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?