, ,

This is a Texty Tuesdays post, looking at different types of text from the printed word to blogs to things you scribble when you’re bored.

I’m in the lucky position of having kept a journal/diary (the difference is technical, and, let’s face it, arbitrary) since I was about 13. It’s become part of my daily routine, writing a short page about my day, and if I ever neglect to write in my diary for any reason, I have difficulty sleeping.

And, okay, this is probably because I have an over-active brain. I lie awake, thinking about my day or the next day or random things like what I would do if I were kidnapped and sold to a zoo (you know, the usual). If I take five minutes out and write a few of these thoughts down, I sleep more easily.


N.B.: Diaries with aesthetic covers always have more self-respect (Photo credit: kevinspencer)

However, despite my abnormally over-active brain being a massive reason to write a diary, I think that it’s an amazing thing to do.

Firstly, it allows you to process things. Say, for instance, your bikes were stolen by two French teenage boys with man-bags and you just want to HIT them or take their feminine bags and STRANGL- ahem.

Say something happens that annoys or angers you. Writing down your emotions lets you process them without taking any man-bags and wrapping the straps around anyone’s neck.

Secondly, they’re fun to look back at. If I look back through my diary, I see the stages I went through growing up – in my own (private) diary, I used to write things that weren’t true (that I “fancied” someone, with nauseating hearts and everything, for instance), because I was trying to figure out who I was or trying to fit in. I went through a very dark period, experiencing the death of a close friend, at 17. The emotions I went through shaped who I am today, and played a massive part in forming my opinions and beliefs. I was physically see the development of who I was at 13 to who I am now. That’s pretty cool.

Thirdly, putting pen to paper every day – in any form – improves the standard of your writing. Diaries are not beautiful, flowing prose, they often take note form and have atrocious spelling and grammar. However, keeping a regular diary is also very personal, and this allows you to develop a style which suits you, in your own time and under your own conditions.

And, let’s not forget the respect. People think that keeping a diary every day takes the same level of effort as, for instance, going for a run every day. You can be completely private about your diary and tell no-one, but if diaries ever come up in conversation and you let slip that you keep one every day, especially if it’s been a significant period of time, people respect this.

And, fortunately for you, it doesn’t take much effort. Not that the respect-ers need to know this. After a few months, it becomes part of a bedtime regime, and as long as you get through these first few, trying months, it takes no effort. Unlike morning jogs.

So; go out, buy a lined notebook (preferably one with a pretty cover, they always make things better) and a nice pen, and start keeping a diary. Stick through the first few months and I promise – you will reap the benefits!