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paper vs online diary writing

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Fern, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    I've been drawn to writing my thoughts in journals at different periods of my life and I'd really like to be able to write about what I'm going through now but I'm afraid of using a paper journal because someone could pick it up. Online I found two different types of sites, blogging type sites that can be public or private and journal sites that are private by default, like 750 words. I like the idea of writing online instead of on paper for someone to find, but is it as therapeutic to get the words out with typing as it is to write them on paper? has anyone tried both ways?
    Joseph likes this.
  2. Joseph

    Joseph Community Organizer Community Listener

    I struggled with this same question for so many years. I journaled my entire life and eventually ended up with a huge stack of all of my most private thoughts. What if someone found them? Would they think I was crazy? Maybe, maybe not, but the anxiety of this caused me to digitize everything that was important for me to save and get rid of the physical notebooks. I was able to do this but know others might find this impossible. And when I made this transition sometime about ten years ago, the whole idea of internet privacy was fairly foreign, which might influence my decision differently now. But I do personally feel better about having my journals saved digitally in a few secure locations rather than in physical notebooks. I am a big fan of having a personal blog (I prefer WordPress). As you said, you can make it private but easily share the things you want to make public. You can also get an app for your phone so you can post to your blog from anywhere. Great question!
  3. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    There are a lot of hackers online each day,trying to tap into the most secure locations so I would not feel comfortable saving things I don't want anyone to know about online. Having a physical diary is another issue as well, unless it is that you are going to put it in a personal safe. I feel comfortable sharing my deepest secrets anonymously, that is how I get relief but everyone thinks differently.
  4. blasianchick

    blasianchick Member

    I have tried both. I have had diaries for years as a teen. My mom would find them and demand I tear them up and throw them out because hoarding written evidence of bad memories are " bad luck". This would upset me greatly because I liked looking back on what I was going through when I wrote those entries to see how I overcame my trials. One way I dealt with my mom's prying was to document my life in the form of Poetry. When I would use metaphors and fictional names, no one reading them thought I was talking about my own life or experiences. I was still able to vent and document but the poetry helped me to encode my writings so it didn't matter if others read or found them. I still look back at them today and reflect on the past.

    As for internet blog style diaries- I am more selective about what I write. I only write things I don't mind sharing with people. I am by nature a very open person anyway. I think sharing our experiences helps others to make better choices by learning from us. But I definitely don't think anything we save digitally is 100% secure or private. If you understand this, but still choose to document online, then great. If this makes you uncomfortable, I would stick to other forms of diary keeping. Also, you can turn your online entries into poetry as well.

    Poems don't have to follow any grammatical or literary rules, as they taught us in English class, back in high school. Write how you want. Doesn't matter, as long as you get something out o f it. You can be as abstract or as precise as you want. And you may discover a hidden talent you didn't know you had, which many readers may enjoy.
  5. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    Thank you for the input. I decided to try penzu, which is private by default and seems to have good security. If typing is just not the same for me, I like the idea of disguising it as fiction or poetry. I could write it in third person, for instance, as a story of someone else. Or maybe I could find a way to store the notebooks where I felt no one could find them but that would probably make getting to them to write in them harder.
    blasianchick likes this.
  6. blasianchick

    blasianchick Member

    I forgot to add, I like online writing better sometimes because typing is faster than writing and my thoughts can be conveyed much quicker. And if I make a mistake, I can just go back and delete instead of crossing things out or erasing. I've never been a fan of white out either. So for the sake of time and neatness, online can be better. Oh, what about just typing in a word document or a notebook in your computer and saving on a hard drive? That may be a more private way of documenting without uploading personal info to the net? Just an idea.
  7. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    The thought of writing online my most intimate details concerning my private life does not appeal to me and i would rather write them in a journal for safe keeping.Though writing online has it's advantages,the con's far outnumber the pro's.It's usual to get criticism,opinions be they positive or negative from anonymous persons which in a way could be beneficial to yourself.
  8. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I've tried both ways and I ink writing on paper is more effective, and I have also heard it from other people too. I think it has to do something with the keys on your keyboard not having the same effect on your brain since it doesn't provide as much movement memory as writing letters which your mind can probably remember and recognize a little more. Just my thoughts on it as a non professional.
  9. megankl

    megankl Active Contributor

    I have also questioned this for many years and I have to agree that I think that paper is better. I like the convenience of an online diary but there is really nothing like having the real pape rin your hands and sometimes in your printing you can see the way you felt which is not like online. Online I feel like it is something I found and printed off instead of it being my real feelings and thoughts.
  10. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    For those of you who write on paper, do you live alone? If you don't live alone, how do you ensure that the journal is not found and stays private?

    I have found that if I write on paper, I sometimes can't make myself write my real thoughts/feelings if I think they will be found and read by others. When I was living alone, it wasn't a problem but I don't now.
  11. juno

    juno Community Champion

    Using pen and paper may allow you to get more creativity out and release energy because you can draw and doodle as well. However, I have found myself very inadequate with pen and paper in recent years due to becoming in the habit of typing all the time. I feel that I can't get everything out in writing because I'm limited by the laziness of my fingers. I fell like I can get out a lot blogging as well. Although I don't know if I want to go public with this type of personal topic, but let others into this world of mine without actually posting a face to it may be a new form of therapy as I watch the number of viewers for each posting and who my words are reaching.
  12. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Well, I live with my teenage son, but I don't have a concern about him reading anything personal that I write.

    I did however have a situation years ago that made me come up with a new form of writing. I write a lot, but now a days many times I will only write the first letter, or first few letters, of every word when I am journaling.

    If it is something that I want to come back and read, of course I have to write it out, but if it something like someone has pissed me off or something, I find that just writing the first letter of each word gets the job done. Gets the issue off my chest, but it is private.

    Why do I do this? Well, years ago, I moved quite a bit of my things into storage, and while I was at work one day, I get a call on my cell telling me to call the storage company. I didn't even see the call until my break time about an hour later, by that time it was too late, my storage unit had been sold:eek::mad:. I was in shock.

    In addition to many other things, I had about 50 (five-zero) journals in that storage unit. Very personal things written in those journals. Details about times with my boyfriends over the years. And when I say details, I mean Details.

    Personal secrets, my deepest thoughts about everybody in my life, about my mom, my dad,
    my family, my friends... all gone. That was 5 years ago, and it still makes me cringe and itch when I about it. It's like having hundreds of very personal pictures on your cell, and losing your cell phone in a local mall. It's tough to deal with.

    Thankfully I was able to get about 1/2 of those journals back because the people who bought my storage left a lot of things behind that I was able to buy back in an auction several months later.

    From that point on when I journal, I write only the first letter in every word, I get tons of stuff off my chest, and I don't have to worry about it.
    I do spirals and spirals of notebooks that way, embellished with cute stickers and doodles along the way.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  13. Victor Leigh

    Victor Leigh Member

    Write with pen on paper? I don't think I know how to do that anymore. I mean it seems to have been ages since I last took a pen to paper. Now everything I write, I write it with my keyboard. It helps that I can type in excess of 75 wpm. So when I write, I am practically letting the thoughts flow directly from my mind to the screen.

    So where is my online diary?

    Well, I have a blog. That's where I put my thoughts. I also have a Facebook account. That's another place where I put my thoughts. Is putting my thoughts online as effective as putting my thoughts on paper? I should think so. The main point is to let the thoughts flow from my mind onto another medium. Paper would be fine. Pixels work, too.
  14. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I've tried it both ways, and for me, they are both therapeutic. But everybody is different, so it's whatever works for you. Trial and error. Try both for a month and see how you feel about each.

    I love the feel of writing with pen and paper, and I love to type, but when it came to writing down entries for a journal, I felt like typing would not feel as cathartic as "writing," I had even read an article that said if you want to feel the benefit of writing out your thoughts, those thoughts have to be written and not typed. That bummed me out a bit when I read that, but I like to write, so no big deal.

    After awhile though, after getting my first computer, I grew to like typing out certain thoughts, and found that typing provided me with a feeling of release as well.

    For typing personal thoughts, I don't log on to the internet, I just use some kind of writing feature that is on my computer when I first turn it on, notepad, documents, or something like that. Then I save that to my computer, but I don't go on-line with it.
  15. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    The online diary in private mode that I decided to use seems to be doing the job for me. I feel the release and relief as I write and put things I want to be able to access again there. I have a chromebook so it doesn't really have a lot of offline storage available. Anything typed has to be in the cloud somewhere; I considered google docs instead of penzu but I like the feel of penzu. I'm using that to track sadness, anxiety, happiness, pill use and addiction stuff.

    I have a long standing practice for angry thoughts feelings. I write them and immediately burn them in a symbolic letting go. Reading back over in the moment angry stuff a few days later only makes me feel worse. Looking back at the other stuff is more helpful to me.
  16. Victor Leigh

    Victor Leigh Member

    I have a tip for using pen and paper to get rid of a lot of pent-up anger.

    First., take a piece of paper and a pen. Of course. Then write down, in big letters at the top, the name of the person you hate. After that, write down every single thing that you hate about that person. Don't pull your punches. Don't hold back anything. Write and write and write. If one piece of paper is not enough, add another one.

    When you have finished, fold up the paper neatly, put a match to it and watch your anger and hate go up in smoke.
  17. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    I personally believe it is far better to write one's diary with ink/pencil and paper, because it truly is actually writing instead of typing and it is more intimately connected to your self expression, for it is your hand-writing and not some per-design electronic grammar symbols. Also, actual writing may require more energy and time, but it's impression are far more memorable to the mind because it involves imagination, focus, and skill. However, I don't write a diary because I simply erase things in my head and do not have the time to do it, plus it has never resonated with me to write a diary about myself, I instead write fictional stories and would compare the difference in writing over the course of several months to see how well I'm writing and how changed I am.
  18. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I like the idea of symbolically letting go. I don't necessarily like reading over angry thoughts and feelings either,
    that's why it is helpful to me just to write the first letter in a sentence, ie "that broad really made me mad..."
    turns into tbrmmm!! Icsh!! Ugh!!
    I write it out, and get it out of my system, but don't have to think about it being read by the wrong eyes.

    Sometimes though, it pays for me to remember certain things about being angry at someone, because after awhile I might go back to that same toxic friendship if I completely dismiss what someone has done, and don't remind myself of it from time to time.
  19. btatro

    btatro Member

    For me, there is something incredibly therapeutic about writing on paper that I just cannot find in blogging online. I have done both and do enjoy both, but something about the rush of the paper and pen capturing my thoughts and feelings gives me something that typing on a keyboard can't provide.
  20. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I have. I feel like it does the same thing. Both are ways to express yourself and a outlet to vent your personal feelings. Now if you wanted to share it with the rest of the world, then obviously the two are different.