Writing Tip – Keep a Diary

I’ve kept diaries on and off during my life and I wish there was more on than off.

I have a diary I wrote when I was a kid, around the age of ten, and I wish I had written more entries. I wrote about things that happened in the day, things that I thought were funny, things that I can’t remember now or that brought back some funny memories.

I keep a travel diary so when I go on holiday I write about what we get up to. My boyfriend said he didn’t realise the value of keeping a diary until I read back parts from previous holidays. Just silly little things that we forgot about, it brought back memories and made us smile.

I kept a diary when I was a teenager and mostly I was pining after boys, moaning about school or describing parties with friends. It was so boring to read. So now when I write I try to revert back to the style of diary I kept when I was a kid, writing about things that happened in the day or funny things as well as special events in my life.

I think as a writer it’s important to be able to express ourselves in a variety of forms. Keeping a diary, whether it’s a blog or old fashioned pen and paper, keeps you writing but in a different style to fiction. It’s from the heart and your writing in your own voice.

Writing from real life also gives you details that brings things to life. If I want to describe my mother in-laws cat, I would say his tail forms a question mark when he walks. It says a lot about the cat!

One of my diary entries from my old diary was of me describing how my brother was tickling my feet as I was trying to stealthily remove my diary from underneath my rabbit. Then my Mam burst into the room and chased my brother with a water gun so he locked himself into the bathroom.

I can’t remember this event at all but it says a lot about my family!

2 thoughts on “Writing Tip – Keep a Diary

  • December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm
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    Yeah, I second this! I'm really lucky I kept my diaries, as I write about my travels – and I'm a few years behind, so without these insights into what I was up to, I'd be stuffed. Reading them totally transports me back to the moment, and from there I can start to remember all kinds of details – an amazingly useful tool. Apart from the one that was taken out of my bag on a tram in Quito, Ecuador – WHY??? Take anything, but NOT my journals… Ah well. Fate no like me back then :0(Tony

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