On keeping a diary…
I keep a diary or what we grown ups like to call a journal. I suppose one of the main reasons is that I enjoy writing.
I realize, growing up through my teenage years, I religiously kept a diary and it was so important for me to record every event that happened during the day. Recording the events surrounding me and my friends and all our interactions was absolutely imperative. Then through my college years, the writing slowed down as I was busy living my life than writing about it. With all the partying and the studying, who had time to write a diary. This continued till I joined my new job and things got so hectic with the long hours and my need to prove myself.
After I had hit 25, I decided to move countries to a new job. The first months were slightly lonely as I built my circle of friends and I started writing again. I probably have 2 diaries covering a period of the next 4 years where I recorded only memorable events, my child’s birth and experiences.
About 2 years ago, I suddenly had a shift in my life. There was quite a lot of distress and I was going through a lot of difficult experiences. So what I decided to do was write. Only this time, the writing was different. It was not a record of events, but more about what I felt. My frustrations, my pain, my good times and my sad times all got recorded. Soon I was writing regularly, and I wrote about anything and everything. I never forced myself to write everyday, but realized that sometimes, I went on for pages a day, often writing twice or thrice a day. It really helped me get through those times. My diary was like my therapist. The moment of the day or week that I write, I look forward to it and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
So my takeaway from this:
- Don’t force yourself to write if you don’t want to… just go live
- Let your entry be as short as you want or as long as you want…even two sentences if you feel like
- It doesn’t have to be about the events of the day or week. It could be a needless ranting or even a plan for what you want to do when you go shopping
- Go back and read old entries… you’ll be amazed at how much fun that can be
- Write in code if you think someone may see your diary (I know this sounds very much like a teenager, but often it helps you write more freely)
- Always remember that it should be about what you want and it should be enjoyable