So, recently Rosianna (or missxrojas on YouTube) posted a video on how to diary (click the linkity link here if you'd like to watch it. It's pretty A+). As someone who keeps a diary as well, I thought I could try and add to the conversation.
I've always been one of those people who gets a lot of stationary and notebooks for gifts. I mean, I've never had an issue with it. But it's something I've always been given. Or bought for myself. It took me a long while before I ever managed to complete one though.
Why? Because for the longest time, I thought that a diary had to be exactly that. Only a diary. A place where every other entry was 'Dear Diary, Today I...' Sometime in 2010, I think, this idea I'd grasped onto had changed.
For me, more than anything, a diary is a place to express yourself. Through any medium, not just the sub-standard written response. I think the saying goes that your room is your sanctuary. My room is my sanctuary for my calm and my books and my quiet contentedness . My diaries are my inner-sanctuaries for thought, for de-stressing, for expression.
The moment I decided that a diary didn't have to be limited to the typical response, was the moment I was able to complete a full notebook.
Initially, I kept to writing. Every now and again, there was a proper 'Dear Diary' entry, but there was also to-do lists and plans for (what was then) big school choices. I kept lists of books I wanted to read. I scribbled quite a bit. I made pages and pages of some of my favourite quotes. I even started writing a few stories. I didn't finish any though, unsurprisingly.
As my journalling has evolved, so has the aesthetic of them. More recently, I've started glueing in scraps of paper with ideas on them. Cool photos I've seen from magazines. Things that'll help me health wise (I'm looking at you, poor posture). Writing down chords for piano.
And because my diaries are filled with so many different things, the entries themselves seem sporadic. I don't like people flipping open my notebooks and reading them, but they can if they want. More often then not, they open to a page of a writing exercise, or planning. A lot of the time, they don't even realise.
I'm a litte different to Rosianna, in that when I do write a diary entry, there's not a whole lot to indicate I have. I do write the date down. I do not, however, write the day, or what time. This might sound a little obnoxious, but when I read the first sentence, I tend to remember exactly where I was in that point of my life.
I might do it on purpose; I might do it so people who decide to read them are confused. (Note: when people realise that they're reading my journal, they usually stop right away. It doesn't happen often). I mean, it would make sense. I am a private person. If I want to let my feelings be known, I will. But usually I won't. (Unless it's something I'm wildly passionate about. i.e. my intense dislike for Tony Abbott, feminism, etc. etc.)
So, I think my final piece of advice is this: your diary can be what you want it to. Don't feel limited by writing about your day. Write about an incident you witnessed and how it sparked inner-reflection. Rant. Write about how much you miss someone, or how you didn't expect to be so heartbroken over a tiny thing. Write song lyrics. Draw for no reason other than you want to. It's your inner-sanctuary, and ultimately, you're the one who's going to remember everything.