Living out loud

Curtis has generously loaned me his Wacom tablet so I could see how easy it is to draw on the computer screen what I would normally draw on a dry erase board. I seem to remember being much better at this than I am now.

As I've been working my way through NaBloPoMo, I've been realizing (again) how much happier I am when I'm writing. I've also been digging through some of my old paper journals and getting frustrated at the huge gaps in history. This blog has really been the closest thing to a diary I've kept over the last seven years, and the irony of 99.9% of it being public is not lost on me. It's as if I'm not willing to take the time to capture my days if no one else will read it.

I was at my parents' yesterday and they were talking about a few treasures they have buried in amongst the junk. My father was saying how he had hoped to keep a journal while in all the stages of his life, but the closest thing he has is probably the letters he and Mom exchanged while he was in Vietnam. That was an incredibly tumultuous time in their lives but in the day to day of digging trenches, making sure his feet were warm and keeping that red clay out of his belongings, the idea of trying to chronicle his experience probably seemed ludicrous.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to keep a handwritten journal anymore. More and more things are becoming electronic in my life. For the most part, I'm happy with that. I type much faster than I write longhand and I like the flexibility of getting to files from anywhere versus only in a precious book that may be lost or damaged.

Rich had his Army journals stolen back in 2002 when someone broke into his car. It was infuriating for him and heartbreaking for me by extension. I would have loved to read about that part of his life, but since it was in books (that the thief most likely threw away unread in a dumpster across town) all that history is lost to only what he can remember. In my father's case, his experiences from his 20s are even more faded by time.

I'm grappling with what to do with a lot of my own life history to date. I want to get it all recorded, but I'm trying to decide how much of it is for public consumption and how much is better off for just me to keep squirreled away. As I've been writing in a public forum, though, it's forced me to be sure that what I write is always fair and something I'd want the world to know.

I know a lot of you maximize the amazing filtering options of LiveJournal, but how often do you write just for yourself and if so is it with a keyboard or with pen and paper?