallop.

It was hard, in the beginning, to get my writing rhythm down with my fingers on the keyboard. I guess I wasn’t used to my thoughts translating to words so quickly – I certainly type faster than I write, and can edit myself perhaps too easily. But these days I see notebooks in the store and get that old familiar and remembered thrill that used to quietly greet me when I faced the very first blank page. In that, writing on-line isn’t the same. The thrill isn’t there, when I launch a new post. But the satisfaction is greater, in the end, when I see what I’ve written appear on my website. I have more creative – almost scrapbookish – ability, with the addition of pictures and links and music. And most certainly the sharing and feedback and collaboration is much more rewarding than dusty thoughts hiding away in a stack at the back of my closet.

Still, I sometimes think I should start keeping a private journal again. This public face is just that… public. I don’t share every event and every thought here, but I still need the outlet. I write to remember, to make myself feel better, to figure things out. I edit myself here – oh, not a TON, but enough. Enough that on some days – days like today – I find myself needing to write but being unable to. I need a place to be completely unedited. I don’t know if that place will be a private blog, or a written journal.

I just need a place.

  1. Heather says:

    You already know that I could give up my online blog in a heartbeat, but I don’t think I’ll ever part with keeping the handwritten ones. My blog isn’t even searchable and I don’t post the link or tell people about it and i still don’t write half of what’s going on or what I’m feeling there. After 9 years of writing online, I guess I never will.

  2. I do have a private handwritten journal; I don’t write in it very often, but there are times when I need to have that same outlet that you describe, but on subject matter that I don’t want to share with the entire world. Or it might be subject matter that I’ve discussed online, but I’m not finished with, and yet I don’t want to bore everyone to death (obviously that wasn’t a concern of mine during the 12 months it took me to decide whether to move to Halifax, heh).

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