How To Write A Diary

Girl learning how to write a diary

Image: pedrosimoes7

Life passes by quickly. Soon another year will have passed. With the fast pace of life it can be hard to keep stock of what’s going on in your life and where you’re heading. This is where keeping a personal diary or journal can be really helpful – so let’s look at how to write a diary.

Keeping a diary can give you perspective.

Probably the best thing about writing a diary is how it can show you the big picture. Sometimes things are easier to see from a distance. You can’t see a forest when you’re in the thick of it, you can only see the trees. But if you look at if from an airplane you can see the whole thing clearly.

It’s the same with some of the issues you face in life. Sometimes when you’re bogged down in the middle of things you can’t get a true perspective on the big picture. As you flick through your diary at the end of the year you might notice that certain things keep cropping up. You can identify themes that you might not notice on a day to day level. Perhaps you keep making some of the same mistakes again and again. By looking at these mistakes in the context of the bigger picture you may find it easier to work out what the problem was and how you can deal with it.

Perhaps you are procrastinating on your goals. Or perhaps you are achieving a great deal. Either way looking back on the year can be a really helpful experience. You can take note of your lows and think of ways to avoid them in the future. You can also remind yourself of your successes and think about how you can create more of them.

So how to write a diary?

The rules on how to write a diary haven’t been written yet, so it’s really up to you. When I first kept a diary I was young and I basically wrote a record of the daily events of my life. There wasn’t much reflection. As I’ve gotten older I’ve changed to writing about my achievements and hopes for the future. It’s also become more introspective. I take note of the mistakes I’ve made and ways I can improve things. But you can write about whatever you like really. Some people like to write a gratitude journal. Some people write a blog and share their lives with the world. (It’s really easy to start a blog if you haven’t yet, try WordPress.)

How often do you write?

When I first started I used to write a little every day. Now I write when I feel the need to do so. You can write your diary as little or as often as you like, but it may be good to write regularly when you begin so that you remember to do it and can establish it as a habit.

Things you diary doesn’t have to be:

  • Neat and tidy
  • Logical
  • Grammatically correct
  • Politically correct
  • ‘G’ Rated
  • Interesting to other people
  • Regular
  • Frequent

Things your diary might include:

  • A record of events
  • Concert tickets
  • Photos
  • Letters
  • Drawings
  • Poems
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Ideas
  • Dreams
  • Hopes
  • Disappointments
  • Plans
  • Prayers

Things your diary probably should be:

  • Legible
  • Dated

A few last things to think about:

  • You can write anywhere
  • You can write anytime
  • It can be handwritten or on your computer or online
  • If you’re going to be really open and honest then you might like to make sure you keep it tucked away from prying eyes

How do you write a diary?

In short, there aren’t really any rules on how to write a diary, your diary can be whatever you want it to be – just start doing it and see what happens. I’m sure you’ll find it a useful experience.

3 thoughts on “How To Write A Diary”

  1. I started my diary (I call it “the book”) on Sunday, October 14, 2007. I have not given up on it and have actually written in it every single day since Thursday, July 31, 2008 (my return from a Germany trip). It is now about 900,000 words long. I feel rather smug. And I always enjoy doing it – well, nearly always… :)

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