The first thing that came to my mind when I reached D was “D for Dialogues” but then I noticed I had used this in the 2011 A to Z Challenge. Having decided not to use the same theme for even one of the alphabets, I needed to think of something else. So this year, I am going with D for Diary as I have been writing diaries ever since I can remember.
The origins of the word we are told by the Free Dictionary come from the Latin “diarium” which means daily allowance or daily journal. Stretching my mind a bit, I know I maintained a diary scrupulously from the time I was 15 or so. This means, I realise with a shock, that I have been following this habit for close to five decades!! I still have a mental image of the old dairies. I remember their covers, well some of them, not all and while I remember a few extracts, I must confess that most of then have been destroyed with the passage of time. Who, other than me perhaps, would be interested in knowing what I did in ’68 when I was a teen ager?
I may have been influenced by the famous story of Anne Frank during the Second World War in “The Diary Of A Young Girl” written during the time when The Netherlands were occupied by Nazi Germany. This book has been translated in 60 languages and caught the imagination of people spanning generations for its simplicity and directness. The innocence of the young girl comes through in the diary entries.
For many years I used the conventional diary which runs from January 1 to December 31. I then realised that I didn’t write the same amount each day, particularly over the last few years. On some days, I had a lot to write about, while on others there wasn’t much at all. I then shifted to a journal where I write the dates myself. This gives me the flexibility to write more or less on any given day. After all, for a diarist it is disappointing to see blank pages for any particular day.
What do I write about? I mention important things that I need to track, like payment of high value bills, renewal of licences and policies and the like. I write about all that I did in that day and also about my observations on anything that caught my fancy which could well be a news item, a new book or a meeting with family and friends.
I enjoyed reading “A Point of View: The Art Of the Diary” by Joan Bakewell in the BBC news magazine. I hope you will too….who knows you might begin to record your observations on life in your diary.