Like many people, I have started several diaries. They are rather ridiculous to look at in retrospect because not only do they often stop mid-January but they also tell tales of teenage ridiculousness.
Later on in my life I was encouraged by the words and textures of Anais Nin’s work and I had thoughts of creating a diary but as an adult. Would this break the cycle of getting fed up with my own daily thoughts? Some days I just felt I had nothing to report, I felt my life was uneventful and boring yet in the past few weeks that has changed dramatically.
2016 was the year where I found my writing again and with quite a ferocious force. This feeling leaked into 2017 with the start of a diary but instead of a “today I went to…” entry title I decided I would embark on a creative diary. This would track all my creative thoughts, processes and achievements on a daily basis. Reading back on it I am surprised just how much I think and work each day without really noticing it. It has allowed me to reflect and take stock of my daily routines and creations.
Keeping a diary is often used in therapy. It is as a way of emptying your head of thoughts. I have encountered people who prefer to tell their diary their innermost desires rather than confide in a loved one. This in itself is therapeutic; it clears your mind and helps you to work out your next move. It can help you recall certain events and find meaning to particular behaviour that in turn can produce patterns, it is a fabulous way of developing a deeper relationship with yourself. Liken it to talking to yourself; have you ever had that light bulb moment because you have said it out loud? Give it a go.
Over the past few weeks I have learned a lot about myself and how I can maintain writing in my diary. I am going to share these with you in hope you will be inspired to start your very own journey.
Buy yourself a really nice diary that you will enjoy writing in. Pay particular attention to the cover, the paper and whether it feels right in your hands. If you love it then you will want to come back to it, I guarantee it.
Use a nice pen or at least your favourite pen. My favourite is a V5 Hi-Tecpoint in black. It is beautiful to write with, a bit like a fountain pen without the messy ink.
Write your entry in the evening. I have done it many times and written a diary entry from the day before and you do tend to lose the threads of which you have acquired the previous day. Make it a habit and don’t break it.
Don’t be critical about your writing. Make spelling and grammar mistakes, have awful similes. Why not? This diary is for you and you only. Don’t be critical in what you write, imagine this diary as an emptying of the brain, housekeeping, sweeping away the day into the pages of your book.
Be honest. Say what you like because no one is going to read it. Keep that in mind, write it as if no one will ever read it, I know it is easy to start writing a certain way in case it gets found. If you cant trust those around you then hide it or question your relationships!!
Do it your way. There are no rules to writing a diary, these are just tips from someone who is embarking on a journey into being a diarist. Make it your own, say what you want and keep it as a source of inspiration.
And finally. Have fun. Draw in it, stick pictures and newspaper cuttings in it. Make it your little house of creativity. It will become a piece of art in itself.