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Evaine
12-10-2006, 11:40 PM
I've been thinking recently about our local famous author, the Rev Francis Kilvert, a Victorian clergyman. In fact, he was a diarist, rather than an author, and never intended his work to be published. Instead, he was using his diaries as writing practice, working towards the day that he would write that best selling novel.
Sadly, he died suddenly at the age of 37, and never realised his dream.

So, does anyone here write a diary (or a blog) and, if so, do they treat it as writing practice towards the goal of that best selling novel?

To set the ball rolling, I used to write a diary. In fact, I'm waiting for one of the people I wrote about to die so I can publish!
However, since I got down to serious work on my novel, I haven't touched my diary at all.

aadams73
12-11-2006, 12:02 AM
Nope. I've never been able to stay interested in a diary for more than a week.

smiley10000
12-11-2006, 01:33 AM
I wrote in a diary religiously starting in grade six until three quarters of the way through high school. I still have it. It's interesting to go back and read it now. I can see the voice I write in today developing over the years of writing.

I have tried to get back into it but I find I would rather spend my writing time writing fiction nowadays.

It was good practice and I don't think a single word was wasted no matter how mundane and plotless my middle class life was.

:)10000

WildScribe
12-11-2006, 01:35 AM
I have one from high school, but I don't write anymore. Not in a diary, I mean. I'm with smiley: ficiton is far more tempting.

janetbellinger
12-11-2006, 01:49 AM
I've written in a journal every morning for the past five years. I've never looked at it as writing practice, but just a place where I can record my thoughts and feelings. It's the first thing I do in the mornings after I've fed the animals. I settle into an easy chair with a coffee and take my time. Sometimes I end up writing poetry that I use later but I never plan it that way. I often write about my concerns about and plans for my novels there too. If I am working, I set the alarm two hours early just so I can take my time writing in my journal. It's very important to me.

stormie
12-11-2006, 02:00 AM
I was given a diary (the kind with the tiny key where the lock could be picked easily) when I was thriteen. It was the five year kind where there wasn't much space to write. When I had something I just had to pour my heart out about, I added notepaper and tucked it inside. After the five years were up, I started keeping journals. I'd only write when I felt like I wanted to.

As the years go by, I write in the journal less and less, but my writing for pay is more time consuming. Besides, if I have something to say, I write an essay and submit it. Nice to be paid for my thoughts!

Carrie in PA
12-11-2006, 03:03 AM
I don't keep a diary, but I do keep a "gratitude journal". Each day I write 5 things I'm grateful for for that day. It helps keep me focused on the positives in my life.

jenfreedom
12-11-2006, 03:04 AM
I only keep a journal when I'm depressed or pissed - so, thankfully not often. All my journals through high school were full of angst - they're interesting to read now. But with keeping up with writing as a career, my rant (mostly) blog, and life I don't have time to journal now.

~Jennifer

Azure Skye
12-11-2006, 03:08 AM
I've been keeping a journal since 1983 and while I've been faithful to it throughout the years, I find I'm moving away from it as I get older. I have used it as writing practice, yes, but I think of it more as a place to unload.

I need to make a will to have those things burnt after I die.

Scarlett_156
12-11-2006, 03:22 AM
I keep a handwritten journal of my magic practice. I don't update it daily but about once a week or so. Sometimes I just copy stuff from books into it so I don't have to run around looking for a particular book when I want to repeat something.

As far as a personal diary-- I have done this off and on since I was a kid, but stopped a few years ago when I went back and read some of my old journals. I realized that the only time I put anything into a diary is when I am pissed off or depressed. When I'm happy I never journal. Once I realized that, I stopped keeping a diary.

I basically use the entire internet as my personal diary and workbook. I start blogs on various sites, put a lot of work into them for awhile, and either delete them or forget about them. Most of my journaling that I put work into and that I'm proud of consists of forum posts. Sometimes I save them, but most of the time I don't.

I do keep a journal in the computer, but almost 95% of my entries are lists of players' names from RPGs that I play on line-- invite lists, hit lists, attack logs, and stuff like that. I occasionally put bible verses that I like in it, or excerpts of writing that I find on the web, links to stuff that I think is cool, etc. Lately a friend of mine has been writing a lot of lyrics and I have been including his lyrics in my journal-- he's actually sending me some as I'm typing these words. I also know a poet who sends me his stuff to critique and I put that in there, too. So my "real" diary these days doesn't have much of me in it; it's mostly other people.

Jongfan
12-11-2006, 04:12 AM
I kept a journal for a short period of time during a very painful time in my life. I found it theraputic at the time. I have not read it since writing it as it brings back too much emotion.

My 13 year old daughter has kept a journal since 2nd grade. She writes poetry and has started a short story. In her case I think the journal inspired her to write.

She also insists that I keep one when I have to travel without her. It is her way of knowing what I think and feel when we are apart.

janetbellinger
12-11-2006, 05:52 AM
I used to keep a blog at AD, but it didn't take the place of my journal. A blog doesn't provide the tactile satisfaction that pen and ink on paper does.


I kept a diary starting when I was ten years old. I didn't write in it religiously, but I documented the oh-so-important moments of my life at the time (I went to the movies with a boy I liked! Ahhh!). I kept it up partly though high school, but I stopped when the REALLY interesting stuff started happening, partly because I didn't really feel like my diary was private. When I started college, I threw them all away. Since then, I've kept a blog or online journal of some sort, but it's the stuff I want to share with specific people, rather than a private pouring-out of my innermost thoughts and feelings.

Shadow_Ferret
12-11-2006, 07:46 AM
I kept a diary back when I was in high school. I found it a while back and looked through it and it consisted mainly of entries like:

Saturday. Today I read chapter 2 of Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Princess of Mars."
Sunday. Today I read chapter 3 of Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Princess of Mars."

ChaosTitan
12-11-2006, 08:43 AM
I kept one off and on for a while in middle school. I faithfully kept a dream journal for a long time during high school, and boy are those fun to reread sometimes. Several classes in high school and college required daily journals, but those never seemed like anything but work.

I did keep a daily journal during my semester in Los Angeles, though. From the first day of the six-day drive across country with my dad, through every single day of classes and internships and group events, to the drive home with both my parents. It's the only journal I've actually reread entirely from start to finish, and one that I will always treasure.

Ah, good times. :)

Southern_girl29
12-11-2006, 09:20 AM
I did for a long time, most of high school and part of college. I still have the one I kept in high school. I'm not sure what happened with the one I kept in college. I enjoyed it, but it's not really something I want to do now, for some reason.

It's funny to look back at the person I was then and the one I am now. I documented what I said to people. Sometimes, I wish I was as open as I was back then.

blackbird
12-11-2006, 09:23 AM
It's an admirable practice in theory, and I love to read the collected journal entries of famous authors (sometimes these are more interesting than the books they wrote!). I've tried my hand at it several times, but as a couple of others on here have said, I could never make myself stick with it. I get bored after a few days, and would much rather be writing novels, poems and screenplays than recording the innocuous details of my day-to-day life. The same is true for blogging, which in a way is just a modern form of journal or diary writing, only with an audience. I'll be very enthusiastic for a few days, but then, just as with most things, I become bored with it. Next thing I know, I've allowed weeks or even months to go by without updating anything.

I sometimes wish I had recorded various periods of my life more closely, as some of it would no doubt make for fascinating reading at this point. But I'm content to channel most of it into my poems and fiction which, when all's said and done, will be all that matters when my life is over, anyway.:)

jenfreedom
12-11-2006, 10:02 AM
She also insists that I keep one when I have to travel without her. It is her way of knowing what I think and feel when we are apart.

Jongfan...that's the sweetest thing. I'm going to bed with happy thoughts now.

Take care
~ Jennifer

Kudra
12-11-2006, 10:17 AM
I write in my journal every morning as well. It's become a habit now, and the days when I haven't had time or have forgotten to write in it, I feel disoriented.

Celia Cyanide
12-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Nope. I've never been able to stay interested in a diary for more than a week.

Me neither. I've been blessed with an excellent memory, and writing down things I will remember anyway has never held much interest for me.

Chickadee
12-11-2006, 11:05 AM
I keep a journal for my spirituality but I don't write in it regularly, just when I feel as if I have something substantial to write. I've never considered it practice since I write fiction and my journal isn't that.

ModoReese
12-11-2006, 11:28 AM
Kept as diary from about 13-15, then switched to journaling at 16 when our English teacher assigned it. Kept that until I was 24-25 (not daily entries), then dropped it.

I picked it up again when I went back to college at 29, because I wanted to record thoughts about being not only the sole female but also the oldest student in a computer tech course, but it sort of spun out of control into journaling again. Which is ok, because I think I might have actually gone crazy without it.

Still keep it - write about twice a week - make a point of writing about the good stuff as much as the bad stuff. I have no delusions about this writing - it's of no interest to anyone but me (and perhaps the odd co-worker), and while I should be working on my writing, some days the venting in the journal clears the mind so I'm more fit to work on the "real" writing....

Michelle

seun
12-11-2006, 01:42 PM
I kept one between the ages of 11 and 23. By the time I stopped writing (at the end of 1999), I felt as if I was writing for an audience. It stopped feeling as personal as it had for years.

TrainofThought
12-11-2006, 06:40 PM
I write in my journal weekly. It is written to someone, so it isnít a writing practice. :)

stormie
12-11-2006, 06:43 PM
I don't keep a diary, but I do keep a "gratitude journal". Each day I write 5 things I'm grateful for for that day. It helps keep me focused on the positives in my life.
I like that.

Cav Guy
12-11-2006, 08:51 PM
I just never felt "important" enough to keep one. That and I have a family that will go through ANYTHING you leave around (and even break into stuff to get at it), so I got conditioned out of leaving any sort of record around.

Evaine
12-12-2006, 08:09 PM
How is "journaling" different from keeping a diary? It's not a distinction I've come across before.

Freckles
12-12-2006, 08:37 PM
I started keeping a diary when I was 9 years old, and for some reason, it's stuck. I'm on my sixth installment now. It's been good writing practice and a good emotional release for me over the years. Plus, they're fun to go back and re-read every now and then. It's an excellent chronology of my life. :)

Carrie in PA
12-12-2006, 08:39 PM
How is "journaling" different from keeping a diary? It's not a distinction I've come across before.

"Journaling" is more high brow. :D

stormie
12-12-2006, 09:24 PM
"Journaling" is more high brow. :D
LOL!

As I see it, a diary is a book, most likely with a tiny lock and universal key, and the pages are already marked with the dates and days.

A journal is more a notebook of some sort, with no set day or date on each page.

A diary conjures up images of angst-ridden tweeners and teen-agers. A journal is more "mature." I dunno. Just my thoughts.

ModoReese
12-12-2006, 10:08 PM
Stormie I think that's an excellent assessment. I've also found over the years the "journaling" has become more free-form, whereas a diary is often more "structured" in a way.

But don't hold me to that...

Michelle

FergieC
12-12-2006, 11:15 PM
I keep a writing diary. I call it a writing diary because it isn't really true. Some of it's true, obviously. But if I ever try to keep an actual diary of things that happen it's just dull. So a writing one allows exercises, fiction, vague thoughts, dreams...all sorts of stuff that didn't really happen. The fact that it's private is important too, because a lot of it is stuff I would never say if I thought anyone would read it. It keeps me amused and that's all I care about :)

janetbellinger
12-12-2006, 11:23 PM
I th ink journaling is just old fashioned diaries rediscovered and renamed by certain writing experts who've written whole books about how to write in a journal.

C.bronco
12-12-2006, 11:34 PM
No way. I'm not documenting anything incriminating.

Arisa81
12-13-2006, 12:28 AM
I started keeping diaries when I was about 11 or 12. I have kept them ever since until the last few years. I do still write it one when I need to put my feelings down, but I don't go through a diary a year like I used to. I think I have 10 full diaries. Life is too busy for me to write in one regularly, but it's there for when I want to.

Azure Skye
12-13-2006, 01:26 AM
LOL!

As I see it, a diary is a book, most likely with a tiny lock and universal key, and the pages are already marked with the dates and days.

A journal is more a notebook of some sort, with no set day or date on each page.

A diary conjures up images of angst-ridden tweeners and teen-agers. A journal is more "mature." I dunno. Just my thoughts.

I was just about to say the same thing. When I was a little girl I kept a diary. It had a pretty picture on the front cover and came with a lock. I'm 39 now and I just can't bring myself to say diary.

Arisa81
12-13-2006, 02:30 AM
Yeah, I don't really use the word "diary" anymore. I don't call it anything really, it's just something I do now and then. I don't talk to anyone about it, so I don't say "my journal or diary." LOL

Tiger
12-13-2006, 03:02 AM
I keep one. I also write letters longhand. These are more meditations than record keeping. It keeps things in perspective the next time I'm at my wordprocessor, contemplating the backspace key.

PeeDee
12-13-2006, 03:13 AM
I don't have time to do all the writing I'm getting paid for, let alone writing something to talk to myself about how I don't have time to do all the writing I'm getting paid for.

During high school, my wife and I exchanged diaries. We did this because we were teenagers, and it's the sort of things teenagers do when they live apart from each other and are hopelessly in love (or what passes for love, for teenagers).

A year later, we exchanged back. She had shared her feelings poignantly over the course of quite a lot of pages.

I had written two short stories, done an exercise in writing bad dialogue for a novel, and scribbled stick figures in various states of peril.

Lord knows why she still married me.

stormie
12-13-2006, 04:11 AM
During high school, my wife and I exchanged diaries. We did this because we were teenagers, and it's the sort of things teenagers do when they live apart from each other and are hopelessly in love (or what passes for love, for teenagers).

A year later, we exchanged back. She had shared her feelings poignantly over the course of quite a lot of pages.

I had written two short stories, done an exercise in writing bad dialogue for a novel, and scribbled stick figures in various states of peril.

Lord knows why she still married me.

Ah, true love. Could be the makings for a great YA novel. Duelin' Diaries. Dis N' Dat Diaries. The possibilities are endless!

PeeDee
12-13-2006, 06:37 PM
"Dis N Dat Diaries" sounds like cat food, somehow. :)