Friday, August 27, 2010

The book that happened when I was doing other things

When I was twelve I started keeping diaries. This coincided, curiously enough, with the time I discovered boys. I have not read over these diaries, not even once, but I know they are filled with longings for this crush or that one. At times the thought of what is in these diaries has made me cringe and I've nearly thrown them out on several occasions. I'm exceedingly glad I didn't. They came in handy just the other week. I was talking to someone with whom I had a brief entanglement with five years ago and we were reminiscing about our week together. We quibbled over one detail and I ran to get that year's diary--and there it was. We had run into one another at that particular restaurant. And then we had a good laugh as I read him passages down the web cam, him on a sunny New York morning and me in the cold hours past midnight.

I don't keep personal diaries anymore. I have writing diaries instead. Though the line between the two has blurred this year. I'm introducing more of the personal side again, and I like that. (Yep, that does include talking about boys!)

Today marks a momentous occasion for me. The start of a new writing diary. The old one has been with me since February 2009 and I'm very attached to it. It contains all my noted from YA writing class; the scrap of paper that marked the first jolt of inspiration for Lharmell; plotting epiphanies for the trilogy; all the anguish and despair and joy of querying; the exaltation and celebration of various milestones; word counts. It contains love letters and longings. Scraps of memories from my childhood that, though happy, were strangely painful to recall.

It is the stuff of my life--a fat purple notebook, and it is full. So I guess I wrote a book. But this one will never see the light of day beyond my small and infrequent consultations.

Do you keep a writing diary? What do you put in it?


  1. I love that you were able to read part of your diary to him in the warm morning light of New York while you huddled in the dark down under. It almost makes me wish I still kept a diary. What a charming blog. As always.

  2. Thank you darls! I was furiously blushing over some passages, and declined to read others out! Ha.

  3. I've kept writing diaries in the past though, since I can never read my handwriting, I don't tend to re-read them much.

    I do always have a notebook for my current wip so that I can jot down everything I need to do the next day, not to mention figuring out curly plot points. I used to use crappy exercise books but I've just bought myself a fancy leather bound A4 pad for my next project, I'm very excited and might even try and use my 'neat' writing!!!

  4. Sadly, I don't have a writing diary. I wish I did. All I have are a bunch of spiral notebooks, napkis, scraps of papers, and post-it notes all scribbled on and tacked together or floating about my desk. I'm horribly disorganized, but somehow it all comes together. But your What a treasure that must be to you. Man, I wish I had thought to keep something like that.

  5. Hahaha... I kept my first real diary at about 11 to 12. Yes, it contained hidden desires for a crush or two, some momentarily outbursts of emotions of happiness, sadness and teenage angst. those were the days... i burnt half the diary after my sister discovered it though, and now i do regret it, because those childish writings were a part of growing up. on and off i do scribble writings down on notepads, notebooks, and just about anything without keeping one specific diary. instead, i choose to blog. looks like diaries have evolved. except that blogging is one part private, one part exhibitionist and one part narcissitic... nevertheless, who knows when you do become so famous one day, you'd have fodder for your memoirs... =D cheers.