In September 2018, I started keeping a diary again. After recently finishing my second diary, I have come to 160 pages of writing on an almost daily basis for over a year. Finally, I think I may call this a success. For this blog post I wanted to review the benefits of keeping a diary, how I’ve been able to keep up, and what products help me stay committed.
Benefits of keeping a diary
The reason why I started writing again in the first place was that I’d entered therapy, and often found myself lost in sessions because I could hardly remember what had happened in the week gone by. Hence, the diary came into play. I am not always best at staying in touch with my feelings, so a diary really helps me keep track of how I’m doing, as I’m being forced to consider my well-being every evening when I write.
Besides that, it helps me structure my thoughts and get closure on some of the daily happenings around me. I don’t always have someone to talk to at the end of the day, so my diary is a good alternative. Once, as I was growing increasingly more frustrated and stressed out, I realised I hadn’t written in my diary for ten days, meaning I had lost out on this major emotional outlet for a while.
How I keep my diary
The trick was to embed it into my routine between brushing my teeth and going to bed. However, sometimes this is difficult if there are changes in schedule: staying over at a friend’s house for example, or when travelling to another country. Nevertheless I’ve always been able to pick it up again.
Sometimes I ask myself a set of questions to help me on my way:
How did you sleep? What did you do today? How do you feel about it?
It may sound cliché, but these type of questions help me get started with writing, and eventually the rest rolls out of the pen naturally. Especially if I’m having a couple of late nights in a row, I tend to keep it short and start cutting my material more and more, where I’m not really doing any in-depth evaluating. This is when those questions are most helpful to me.
Products I use
This may come across silly and materialistic, but it really does help a lot to get products that make you feel comfortable. For me, it’s these simple Moleskine notebooks and my Pilot Frixion pen. If I’d be trying to keep a diary with a blue ballpoint in a basic white off-brand notebook, I just know that I wouldn’t be as motivated to write. So don’t be afraid to invest a little!
Are you keeping a diary?
I’m curious to learn about other people’s diary-keeping methods, or perhaps alternative ways of tracking your well-being, like bullet journals. What benefits do you see? Or what struggles have you had? Do you have any useful tips? Please do share!