{19/11/2012}   Keeping a diary

I have a collection of about ten diaries that I’ve started over the years with a view to carrying them on for the duration.  However, they have all ended by February.  Now, however, I’m into my third year of daily diary writing and wish I had always written a diary.  Maybe this time I succeeded because I used blank notebooks rather than diaries, or maybe it’s because I really wanted to write one and I wanted to get into the habit of writing something every day (and look at me now, a diary and a blog and I still haven’t made the transition to writing a book!).

It is one of the most therapeutic things to do, writing a diary.  My entries are very short and are more about what I did that day – I write before I go to bed – than my feelings for the day.  However, I do of course write about how I’m feeling at times.  For the first year or so, I felt like I was always moaning and always ill and tired.  In some respects that did reflect my life then.  Now I moan less but there is a consistent theme of needing change.

It is with great glee that I am reminded of something and need or want to know the date or more detail and know that it will be within one of my three diary notebooks.  But for that reason alone, I reiterate that I wish I’d written one from years ago.

I started the first notebook intending to write ideas for stories, etc, every day early in the morning.  While I am most alert and productive in the mornings, it didn’t work for me then, and 97% of the time I write it just before I go to bed, despite that time making it almost inevitable that I will moan about how tired I am.  Bizarrely, as a result it’s also become a record of my bed times!

Nowadays, biographies are all the rage.  I think most of them are probably economical with the truth on many levels.  In part I say this because I usually don’t write about people, thinking that if they, for reasons unknown, ever read my diary and there were things written about them, they would be upset or whatever.  I also omit things for similar reasons.  It’s one thing not to write everything down because it slips your mind, but another to deliberately decide what not to write about.  This bothers me.  After all, if you can’t write your innermost feelings in a private diary, how on earth can you air them/get them off your chest.  Maybe I’m just too paranoid but a friend of mine, having a bit of a fling, detailed in her diary, was caught out by her boyfriend reading through her diary.  What she did was wrong but, as they say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

I hope I continue writing every day until I am too old to be able to do so.  Every now and then I read over a bit and it’s compelling reading, even though at the time I probably thought it was all really dull.  It’s not that I did exciting things I’d forgotten about, it’s more that it’s interesting reading how you thought about something at the time, when now you think or remember it differently.  Plus there are always things you’ve forgotten or embellished over time and which reading in your diary can set you back on the path to reality!


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