In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”
I keep my most private thoughts in a hand written journal, as I have since I began my first journal at the age of 13. I don’t write frequently or with any consistency, and mainly only when my mind is troubled. But I wouldn’t trade the cathartic experience that dragging pen across paper gives me when I expose my innermost thoughts and feelings.
Scrawling my words in ink gives me a release that typing on keyboard could never bring. Seeing my own handwriting is a permanent reminder that I wrote those words. Though they may be full of pain, or anger or grief – there is no doubt that I wrote them.
The trouble with typing is that years later I’ll revisit something I’ve written only to marvel at it, and wonder if I really wrote that. I don’t remember writing those carefully constructed sentences. I don’t recognise the style of writing or the rhythm of the words I’ve typed. At least with a handwritten entry there is unmistakable proof that I wrote it, they were my words, my feelings.
When I write by hand, I write freely and without the careful revising and self censorship I experience when I type. The impulse to delete, retype, edit is too strong for me to write without restraint on a computer. I can reveal my inner self on paper in a way that I could never do on a screen. With the power of a pen I unleash my inner world. A world that is only fit for very personal and private consumption. It reveals the absolute, unabridged, unadorned, true me that I’d never have the courage to reveal to anyone.
Writing by hand also provides me with the evidence that I was here – indelibly marked on paper. It provides physical evidence of my thoughts, my presence, and gives me a sense of permanence that a computer could never give me.