Tis Pity He's a Writer

Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor

The Stuff That’s in Your Diary

How I long to look, into that little book, the one that has the lock and key.

I never kept a diary.  I always (and I’m ashamed of this) thought it was just for girls to write sissy, mushy, girly stuff in. I’m sorry now that I didn’t keep a diary. I now know that I wouldn’t have written sissy, mushy, girly stuff in it. I would have written whatever the opposite of that is.

And today I would urge everyone – girl, boy, whatever – to start keeping a diary on the day they are born (although they may need help holding the pen early on). It doesn’t need to be sensational, smarmy or titillating. Just record things that are happening so that later – like now – when your mind is getting just a little bit foggy on history (the Norman invasion, the Emancipation Proclamation, second grade) you can goose your memory.

Wouldn’t it be magic to be able to look back at September 26, 1954, and find out that you had meatloaf, mashed potatoes and canned corn for dinner and that you watched Hopalong Cassidy on TV and that the girl next door let you touch her penny loafers?

It’s not that I’m that I’m trying to relive my past — it’s material, people, material.  So lacking a diary, I’ve decided to reconstruct one.  Given my memory, I may have to make some things up — oh, that would make it a memoir, wouldn’t it.

“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, never forget.” “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Did you keep a diary? Did you start off each entry with Dear Diary? Did you write any improper things in it? Are you going to share them with us?  C’mon, open up.

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14 comments on “The Stuff That’s in Your Diary

  1. Grass Oil by Molly Field
    September 30, 2012

    i did and i didn’t keep a diary. i had one; i liked the idea of it. it had a key and was covered in some sort of patent leather on paper lilly pulitzer type print. pink, orange, green. a key. it had a key. i started to write in it and naturally it became the hunted thing in our house. so i didn’t write in it. i wish i had. sometimes. no, that wasn’t me. nevermind. good post.

    Like

    • Richard Daybell
      September 30, 2012

      A pretty diary is like a melody — unless there’s nothing written in it. Thank you.

      Like

  2. prernatalreja
    September 30, 2012

    I did – and I hadn’t read any of my posts for years, until recently. It made me realize how glad I am that I am not longer a teenager! 😀 Every problem in those years seems amplified.

    Having said that, it was a great walk down memory lane – with descriptions of events, interactions with friends, complaints about the world, and, most important, a fair amount of sarcastic comments!

    Like

    • Richard Daybell
      September 30, 2012

      It is wonderful not to be a teenager, and have those sarcastic comments — and material.

      Like

  3. unprecedence0923
    September 30, 2012

    Reblogged this on unprecedence0923.

    Like

  4. howanxious
    September 30, 2012

    Haha..
    I once started writing in a diary with the hope that it would be a decent experience but I ended up cursing every person I met.
    So it was a sad goodbye for I didn’t want to get addicted to doing so(lol)!

    Like

    • Richard Daybell
      September 30, 2012

      Perhaps you needed to slow down by cursing only every other person. It’s worked for me.

      Like

  5. melanielynngriffin
    September 30, 2012

    Absolutely! I’ve kept a journal since 1970, and one of my biggest regrets is that I burned the one from 1968-70.When I get the courage to read thru them all, there will be plenty of material! Check out my post on this…sounds as if it’s not just women who need encouragement to journal. melanielynngriffin.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/women-wrestling-with-writing/

    Like

  6. elroyjones
    October 2, 2012

    Dear Gawd! I kept a diary for years. I too destroyed the evidence, at some point in the late 80s, without fanfare or regret. It’s bad enough to remember all that I do. I don’t need any lingering liabilities in getting on and getting over.

    Like

  7. I have kept one only intermittently during my adult life and now regret that I have no contemporaneous record of some of the most important moments. And, as you say, it is valuable material for any writer. The advent of the blog has, of course, plugged the gap to some extent in recent times and is something I will certainly maintain for the remainder of my life.

    Like

    • Richard Daybell
      April 2, 2013

      I suppose the blog works, but you can’t hide it under your pillow. I enjoyed yours, and your take on a favorite city. Thanks for visiting.

      Like

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This entry was posted on September 30, 2012 by in Those Were the Days, I S'pose and tagged , , , , , , .
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