I have mentioned my diary a few times. When I was younger I used to keep a diary in the form of letters to me dear departed best friend, to let her know what was going on in my life. I wasn't particularly good at writing in it every day. Usually I would write consistently for a few months then not write another word for a few months before starting the cycle again.
When I started university I stopped writing my diary. I didn't need it anymore. I was writing fiction now instead, which was good enough for me. But this Christmas I found a box full of my diaries. While I didn't get round to reading them, the words filling every page inspired me to start again. There is nothing more beautiful to me than handwriting filling pages and pages of a book.
As it happened, I received a beautiful notebook for Christmas and so on January first I started again. So far I've only missed a few days, and am almost halfway through the notebook. Usually I write what has happened that day. It probably wouldn't be that interesting to anyone else reading it. But I'm not writing it for anyone else. No one else is allowed inside my diary. It is a place where I can complain and moan and get excited, all while knowing that my secrets are safe. I say secrets, though of course much of what I write isn't secret at all.
I've tried the whole journal thing. Writing reflective thoughts down. It only lasted a couple of days. Besides, that's what my blog is for. But now I don't have any rules for my diary. I write what I want to write. But every night, just after getting ready for bed, I sit down and write. It is the most freeing experience to let my voice out onto the page. As I said, I usually just write what happened that day, but sometimes, when I feel the need, I write other things. Thoughts I've had. Ideas. Anything I want to say really.
Why do I keep a diary? To keep my life alive. We rush through life so fast that we forget so much of what has happened. I know I can't physically remember every single little detail of every day. But I am content, knowing that it is all stored safe in my diary. And one day I'll read it and remember. And you never know, someone in the future might read it and I will come alive for them.
Do you keep a diary or a journal? What do you write about? Why?