I am a child of the electronic era. I’ve had a computer in my home since I was two. My dad had a notebook computer in the early nineties. My parents had PDAs before they had cell phones. We had a bag phone in our car and then changed to cell phones when they were released. Most of the essays and papers that I wrote, beginning in middle school, were on the computer. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I am wired to be wired.
And yet, there is something about taking the time to write something down on paper with a pen. Granted, I have horrible handwriting, and so it is hard for even me to read it sometimes.
But that often is not the reason that I write. I do sometimes take notes when I am at a meeting, but those are really just so that I can listen better. No, when I write, it is because I want to feel the movement. I want to use my hand and draw it across the page. I want to be able to feel the motion of my hand and the friction of the paper. This does generally mean that I can actually write faster on paper than I can on my laptop, though I’ve never tested it.
And yet, most of my writing is done on my laptop. I keep sending them up to the database, and I don’t want to even think about the stuff that I haven’t saved.
But I do have my journals. I kept a journal for two and a half years. I have a record of each night after a long day living in Kenya. I could go back and read them… if I could decipher the handwriting. It’s important to keep track of what is going on. It lets you know how big or little the daily things are.
I want the next electronic device, that will be dated when it is released. But I also don’t go anywhere without a journal. Sometimes I just want the possibility of writing what I feel.