Have you held to your New Year resolution to keep a diary? Many years ago I was given a five year diary which lasted at least a decade of good intentions and still has many blank pages, but it does record some major life events; if anyone can ever decipher the tiny writing crammed into the allotted space per day and year.
In more recent years I received a handsome note book blissfully free of dates. I vowed to keep a journal for the purpose of preserving the art of handwriting and recording family history. Released from the obligation of daily jotting I would devote several pages to important events and places and people visited. I didn’t record our extra special 2015 Christmas till the middle of January 2016.
But I am onto the third gift journal. Each entry begins with a few neat sentences, but quickly deteriorates into a cramped scrawl, especially if I am lounging with my feet up on the sofa. I imagine the diarists of old would need to sit upright at their bureaus to be able to handle their quill and ink.
In the unlikely event of me becoming a famous author posthumously, will my family be tempted to burn these diaries and journals to protect my reputation? If they bother to look at them they will find no scandal (there is none to help in the fame stakes ), nor salacious details of non writing activities at home. But hopefully my jottings will be a unique personal account of everyday life in the early years of the Twenty First Century.
And which will last longer, the paper books or my internet blogs and articles on Bookshop Bistro? When I needed to look up a previous blog about the River Thames I typed in ‘Janet Gogerty Sandscript River Thames’ and up it came, from over two years ago; will it be there forever? Will all our blogs and Facebook words of wisdom float through the ether into eternity, or only until the internet is switched off?
Like radio waves beaming out into space will the billions of words on the internet still be out there somewhere when the electricity is switched off for good? Will our e-books and e-mails be accessible to clever Alien archaeologists or future Earth scientists?
If so, Greetings from 2016 A.D.
By Janet Gogerty
I write a regular blog ‘Sandscript’ at Goodreads