Home > Personal Writing > Keeping a Diary

Keeping a Diary

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 31 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Diary; Diaries; Journal; Journaling;

The Savvy Writers' Cerebral "Work Out"

Diaries. They aren't just for bubbly 10-year-old girls anymore. These days, savvy writers, both female and male, have recognized journaling as the richest source of inspiration on the market.

Of course, if you've never written in a diary before, you may find the process a little awkward at first. After all, when you're staring at a blank page that's screaming for your thoughts, it can be rather intimidating. But there's no need to close the book and pop it into a drawer where it'll stay for eons; instead, try writing in your diary using one of the exercises below.

Diary Exercise 1: Dream It, Do It

If you're unsure what to write in your diary, why not start with that vivid dream you had right before you woke up this morning? You know, the one that evoked such intense emotions that you had a difficult time shaking yourself of the feeling you were still asleep. By sketching out everything you remember from the dream - images, colours (some people say you can only dream in black and white; that's debatable), thoughts, people, surroundings, smells, actions - you'll suddenly have a wealth of new insight for an essay, novel, short story, or poem.

Diary Exercise 2: Ready, Set, Go!

Many writers claim they operate best "under the gun". Thus, this exercise allows authors to feel the pressure of a deadline.

First, sit in a comfortable location and pick one object you can see. Then, set a timer or watch for five minutes. Start writing about the object and do not allow yourself to stop until the timer goes off (you'll be amazed at how long five minutes can be!)

At the end of the time limit, you will have written as much as possible about the object. The aim of this exercise is not to pump out a fully developed piece in such a short amount of time; it's to get your adrenaline going by forcing you to think "outside the box" about something as mundane as a coffee cup.

Diary Exercise 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Philosophical

If you're more into "traditional" journaling, why not spend a few minutes every evening writing down three aspects of your day, such as "What happened that was good?", "What happened that was bad?", and "What did I learn from each experience?" It'll force you to put your past 24 hours into perspective, something all good writers need to be able to do. (Sometimes, we have a tendency to get lost in one moment and therefore miss the forest for the trees. This type of exercise helps us get back on track and see the universe instead of each speck of star dust.)

Truly, there are as many diary writing exercises as there are individuals, and how you keep up with your journal writing is a personal choice. Perhaps you prefer a more conservative approach to journaling that includes religiously writing down the main events that happened during the day; on the other hand, maybe you're more of a philosopher and enjoy analyzing one incident you witnessed.

Regardless, once you commit yourself to journaling, you'll soon realize what a powerful tool it can be, and your writing will only benefit.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
i often write my dairy .it makes me really happy and make me realized whole day that i have spend today . i use to write when i'm sad up to limit or happy up to limit but after reading and understanding this article i'll write every day thanks for guiding me
rajni - 31-Jan-13 @ 6:38 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • emz
    Re: Writing a Narrative Script
    if you have a narrator in a play, do his/her lines go in italics and parentheses, or italics and brackets?
    17 September 2020
  • Shizuka
    Re: Writing Romantic Poetry
    ?? ????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????? ??? ???? ????.. ..
    20 June 2020
  • Bys23js9
    Re: Styles of Poetry
    Bruh bruh bruh tell me you hella capping broski on my mama we chillin up in this piece. Shoutout my home slice Abed.
    11 June 2020
  • 4christ
    Re: Script Writing: The Concept
    Pls I used a image for my gig on fiverr hope that did not just offend? I found the image on google images and I used it, pls pardon…
    21 May 2020
  • CunardWhiteStar
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    Hello a new ship being launched in 2030 or 2033 so The ship is called the R.M.S. Lusitania II It Has More Balance for sink It will be…
    6 August 2019
  • Cunard Line
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    RMS Lusitania II is Being Launched on 3030 With More Balance and Lifeboats This Ship can Carry over 3,000 Passengers and 6,000 Crew…
    3 August 2019
  • Yellow Star Line
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    If TITANIC III Sinks TITANIC IIII Will Be Launched on 2043 Anouncement.
    3 August 2019
  • Yellow Star Line
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    TITANIC III Will Be Launched On April 12 2030 It has Over 900 1st class cabins 1,000 Crew members 800 2nd class cabins and 700 3rd…
    3 August 2019
  • Yellow Star Line
    Re: How to Write News Articles
    TITANIC III Will Be launched On 2030 With More Lifeboats Over 101 Boats carried and 1,000 Crew Member 900, 1st class Cabins 800 2nd…
    3 August 2019
  • Kaylie
    Re: Can An Editor Rewrite My Story?
    I saw an old black n white movie that was never made into a book. If I rewrote it with different additives, could I do this…
    10 June 2019