I was evaluating pros and cons of e-journaling and paper-journaling today. The most obvious con about paper-journaling is (for somebody who has the time to spend on writing for hours together) the amount of paper that gets accumulated over the years. Volumes of diaries. It must feel good to organise them datewise/yearwise/monthwise/anywise. Nowadays, almost everybody is on the move. Jobs, marriages, weddings, parties, etc..everything has the element of long or longer distances. And as a result, paper-diaries (more than a few) are not portable anymore. And then, what if an immature and irresponsible biographer used them after we’re famously dead? We will become alive in sensationalism..we’ll be a hot mess after our peaceful death. Or we could become famous for all those talents that went unrecognised during our lifetime. I mean, I truly believe all of us are talented..even if it’s a negative talent, like killing people. Coming back to ‘healthy’ recognition, a mature biographer would really be able handle volumes of handwritten journals.
But then, not everyone becomes world-famous. Having said that, I think fame is subjective. We can be famous in the locality, in school, in college, in family, but not in the ‘world’. But family and/or friends are our world. So what would happen if secrets get unleashed like downpour from Heaven (or Hell) amidst a family or a friendly discussion? The soul would still be at peace, but their souls might not be-whether because of happiness, shock, sadness, whatever. The point is, secrets would get unleashed when somebody would breach a dead person’s privacy. Would that really be unethical? I don’t think so. Handwritten journals are like treasures. They ARE treasure. And if somebody’s handwriting is like gold, they form a goldmine. Think Anne Frank’s diary. Even her diary was edited properly. It’s all about who is mature enough to keep it all–whether good, bad, euphoric, or terrible–quiet, or mature enough to present it all sensibly. As the saying goes, “loose lips sink ships”.
Coming to e-journals, most of them are password-protected. It’s less of hard work, but it’s less personal too. There is something so very personal about watching somebody’s handwriting. It’s intimate. There is something so therapeutic about putting a nice pen on paper. Even research says that it makes us creative and opens our brains, and calms us down. And then, there’s that tangible, real feel of the paper. All senses get activated when we write on a piece of paper, I think. It’s sensual, and yet not a vice. I have a fetish for paper, and more paper, and stationery, whether I use it or not. I love the feel of the pages which smell nice; and although I don’t like the colour yellow much, I love it when the pages are yellow. Think Harry Potter and parchment. If there’s anything I LOVE shopping for, it’s stationery that I might not need and books that I might read later. There should be a word for people who love stationery: Stationery-phile? Nah, It’s too long.
I mean, there is a word for people who are hooked to technology: tech-savvy. I have access to technology, so I have a blog. Blogging is a ‘hobby’ I can mention in my interview. I write about mostly random stuff, but I will still be identified as a ‘blogger’ (on the lines of entrepreneur, lawyer, engineer, etc?). But would I ever tell them about my diaries? And would they even be interested? What would these posts be called if I was writing in the 18th century? Hmm..I feel like I have reached full circle. I would have been a nobody who might have had collections of journals. Some would have been pieces of trash, and some might have been worth reading. Come to think of it, is there anything special about this blog? Of course there is.. I am on the internet, so even if this receives a like or two, I immediately make this something ‘special’. But paper is treated cheaply even though it has become expensive in this age, when people are exploiting forests. Diaries filled today would be ‘goldmines’ tomorrow, because people do not have the time to introspect or observe. They do not have time to risk being vulnerable. I read today that writing a journal is ‘creative’, and I immediately thought-“what’s ‘creative’ about writing a journal?” I realised that I had also become a victim in a world which preaches a limited range and definition of ‘creativity’. But there’s something amazing about spending long hours immersed in the world of pen, ink, paper, ink blots, smudges, and conventional colours. Sounds like creative chaos. Isn’t it amazing that life can brighten with neutral colours? Maybe that’s why, journals are so colourful despite being written in similar font and similar ink. Our lives are colourful, and they ought to be recorded.
Because, famous or not, we all REALLY are stories in the end. [I feel a sense of deja vu as I write this..have I mentioned it in another post?]