Write your story

If you want one terrific book that you will want to come back to again and again, for the rest of your life, it will be the one you write yourself. After all, you are the most interesting person you know.

Write the book of you. Write what you love and what you hate. Write your fears and your desires. Write how it feels to be you.

There are lots of great reasons for keeping a diary but the most important is that it could make you happy. There’s science behind it, read this article on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing.

Writing down your day is great way to put order on all those chaotic thoughts spinning around your mind. When you see them expressed in words, your concerns and worries might seem more manageable. You might see new solutions or you might write down your fears and then shelve them. A diary can serve as a trustworthy confidante or it might serve to help you find the words to talk with a flesh and blood person.

A diary can be a record of your life in big and small ways. You can use it to re-enforce positive habits like healthy eating, exercise or study. Writing down our goals improves your commitment to them.

Remember to write the positive things. Keep a record of your sporting achievements, your academic accomplishments, books you’ve read, cakes you’ve made or pieces of music you’ve learned to play. Remind yourself of the progress you’ve made. Tell yourself that you are great.

Keeping a diary will make you a better writer. You will learn to break down your experiences, analyse your reactions and emotions, and form a coherent story. That’s no small feat. Our list of recommended books includes one factual (Anne Frank) and one fictional (Adrian Mole) diary. Both are inspirational. Louisa May Alcott, George Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald were all noted diarists.

There are forms of diary-keeping to suit all personalities. You can keep it straight-forward by making a daily note with pen on paper. Perhaps indulge in a pretty notebook. Bullet journals can be colourful and functional. There are a multitude of diary apps available some of which allow you to add photographs. Take a look at Penzu, Day One or Red Notebook. You might even consider writing a blog. WordPress make it easy and you can choose to make your blog private or to share it with a limited group.

However you choose to keep a diary and however much or little you write in it, you will be glad you did.

by Lynda O’Gorman