For the past couple of weeks I’ve been obsessing over the idea of keeping a diary, like one I’d (try) to write in every day that would be mostly just for my eyes (until after my death, when the world of course will demand access to every piece of paper that bears my distinctive handwriting on it). I’ve also been wanting to try art journaling, so I suppose I could try to combine the two, though I also thought that I should probably carry around a smaller notebook, to record my thoughts as they come to me, rather than waiting until I can get them down in a diary later.
All signs point to this being great for creativity. David Sedaris has an essay in his new book about how some of what he writes down in his diary ends up in his public writing. He notes observations, sayings, quotes from other people—at his book signing last week, I saw him take a small notebook out of his pocket and write down a bit of slang someone in front of me used. So I want to do this. Because I have some weird thing about time frames (though it’s likely just another form of procrastination), I’ve decided to officially start on my birthday, a little more than two months from now.
Here’s the problem: I doubt my ability to keep up with it for any real period of time. I’ve tried it before, and eventually slacked off. I know how I get about things, and I know that, despite this being a private venture, I’ll still question whether or not things are worth writing down. I’ll get lazy, I’ll tell myself “write about it tomorrow,” and then tomorrow will turn into a few days later, and then a week, and then a month, and then before I know it I’ve got yet another half-filled notebook sitting in a pile somewhere in my bedroom. I will do the best I can to not try to put any sort of expectations on it, or worry about cohesion or if my writing is any good. I’m not writing a novel, after all. Nevertheless, there’s a very good chance this won’t go anywhere.
But I’ll try. It’ll be good for me. Right? Right. I wish I had a “diary buddy,” or whatever, someone who would hold me accountable for keeping up with it.