Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Going Digital

For much of my life I've been an aggressive journal keeper - 11 volumes (of various size and shape) filled with meticulous scrawl, if the two words can be combined. There's typically a beautiful uniform slant and height set to my penmanship, but it doesn't score high for legibility.

Anywhoo - this practice has been for me a wonderfully meditative exercise, forcing me align my thoughts linearly. The slow pace of the output also forces me to prune that chain down to single, dominant, and focused thread. Stepping back and moving a little slower is a good thing, and has frequently deepened my resolve, refreshed my dedication, or provided personal insight that I doubt would otherwise have been available.

It has also been recently neglected, for the same reason that all my non-work endeavors have been dying: time. Even blogging - averaging 3 weeks to a month between posts, which take about 10 or 15 minutes to put together if I'm doing concerned self-editing (all the posts here are still pretty rough, but at least the grammar is consistent and I don't repeat common phrase construction across multiple sentences and paragraphs). In an effort to begin to resurrect the journaling, I'm going to break out of the current volume-bound format and finally plunge into the digital realm.

The reason I didn't do this years ago was the difficulty and sheer nerdliness of maintaining continual access to digital input mechanisms, and my commitment to the contiguous population of the current volume (whatever it was at the time). I'm now nearing the end of this 11th tome, and the time has come to reevaluate that position. I currently have 3 devices (2 literal, one virtual) which would allow me access to this intimate recording process without hesitation:

  • Palm Pilot (Sony Clie PEG-UX50 w/backlit keyboard)
  • Alphasmart 3000 (stand-alone portable word processor)
  • Any internet enabled computer
This means the maintenance of an un-broken record becomes a reality, and can now involve multiple media types (incorporating digital photos and artistry). I also have plans of adding the Acecad DigiMemo 692 (stand-alone hand-writing digitizer) to this collection over Christmas, allowing me to maintain the personal touch of the familiar script. All of this work in an easily replicated (and thus hopefully immortalized), indexed, and transmittable fashion. Such record will also include postings I've made here, providing an additional level of insight for the sanity hearings.

I'm excited to see how it will turn out - whether I can recapture the benefits when the painstaking labor detaches to an unbound, ethereal capability. If it is the though that counts, or something about the labor which I unwittingly leave behind. Whatever the case, I need it - I find myself less able to subverbalize to myself an understanding of the fluctuating emotions encountered throughout the day; and if I don't know me, I'm lost.

Lost indeed...

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