Looking back through an old diary the other day, I came face-to-face with my teenage self and discovered to my surprise how much my views of the world had changed. Although I have only kept a diary for parts of my life, not recorded every day, I now wished I had. What an illuminating experience meeting "me", aged 17, has been!
Keeping a diary that will be useful to you, requires sticking to a few rules though. Try these **tips for keeping a meaningful diary: **
1. Be Honest
Unlike essays or creative writing for fiction, a diary requires the writer to be brutally honest. The thing to remember is that most likely the only person who will ever get to read our daily entries are the writer themselves and perhaps one or two best friends or immediate family members. Having said that, writing a diary should still observe certain rules of style.
Unless the writer is totally honest with their diary entries, there is no point keeping a diary. Why embellish events or play down your role in a situation?
Unless you plan to publish your diary later in life, nobody's going to know that your trousers split or your mascara ran and you looked like a raccoon on your first date!
If you cannot confront what or who brought about a crisis, an argument or mishap, then you won't learn anything from experiences and repeat mistakes time and again. Days blur into each other when we don't record experiences.
A diary reminds us of times of contentment as well as unhappiness and of the things we could have handled differently or better. It is therapeutic to write things down, getting them out of your system as it were.
And this is why diary keeping can improve your life in ways you never imagined: you can look back and decide upon a course of action in the here and now, based on your past experience. If you lie to make yourself look better, you're only deceiving yourself.