Digital Journaling in October: A Reflection

A month has passed since the Easy Journaling 30-day challenge put a group of enthusiastic journal keepers through the daily paces of recording life.   The difference was that this challenge was to keep a digital journal for the month of October.  We could write in our journal too if we had the energy or time but the commitment was to journaling digitally/electronically.

Each day waiting in our inboxes was the day’s prompts: a meaty, soul-searching, depth-diving suggestion that set us retrieving long forgotten memories and impressions on a range of topics from earliest memories to near death experiences; included in the prompt suggestions was a less emotionally intense topic.

Any challenge has stretching times that are relieved by the slackening as we ease into a new way of experiencing something that has become a daily ritual. I have picked up and put down journal writing throughout my life. I like the tactility of a physical journal that has turning pages that simultaneously hold insecure reflections with tenderness while exhibiting the blinged up pages of a colourfully creative personality.  Then there’s the joy from selecting which pen to use for an entry, one worthy of what will flow from its nib.  Will it be a ball point, gel, pencil or one of a number of fountain pens.

I set all that aside to participate in October’s challenge,  journalling with a digital application.  I loved it.

I have been using the DayOne app for Mac for some years now and love it

I have been using the DayOne app for Mac for some years now and love it

No days off – for good behaviour – and if we missed a day we were encouraged to catch up and keep moving. Several sponsors contributed prompts supported by others who provided alternatives to each day’s suggestions, written to help participants delve a little deeper into the oft hidden recesses. The place where wild things lurk!

So what did I enjoy about the experience.  First of all the company along the way.  Journalers gathered globe-wide to meet on a specially created Facebook group. We exchanged ideas, shared triumphs and overcame hurdles as a creative group. Our commonality has been our love of the written word. Next on the list that buoyed me through the month was not having to come up with a new topic each day.  The prompts were faithful, every day they turned up to be explored in any which way the writer chose.  On a less profound note, my geeky side liked seeing the days light up on my DayOne app.  And October has digital bling on every day – ah me, a thing of beauty is a joy forever!

No, I haven’t rejoined Facebook – well maybe just a little. To be part of many on-line groups Facebook is now a must do, a non-negotiable of being part of something larger than oneself.  Speaking as an introvert it makes my skin crawl to know that others can voyeuristically scope me out without my knowledge.  So I signed up with a pseudonym for the sole purpose of being able to be a member of selected groups.  It doesn’t even make me sad to see the “have no friends yet” notification looking out at me from the screen.

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