The Magic of writing a diary (or journal)

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When I started writing this diary seven years ago I had no idea it would grow to the size it has done. Normally my attention span is very small and I soon lose interest and do something else. This character trait shows itself most with books which I start to read and give up about page 50.

There are three aspects to doing anything apart from conceiving it. The first is looking forward to something and making plans, the second phase is actually doing the action or plan or activity, and the third is looking back on it with hopefully fond memories.

If the event did not live up to your expectations then what did you learn from it? Put it in the bank of experience.

When I read my diaries I remember, often with pleasure, the circumstances in which I did something and the lessons I learned. With the benefit of hindsight and hopefully a bit more maturity I can learn even more. Sometimes I’m amused at how superficial I was or how I reacted to something when I would now react in the same way if I did the same action today.

I do not know exactly how many readers I have because I do not think any  stats packages 100% reliable. Maybe 100 a day. I do get messages from people from time to time normally complementing me on my work but the other day I had a rather nice letter from someone with whom I regularly deal with on other bases.

By the way I really liked your recent Weston-super-Mare diary page
Because we lived there as children; my dad had 2 shops in Weston:
a (then) organic fruit, veg and grocery shop, right opposite the Odeon, which we lived above, plus a shop in Weston Boulevard in a classic building right next to a Weston newspaper headquarters shop.
Those were the days.
I hope that folk draw something from what I write and I hope that people are encouraged to write diaries.  Readers will recall that when I was on Hampstead Heath London I saw a young lady who was assiduously doing her journal and she said it was the thing that got her through the covid phase. That’s magic!
Also the act of writing a diary makes me think about what I did and in a way it acts like a dot connector. As I have been doing this for so long I don’t know whether my learning is enhanced but I’m certainly far more alert and aware knowing that later on the same day I’m going to share the knowledge and experience that I have with someone else albeit an unknown group of people.
I got into trouble once because I described a rather eccentric car seller when I was trying to buy another Volvo and although I did not mention his name, he somehow saw the diary entry and did not like my remarks about him and called me up at 1:30 in the morning on my mobile to complain. Fortunately I was asleep at the time. I did not do business with him strangely enough.
The were indeed gaps particularly during the covid era when I was confused about what was going on. In retrospect I should have written more but hey what’s done or not done is in the past.
I just feel it is important for everyone to feel that they are a part of history and if writing a diary is what it takes then so be it.   With close to 1 million words I cannot remember all the details so it is quite useful to go back and see when I did something and what I did.
The only thing I miss is feedback and people sharing their experiences with me. I would love to hear more from people and I would like to encourage anyone who is thinking of writing a diary or journal. I will do what I can to help them.
We do not know what we know unless we tell somebody, and a diary is as good a way of doing it as any other way.
Thanks to Francoise for correcting my mistakes.  It is so easy to make an error when you’re familiar with the material. The speech to text software I use does make silly mistakes sometimes for example I say ‘Francoise’ perfectly clearly but it always puts Frost wires but that’s all part of the fun I suppose.

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