10 Reasons I Prefer Digital Journal Writing Over Pen and Paper


There are lengthy debates about pen and paper versus digital journal writing, with the former still the preferred method of most journal and diary writers. As I write in the introduction of my forthcoming book, I have used both writing methods for journal writing, and I can honestly say I don’t feel or see a difference in the content my journal writing, though there are significant differences of course in how I write using a computer, and more specifically, how I write using Day One. I almost must add that I rarely write anything by hand anymore, because typing is so much more efficient, and believe or not, less painful than writing long hand. But I’m not digital journal writing snob.

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Why I’m Sooooo Jazzed About

If you browse the past entries of my blog, sadly you will see that it was a ghost town for over a year, and I just recently I started writing more posts on a regular basis. It’s not because I find blogging a waste of time, but it’s because I’ve been busy with regular writing jobs.

But in the last few weeks I’ve re-committed to blogging more, and to be honest it’s not just because I’m blogging my forthcoming book, but also because I’m soooooo jazzed about using the graphic design site, Actually, I confess that a few of my recent blog posts were influenced by a design I created Canva.

Canva allows users to create custom graphic designs completely from scratch, or choosing from hundreds (maybe thousands!) of themes created for social networking sites including Pinterest and Facebook, blogging sites like this one, as well as for presentations, posters, business cards, photo collages, and invitations.

(Note: Canva is still only available via beta invites. I have two invites left for anyone who wants one. Just send me your email address.)

Canva includes plenty of instructions on how to get started creating your own designs, so there’s no need to explain that here. Instead, I want to share about how I use the site, and how you too might find it useful.

Learning Designs

First off, I am by no means a designer. The few books I’ve read on the subject include the classic Non-Designers DesignBook, by Robin Williams (a book that breaks down basic principles of design in a way that anyone can understand), and Jim Krause’s Design Basic Index, which is also useful for browsing ideas and design techniques. I have several other design books on my bookshelf, but quite honestly I have not had time to read them much. is also about learning design as you create projects. So far the site includes twelve interactive tutorials, plus more tips on its blog that help you understand how graphic design works and what techniques you can try in your own projects.

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Why and How I’m Blogging My First Book

WHY I'M BLOGGINGThanks Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book, I’m feeling more confident about using drafts of my forthcoming book, Starting From Day One, to post and share on this site.

Traditionally most writers have not always let it be known what book they’re working on, and maybe for good reasons. But after reading Nina’s book I realized how it makes sense for a number of reasons to blog drafts of my book. While the entire book won’t be posted online, several of the mostly evergreen chapters will be.

So here’s why I’m blogging my book.

Revising drafts: Blogging my book provides a space to revise chapters as I write, and hopefully get reader feedback before those chapters before book publication. When I blog, I’m of course writing with an audience in mind.

For example, this post of journal writing prompts consists of a much revised chapter in my book. As I re-read the chapter for blog posting, I realized how much more those and other prompts in the book need flushing out.

The more parts of my book that get read by different readers, the better I can revise and prepare it for publication. (Note: I also have a few dedicated draft readers who helping me with wonderful feedback.)

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