November 15, 2011

Smitten for Handwritten

{ image via The Savvy Traveller }

As of late, I have kept my journal in my handbag so I can utilize the times I actually do get a seat on the subway to write.

This afternoon provided a great opportunity to spend my time from 4th Avenue to Broadway/Lafayette putting my thoughts on paper - and as I made my way into Manhattan, the gentleman sitting next to me said, "Do you mind my asking what your opinion is on the difference between a journal and a diary?"

I actually had to take a moment. That was not a question I had ever been asked before.

My first instinct was to think of my Hello Kitty diary that had a lock and key when I was in the first grade. I remember fondly tucking away my "deepest secrets" in that little book ... it had a very special pen that came with it, and I always found it interesting that at the top of each page was a place to jot down the status of the weather.

Writing in a journal seemed far more "grown up" than those days long ago.

What was interesting was the gentleman's take - a journal, to him, was more analytical; a diary, more private and personal.

More importantly, that sweet gentleman said, "I must tell you I am glad to see you putting your thoughts on paper; people just don't write things down anymore. We type. We e-mail. We blog. But no one actually writes by hand. I always loved writing long letters ... but now people just e-mail. There will come a point when people do not know how to actually write things down with a pen and paper. How sad is that? I've always felt that the ink is just an extension of who we are. There is nothing more personal than handwriting your thoughts."

When I got home, I asked Jim his opinion about this new quandry: diary vs. journal - and his reaction was the exact opposite. A journal was about the introspective process we go through on our personal journey; a diary, a written account of the day-to-day.

So it begs the question, do you write your thoughts down in a diary or journal? And if so, what is the difference between the two in your opinion?

xx JN

1 comment:

  1. I have kept hand-written notebooks for years. They contain notes from within and without. They are neither diary nor journal, yet I would be completely lost without them. Their contents are far too random for any other medium. Their randomness inspires me, oddly enough. I have several of them in progress at any given time, not unlike an old vaudevillian spinning plates on a variety show.

    Somewhat related: once I asked my late grandmother if she had received a letter I had written her. She responded: "No one writes anymore; they print."