Saturday, 16 January 2010

Inspired to Journal More

I am always on the look out for ways to improve my journaling techniques. The improvement is more about developing good habits, remembering to do new things rather than sticking to old ways. My journals often tend to be filled with my thoughts and feelings, and the real world that I live in, gets quite neglected. I would like a balance. Recording and exploring feelings and thoughts is fine, but I also want to be able to look back and read about what's happening in the world about me. So every time I read an article about journaling or read someone else's experience, I make a note of what I like and try to implement it.
Current inspiration comes from an amazing source. I started reading, "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. Most of you, no doubt, have heard of Anne Frank's Diary, a young jewish girl from Amsterdam who went into hiding with her family for 2 years during World War II, before they were finally caught by the Nazis. Anne started her diary when she was 13, and wrote in it for 2 years of her captivity. It is touching, and it is wonderful, all the more so because it is just a diary of a teenage girl. She is honest in her recordings, and though war plays a great part in her entries, at its core, it's about Anne - the person. It also strikes a chord with me because I seem to share quite a few personality traits with Anne. So much so that few of her passages could have come straight out of my own diaries.
I love reading other people's diaries - historical of course, because for one, I don't know anyone in real life who keeps them, and also because it's such a personal thing that most people would not want to share it. I know I certainly would not.
So what Anne's diary has inspired me to do? She has inspired me to be honest with myself in my journals. Granted, in her later entries she does mention that she can't believe how indelicate she was in writing some things, but I think it's a good thing. Despite a journal being a personal thing, sometimes, mind automatically censors. I have improved considerably over the years, but I could do with more.
It has also inspired me to find other published diaries, and read more, not only to see what I can learn but also to learn about those people's journeys through their own journals.
How about you? Do you like reading other people's diaries? Do you like to improve your journals or are you happy with what you have?


  1. A Book of One's Own by Thomas Mallon is my all time favorite book about other people's diaries.

    His chapters organize diarists into categories and he quotes extensively from each person. Not the same as reading a person's entire diary/journal but it's a good start.

    (Chapters are: chroniclers, travelers, pilgrims, creators, apologists, confessors)

    Wonderful book. I've read it twice and always come away fascinated. Worth the read.

  2. Thanks for telling me about the book, Dave. I will definitely check it out. I read a similar book about anthology of diaries, and that was fascinating.

  3. I am watching "Dear Diary.." (BBC4) - what it takes to write a compelling diary. Apparently it has been a series. Quite captivating and inspiring. Examples shared were from: Virginia Woolf, John Steinbeck, Jacqueline Wilson, Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole, Anne Frank and others. Next and last episode Monday 9pm. Chat soon... Sue M

  4. Hi Sue,

    Welcome to blogging :-) Thanks for joining my blog. Now off to check out yours.

  5. I am a great lover of the diaries of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, Kentucky.

  6. Joey, thanks for telling me. I have never heard of him, but will be sure to look them up.