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How to Write a Diary
2. Write in your diary at the same time each day.
3. Personalize your entries with illustrations or doodles.
4. Consider altering the cover to make it more personal.
5. Don't go overboard on the mementos. A diary is not a scrapbook.
- Take your handwriting into consideration. How big do you usually write? If you have small, neat handwriting a diary with smaller margins and line spaces might be ideal. If your handwriting tends to be bigger and messier, opt for a diary with larger margins. You could even choose a diary with white pages and no lines--this is especially good if you like to sketch alongside your writings.
- How durable do you want your diary to be? Something like a moleskin notebook is somewhat expensive, around $15 to $20, but it's very durable. You may be able to find cheaper diaries at supermarkets, craft stores, and thrift/charity shops.
- Do you plan on carrying your diary with you? Many people like to have a diary or notebook on their person at all times to write down day-to-day observations. If that's your plan, consider purchasing a pocket-sized or small diary that can easily fit in a purse or tote bag.
- If you live with other people and want privacy, consider a diary with a lock. However, keep in mind diary locks are sometimes flimsy and easily broken.
- There are websites that allow you to keep a diary online. One benefit to this is that it takes up less space and many people feel more comfortable typing than writing by hand. However, privacy is an issue. Even if your site is password protected, your privacy is never 100% secure online. Someone might stumble on your diary online and gain access to your personal information.
- Some people use signatures to mark entries. If you enjoy leaving a signature, feel free to do so. However, privacy may be an issue. If your diary is accidentally lost, the words will be linked to you. If you're recording particularly private thoughts, you may not want this. Consider initials instead.
- Many people find diary writing cathartic because they can let go of inhibitions on the page and truly be themselves. Feel free to record your emotions, both positive and negative, in their entirety in your diary.
- Let go of worries about the quality of your writing. Your diary is a safe space for you to vent and share without the pressures of external judgment. Try to take a few minutes at the beginning of each entry to simply free write. That is, write quickly and without inhibition. Jot down the first things that come to mind when considering your day, current mood, and any feelings you're struggling with.
- Many people have epiphanies about themselves and their relationships through honest diary writing. Be open to learning about yourself as you write.
- Think about your past before you begin writing in your diary. What do you wish you remembered? Do you wish you had better memories of your grandmother's laugh? Do you wish you took greater time to commit to memory the smell of your childhood bedroom on Thanksgiving morning as your mother fixed breakfast? Use these longings as a guide in your diary. Record, in detail, those moments that feel precious to you and that you'll long to recall later on.
- You should be as honest in your descriptions as you are in your venting. You want your diary to preserve your memories and perspective of an event. Do not talk about how your girlfriend's hair "shone brighter than the Northern Lights" if you've never witnessed the northern lights. Talk about things in terms that make sense to you. For example, you could say your girlfriend's hair "glistened like sun reflecting off the headlights of a car mid-afternoon." While perhaps a less romantic comparison, it's authentically yours
- Write in your diary around the same time each day. This way, writing in your diary will become as much a part of your schedule as brushing your teeth at night or showering in the morning.
- Do not set a schedule you do not think you can keep. If you don't reasonably think you'll be able to write in your diary every night, don't commit yourself to doing so. Instead, choose a more lax schedule. Plan on writing an entry 3 times a week instead.
- Pick a time to write where you do not have other obligations or external time constraints.
Write short entries when you're pressed for time. Everyone gets busy from time-to-time. If you're in a rush, just write a shorter entry. Jot down the bare minimum of your feelings and thoughts. Get out whatever feels most pressing and immediate. You can always record more about an event later in the week when you have time. Simply try to get out the basic details before you forget
- Some people having a particular illustration or type of illustration on each page. For example, if you have a cat you're attached to you could draw a small sketch of your cat at the bottom of each page. If you want to get more detailed, consider drawing the cat different based on seasons. In the summer, he could be wearing sunglasses. He could be sledding in the winter.
- You could also include illustrations of some the material you're writing about. You could add a small sketch at the end of the entry or sketch in the margins. Draw pictures of the people you saw that day, the food you ate, the movies you watched, really anything memorable
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