| Written by Ronnie |
If you are new to journaling, one of the questions you'll need to contemplate early on is this: Which medium will you use to journal?
If you choose your medium wisely from the outset, your words will flow more easily.
Some people prefer to write using pen and paper. Others prefer to type. There is no right or wrong. It really does come down to you and what feels right for you.
When our son Cameron first died, and I was in the throes of intense grief, I poured my heart out into a leather journal. Every day, I would sit in an armchair by the bedroom window, and I would write and write and write and write. I would write as I wept, and I would write until I felt I could breathe again. Every day, I repeated this process. Words poured out of me - it was as if the pen were a part of me, an extension of my heart. There was something about the intimate nature of connecting pen to paper that allowed me to distill my pain into words - raw, heartfelt words. Over time, my journal filled up with all my sorrow, as I untangled it from my heart and made something intangible, tangible. Today, that journal is one of my most prized possessions. It is something physical that I can hold on to - evidence that my child once lived.
Since then, I have written in other journals: namely, the first year journals for Pete, Jamie, and Bear. (I would've done the same for Angus, if I'd thought of it back when he was born.) Rick also contributed to those first year journals, making them all the more precious because it contains both our handwriting and both our journaling.
These days, I do all my journaling on the computer using Simplenote, and that continues to work well for me. It's simple to use, therefore making it easy to capture my thoughts since I don't have to think twice before writing something down. The desktop app also makes it easy to keep all my different journaling organised. This is important because my intention is for all my journaling to end up in hard copy format: all the journaling that we do for the boys ultimately ends up in their individual life albums, and all the personal journaling that I do for myself will be turned into a story book.
All this to say: take your time to choose your medium. Consider what feels natural to you, in your present circumstances. And think about how you want your words to end up, whether it be in a leather journal, in a life album, in a story book, or perhaps as loose pieces of paper tied up with string, tucked away carefully in a memory box somewhere.
You can read the other posts in this series here.