There must be as many styles of diarist as there are varieties of ice cream in the universe, and equally as many motivations for initially picking up a pen and applying it to paper. my flavour of choice tends towards the intermittent, dusted with crisis sprinkles and a dollop of good intentions. like David Cameron's description of his Christian faith "a bit like Magic FM in the Chilterns, it comes and goes."
The muse tends to raise her head when life becomes a bear pit and there's no escape route for the emotions swirling around inside and, apparently, the exit has morphed into the wall without a release switch and there's not a single doubt that i'm destined to be bear's dinner. That's the moment the stash of pretty notebooks that live in my cupboard get raided, a handful of coloured, sparkly gel pens are clutched and i vow to keep at it this time.......just like all the other times.
Advocates of journalling will expound at length on it's benefits and hold up it's worthies as guiding lights. it's hard not to admire Mr. Pepys for grabbing his diary rather than his wife in The Great Fire, or Anne Frank ensconced in her attic pouring out her heart as Holland burned. You and i probably wont be destined for equal standing in history but that doesn't mean it's a worthless venture, if only as a reminder in years to come of the person you are today and the way you lived you life.
I wish i could tell you that when re-reading my early journals i can see how much i've grown and improved but........i would lie !!! the demons that haunted me in the 70's and 80's are still hovering at the edges of my existence, the flaws and faults of character are still battling for my soul, but.......their all encompassing strength is diminished, they wield less power, consume less energy. if there was no record with which to compare it would be easy to think there was no change, no improvement, no growth.......how defeating that would be.
You may think you would face that blank page and have nothing to say, that your life involves nothing worth writing down, that nobody else would ever be interested. but you know something?......that really doesn't matter. when the time comes for my children to empty my home of all that has made me jeni my diaries will most likely end up in the recycling bin........it really doesn't matter because they aren't written for others they are written for my future self as a reminder of who i was and who i hoped to become.
A blog is a form of journal. a place to let the creative juices run free, to put into print your personal thoughts on issues of import, or simply to ramble on about your latest passion or random fancy. the one big difference, of course, is that bloggers half hope someone will read their witterings, maybe even enjoy them, and hopefully come back for the next instalment. now......you may be a far finer person than me, for whom the following confession wouldn't be a necessary caveat, but.......my human fallibility leads me to keep my failings and frailties purely between the covers of the hardback journals for my consumption only, to be revealed after my demise when i can't see the disappointment in the eyes of those i love. sad......but true.
Are you tempted to have a go? all you need is a notebook and pen, or computer and doc and a short time set aside to catch the fleeting moments of your life. nobody needs to see, so no need to be shy or embarrassed about the results, simply put down the events of the day and the emotions that those events stirred. keep at it, then re-read. you might be surprised how in retrospect you find patterns in life, both positive and negative, and how distance puts our dramas into perspective and balance.