Dear Diary….

How many of you had a diary growing up? Did you write in it faithfully? Do you still have piles of them hanging around in the attic or basement just waiting for you to open them up and cringe at what your deepest thoughts were at the age of 11 or 17 or 33? Do you still keep a diary today?

I have kept a diary or journal or whatever you want to call it on and off for years. I wasn’t always the best at writing in it every day. That seems kind of funny now that I am a writer full time, but there were some days and weeks that nothing happened…it was just plain boring and who wants to write about that?

My diaries contained the usual drivel that many young girls write about…the boys I liked and the things that happened in school or church youth group. It was probably the most horrific thing to read. Thank God I never kept any of them. We moved around a lot, so I tend to purge my things every few years. In landfills all across America there sits in multiple trash bags my most intimate thoughts and if anybody found them, they would get a good laugh.

It would always amaze me when I would read about other people keeping diaries throughout history. Harry S. Truman, Sylvia Plath, Anne Frank, Andy Warhol and many others kept a daily recording of their lives. I would envision them sitting at their desk, pen in hand, writing about the events of the day before falling asleep.

It would inspire me to begin again. So, I would pull out my notebook and my pen and begin writing. But life was still boring, so I started adding favorite quotes and song lyrics to my diary. I think one year, probably 1982, I had all the songs from Duran Duran written in there. I would add favorite bible verses and movie quotes. And my diary began to evolve into something different…something that remains today.

I call it my writers notebook today and in typical Tracie style it is a squiggle line of everything. Ideas to write about, favorite lines from books and movies and songs. Little snippets of life events and to do lists. Everything goes into whatever notebook I am writing in at the moment. It is actually a more accurate account of my life than anything I wrote back in the day. And one day it will be taken out and disposed of, like all the others. And I will put out another notebook and begin again.

***Question for the comments…Did you keep a diary growing up? Do you still? Was it in a fancy journal or a plain notebook? Do you still have them?

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Do You Journal?

Have you ever written in a journal or a diary? Writing down your secret thoughts or dreams in a book for your eyes only? I have written in journals since I was in elementary school, and I have always loved the experience.

They have all sorts of blank books you can write in. Everything from the cheap spiral 1-subject notebooks you used to use in school to really expensive cloth covered books with pretty designs. I think I have tried just about every type of journal out there to write in, and my favorite is still the old-time marble composition books. I don’t know why, but they are just my go to every time. Nowadays, I just pick up a bunch at the beginning of the school year when they cost like 50 cents at Walmart. That’s when they have all the great colors too.

And don’t get me started on pens to write with. O.k., too late…I’m started, Lol. I think I have said before that my favorite pen to write with is the cheap blue Bic pen. You may say that it doesn’t matter, a pen is a pen is a pen, but no, they are not. It has to feel right in your hand as the ink glides smoothly over the paper. I really like felt tip pens as well, but you have to make sure the paper is thick enough, so it doesn’t bleed through. I know a lot of people who use a journal app on their phone or computer. I tried that once, but I am mainly an ink to paper kind of girl.

You might be wondering about what exactly you would write about in a diary/journal, the answer is anything and everything. This is for your eyes only, so whatever you have to say, go for it. Thank goodness I no longer have my diaries from my early years through high school. They were truly cringe worthy. Always the same old drivel of who I had a crush on and why my mother won’t let me go to the dance or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, all those things were important at that time in my life, but I am glad I don’t have to reread them now.

Now, when I write in my notebook, there are various things I put in there. It could be prayers or answers to writing prompts I see on Pinterest or favorite quotes and bible verses. I really don’t write about my day-to-day life anymore, but there are times if something really good happens. So really, my notebook is just a big squiggle line of everything…makes total sense for me.

Journals, diaries or whatever you want to call them are great ways to get your feeling out when you don’t want to share it with anyone else. They give you the freedom to be exactly who you are without censor. They can also be a place where to can let your creativity come out. If you have never journaled before, give it a try, you might find out you love it. And if you already do, keep it up, it really is one of the best things.

***Question for the comments…Do you or have you ever kept a journal or diary? What kind of paper and pen do you like to use? What is your favorite thing about keeping a journal?

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