'Imagination will take you everywhere'
In a world dominated by digital media where every news event, daily occurrence and emotion is documented online for everyone to see and then instantly forget, isn’t it a refreshing change to have something physical and long-lasting to channel your thoughts, dreams and aspirations into? A place solely for you. A place where there is no risk of snarky put-downs or twitter trolls.
Don’t get me wrong; I love blogs, twitter and Instagram. But in 20 years time will you look back at your feed and reminisce like you would if you discovered your tattered journal in a dusty cupboard brimming with the adventures of your twenty-year-old self? No.
So this is a call to arms. An un-digital revolution. No longer should writing a diary or filling a scrapbook be seen as retro or childish. Think Bridget Jones (but hipper).
I have an on/off relationship with journals, and always come back to them if I feel in need of a creative fix. There’s nothing like getting a bit of Pritt Stick and going on a gluing frenzy; sticking in all of those discarded train tickets, photos, exhibition leaflets, pretty sweet-wrappers and other random bits and pieces. They act as an excellent documentation of your life and also of culture/society at that time.
Recently I stumbled across an old diary and immediately childhood memories came flooding back – things that would otherwise fade in the dark crevices of my mind. It was a snapshot into my ten-year-old life – albeit with a few cringe-worthy anecdotes.
I’ve got a London journal – made by my mum – to record my time spent at university. Although I haven’t used it as much as I would’ve liked but I blame that on the city that never sleeps; there’s always something to do or see in London – all the more reason to document it. The act of sitting down and writing – pen on paper – is quite therapeutic. Reflecting on experiences also helps to clear thoughts. It calms the buzzing mind and is a refreshing change from staring at a computer screen all day long.
Keeping a travel journal is another love of mine; capturing places and experiences. You never know when it might come in handy. Last year when driving through remote French country lanes getting more and more lost as the sun faded, we were desperately trying to find a campsite. I remembered I had written about the campsite we had stayed in last year and flicked through my journal to find the name of the village which we then typed into the trusty satnav. It saved the day.
Like knitting and letter-writing, scrap-booking is having a renaissance and the digital generation is leading it. That white blank page is calling to be filled with adventures…