OPINION: Journals galore

Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer

abbey column

I know what inevitably awaits me behind every sheet of tissue paper I unfold, every ribbon I unravel, every piece of wrapping paper I mercilessly tear apart: a journal. The surprise of a gift eludes me each birthday I experience because I know beyond a doubt that a notebook lurks within the gift bags handed to me.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s really quite thoughtful of my friends for considering my interests and personality. I’ve loved the way a pencil felt beneath paper since third grade and I’ve been writing ever since. What people don’t consider, however, is how many spiral bound notebooks I have piled up in my desk drawer,crowding the little free space I have in my room. I often tell eager gift-givers there’s a queue of notebooks waiting to be used that may stretch on for years.

The problem with this endless string of journals is that the world is very tech-oriented. Most of the writing I do involves frantic revising, which is impossible to do without a digital copy of my work that can be changed with a click of a button. While the online world has it’s benefits, I find this to be problematic for the same reason. With one glitch, one glaring, red “x” button in the top right corner, one malfunction of a computer, everything you’ve done can vanish without a trace.

While the excitement of a gift has for the most part vanished, I find it reassuring to be surrounded by unused journals. It’s as simple as writing can be: pen and paper. No keyboards. No mouse clicks. No chance of viruses destroying your work. Blank lines are waiting to be filled with any thoughts I might have, any letters I may write, any stories I wish to tell.

So it’s okay that my pile of journals grow by the holiday. It’s refreshing to have something so simple to rely on, free from the distraction of the busy online world.

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