Writing on Paper

In preparing for my move across country, I’ve decided that bringing approximately 30 semi-filled journals and notebooks is not a particularly wise decision, so I have decided to scan them onto a USB drive and probably shred the originals. I’ve been putting so many of my thoughts down electronically that I really have no need for these original tattered slips of paper. I have so many that they are starting to become a liability with respect to being able to keep my own thoughts private.

When you write something down electronically, you can edit it, make changes, spell check, and delete it when you decide that the topic no longer suits you. Your words are still your words, but sterilized and clean. It takes a very raw talent to share a feeling over such a sterile medium.

When you write on paper, you are raw, unedited. The paper is your only copy, and you can hide it away. When you find it you are instantly transported back to the world in which it was created.

Let’s be honest, is there anything quite as exciting as the potential you can find in a brand new journal or piece of paper? I have so many beautiful journals that were selected because of their size, the way that they felt in my hands, the smoothness of the paper.

Looking over old journal entries, I can feel the anxiety that vibrates in my large handwriting, the calm that resonates when I try to stay in between the lines. The care in which I glue little pictures and Chinese cookie fortunes can be felt when I see the pages.

I am reliving this all again now as I turn my hard copies into electronic copies. There will never be a reasonable substitution for the soul found in paper.

As I discover blogging and tweeting and the miniature electronic handshakes of sterile human interaction, I will continue to write on paper. Writing electronically satisfies my brain and momentary needs for stimulation, but paper truly nourishes the soul.

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~ by jamiesnydertv on April 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “Writing on Paper”

  1. I could not agree with you more. When I look through my old writings on paper I notice how easily it is for me to remember that time in my life. The papers that I wrote electronically seem so distant to the time I wrote them in comparison.

    I think that is why I still find it hard to write on a computer for pleasure. The writings seems striped of something that I tried to put into them.

    I am also impressed you kept all that stuff. I just can’t seem to put out the effort to save my older writings.

  2. For me a computer can never compete with the tactile quality of physically writing. Looking back at my older writings I’m also reminded of my mood at the time and whether or not I was writing easily or not, just by the shape of my words. All of this is lost when written on a computer.

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