What is it about journals? Orwell’s 1984 and Rand’s Anthem both begin with characters writing in journals. This is noteworthy because it is risky and/or potentially lethal. For both protagonists, the idea that one could write down thoughts that other people wouldn’t see was madness.
In some ways, that idea is already taking shape in our world today. In a time when Facebook is constantly raising questions about what should or should not be private, and large chunks of the internet are filled with blogs like this, some might ask what the point of having a private journal would be. Doesn’t everyone get emotionally naked on the ‘net? But then, you could equally argue the other side of the coin: This is a world lacking in privacy, and that might not be a good thing. Thoughts that we once would have kept to ourselves are being put out in the open, to the detriment of the people expressing them. Kids are being denied jobs because their Facebook pictures show them doing a lot of drinking in college. People are fired for mouthing off about their jobs on their “private” journals–that just happen to be publically accessible. Maybe having a private place to write all that stuff down would be better for all concerned.
I go through phases where I keep a journal. Often, these journals have just been notebooks. But occasionally they’ve been something prettier. I have scores of half-filled diaries lying around, not to mention the nicer, leather-bound books that I have that almost seemed too nice to write in. Although at the time, I wondered what the point of all the writing was, I’m grateful to have them. Looking back at what I wrote gives me a time capsule into my younger self, reminding me of how great it is to be where I am now.
Although my current journal is just a blue notebook, I might get something like this in the future. It’s pretty, isn’t it?
The only thing would be… what could I ever write in there that would worthy of filling such a work of art?! </irony>