I have kept a diary since I was 16 years old. My very first diary was small and decorated with a balloon design...it details how I felt about everything that was going on at that time in my life, from my very first crush, my parents divorce, GCSE's and my first job in an equestrian centre. These days my diary is filled with hopes, ambitions, dreams, thoughts, spells, manifestations, writing ideas and the occasional PMS strop! If I did not have a diary in which to place my worries, anxieties and personal triumphs I think I would go nuts as I could never carry all that stuff around in my head day after day.
Starting a new diary is like the first day of term when new exercise books were handed out by the teacher. All those blank sheets to fill - 365 pages of possibility! I find this most exciting, and I always make a little note at the beginning of the diary about what I plan to achieve during the coming year. I tick off and date each goal as I achieve it, and transfer those that remain at the end of the year into the next diary. I keep my old diaries in a decorative storage box and I enjoy reading through them now and again - its good to see how far I've come and to see when my current reality began as the seed of a dream; in 2003 I wrote how nice it would be to have my poems set to music so I could sing them - by 2009 my debut album Moon Chants was being released. I have always found that a diary is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy; what you write you can become. There is magic in journal keeping!
I always pick the same style of diary each year; it has to be A5 hard cover and a full page for each day. I find this is just enough space to free up my head space each evening before I sleep. I usually decorate the cover in some way to make it personal - or to act as a Treasure Map of something I want to manifest in my life. This year my diary already has a lovely cover, with a beautiful deep red rose in full bloom and a coordinating bookmark inside so there is no need for me to break out the glue-stick. But adding pictures and symbols to a diary can increase the chances of your goals coming to fruition as the subconscious works to magnetise what you see each day. So diary keeping can be viewed as a magical tool of manifestation.
For me a diary is a very personal thing - I would never let anyone else read them. Partly because I am a private person, but also because if someone vexes me, I take my temper to the page and say what I think in my diary! This makes for harsh reading - but it also prevents me from hurting those I love by saying things I don't really mean in the heat of the moment. A diary is also a great form of daily writing - it frees the creative mind and gets the Muse on side. Personally I like my diary, and indeed my blog and Twitter account, which is a more public online diary, to be very relaxed writing. I am not too concerned with grammar and spelling here...I just need to write. For anyone wanting to become a published writer I urge you to keep a diary as it will get you into the habit of daily writing, which is essential for a professional approach to the craft of authorship. It is a great way to incorporate your 10 minutes a day of writing time into a busy life...and you may well become tomorrow what you write today, so pick up a diary in the sales and use your diary time to create the life you want to live!