I was twelve years old when my sister presented me with a diary for my birthday. I can still remember the excitement and wonder that I felt, looking down at the object in my hand. It had a drawing of a cartoon rabbit (frolicking in a rainbow’d world) splashed across the cover, but the words, “Secret Diary”, emblazoned in red across the top, really caught my attention, along with the shiny silver padlock that held the diary tightly closed.
Four secret diaries and six years later, I headed off to university and my writing transitioned into other forms. The diaries, however, had taught me how to tap into my innermost feelings and experiment with ways to articulate them – a valuable practice for any writer.
It seems fitting that twenty years later, it would be my sister who reintroduced me to the pleasure of keeping a daily diary, by presenting me with a rather more grown-up version for a Christmas present. Holding the book in my hands at the start of the year, brought back to me the excitement I had felt as a child receiving my first diary. Opening it each day and putting pen to paper, somehow feels like a nostalgic indulgence in this technology-led world, where everything is written through the fingertips.
As the year draws to a close, I haven’t missed a single day of diarising and have enjoyed every moment of it. I find that a six-line entry focuses me on the positives, allows my mind to briefly reflect on the day and my brain to switch off as the book closes and the pen is laid down.
… I have already purchased a new diary for next year and can’t wait to do it all over again.