Thursday, April 4, 2013

Diaries

I have a weird relationship with diaries.

Every year, towards the end of December, I find signs outside every books/stationery store proclaiming 'insert-next-year diaries available.' And I can't resist taking a peek. There are diaries of all sizes: small enough to just serve as pocketbooks, medium-sized ones that will patiently hear your thoughts out and those humongous executive-style diaries. There are glossy, embossed, hardbound, spiral-bound, even diaries with hand-made paper. And don't forget the colours. And the patterns!

Some diaries I've seen were so beautiful, they deserved to be called works of art.

The sheer variety is mind-boggling. If only notebooks were this pretty! I might have actually completed schoolwork on time. But no, we students have to endure the mass-produced monotonous monstrosities.

However, I understand. Diaries are intended to be our confidants, storehouses of our deepest (and sometimes, darkest) thoughts, our most private emotions. We can vent all our feelings, with the added benefit that no one interrupts or gets offended. Even if you use it just to remind you of meetings or whatever, they are a part of you. Close to you. Which is why, I feel, there's so much diversity in the diaries produced, for it makes people believe they have a unique copy, giving a sense of belonging.

Finally, after hours of looking through the piles of diaries, I end up buying one. (Man, the good ones are expensive.) Every year, I promise to myself that I will document each day of my life, reflect on what I did and think about what can I do to make my life better. Every year, I manage this for the first few weeks, except for the reflecting and evaluating part. Then I miss a few days and the next time I remember I have a diary, I think, “Oh, the continuity is lost. I'm going to stop writing.”

And the lovely, precious, beautiful – did I say pricey? – diary finds itself untouched for the rest of the year. This happens every single year. Every. Single. Year.

Until the last one, when I found a solution. I used my partially-used diary to record ideas for poems and short stories, note down phrases/quotes that could come in handy for essays, write the first draft of my poems, then edit, edit, edit all the way.

Well, I could do the same thing with ordinary notebooks. But then, people could write their thoughts in ordinary notebooks as well; why use diaries?

I guess that's it. I've exhausted all my diary-related thoughts. Oh wait, there's one more: For some odd reason, my dad hasn't given me a diary this year. Guesses, anyone? :D




Sorry, my thoughts are a bit... scattered. I was almost going to give up thinking about a topic with D, but then inspiration struck in the eleventh hour (literally) and then it was a race against time to get my ideas into a cohesive form. Or maybe not-so-cohesive.

#AtoZChallenge2013

30 comments:

  1. I need a diary. Sometimes scattered is the only way to get to where we are going.. Editing once we get there is the hard and fun part.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I agree. Editing is hard, but also fun. And it involves a lot of 'what-rubbish-have-I-written' and, of course, face-palming.

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  2. I haven't kept a cohesive diary since I was about ten, but I do have abandoned scraps and tablets with notes and thoughts floating around. Great "D" post.

    New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com

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    1. Scraps of paper usually get lost here. Blame my lack of organization.

      Nice to have you here, Sylvia. Thanks for following and I hope you'll enjoy future posts. :)

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  3. I keep a diary. I find it really helpful when I'm pissed off and want to vent about things..that's pretty much the only time I write in it. In anyone were to read them, I'd seem like the world's worst person, I'm sure.

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    1. ... Which is exactly why I make sure I keep my diary locked away :D

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I have always struggled to keep a diary. Writing about myself is boring or annoying...I get fed up quickly and then hope no one ever reads it. Please stop by http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ if you have the chance and sign up if you like what you see.

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  5. Hi Zainab - Dear Diary .. the main thing is - you're recording your ideas and thoughts for the future ... and at least they're written down .. good for you.

    Enjoy the A - Z .. cheers Hilary

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  6. You did good in this A-Z post. I've kept diaries since I was a child. I still have a few...but recently trashed some that I had written through my divorce and all. I wouldn't want my sons to eventually find that and read it.

    Nice to meet you!

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  7. That is a great idea because I used to do the SAME THING! I love beautiful diaries so much, the words I put in them have to be AMAZING and then I never write anything. So silly. I am going to find my half written in books and start putting story ideas in there - you are so smart :) Great post.

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  8. Never did get into diaries much, but I do enjoy blogging, which I believe many people use as a sort of diary these days.

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  9. I am guilty of starting diary after diary and then stopping a month or so later...yet I do love the thought!


    Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run

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  10. I agree. Diaries are sacred. Mine is full of poems. Some of them I re-publish on my blog but the ones closest to my heart stay there. Happy A-Zing zainab! :)

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  11. Diaries do have to be picked carefully, I agree..
    I'm very lucky because somebody always happens to gift me a lovely diary on my birthday that I can use for the coming year :)

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  12. I have exactly the same problem! I've given up with buying diaries now, and just have a notebook that I use as a diary ... when I can be bothered!

    Grover
    Inane Ramblings

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  13. My mum writes in her dairies every night and she always says one day I can read them and laugh. Because she says she writes the biggest load of shite.

    I don't believe her.

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  14. Ha ha! I'm exactly the same way! I always want to be the kind of person who writes religiously in a journal, but without fail I end up using it to jot down story ideas and to revise. I guess a writing journal is all I'll ever have, but it's better than nothing.

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  15. I can't resist buying a notebook or diary with a cover that I think is so inspirational to write in. Like you, the daily or occasional writing gets old quickly. That's okay though. When I do need to write a thought, I just pick up whatever old notebook or diary happens to be lying near by. Works for me.

    I'm AtoZing at
    Take 25 to Hollister
    Don't be a Hippie

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  16. I try to write daily in a journal but that doesn't always go to plan. For me - a diary is more for planning what I need to do.

    Planning With Printed Portal
    Putting Pen to Paper

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  17. Sometimes it's the thought that counts whether the diary is beautiful, pricey or poorly used. As someone commented...a Blog is a diary for all to see with no key...unless you choose otherwise. I'm glad you choose to share yours.
    Sue~CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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  18. I love to look at all those beautifully bound diaries in the stores. Then I think to myself what it deserves is beautiful thoughts and feelings written in lovely penmanship and I pass them by...

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  19. I have a stack of cool journals I've picked up at sales but I don't buy diaries.

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  20. This is funny to me on a few levels.

    1) I used to do that exact thing with diaries, they'd end up being idea books!

    2) You'd stop writing when continuity's lost in the diary, but now you're doing the A-to-Z challenge, which is based on consistent, daily writing lol.

    Keep ryzin', Zainab!

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  21. Gosh I have the exact same problem with diaries as you! In the past, Starbucks in Philippines would even have this gimmick where you'd get a free diary if you complete 21 stamps - 1 stamp for every 1 coffee bought. Those would turn out be to be very expensive diaries and I'd dutifully use them the first few weeks then - nothing. This year I finally decided to not a buy a diary. My first time not to have one! Haha.


    A-Z challenger from Deecoded

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  22. I did the same thing for many years. I think it was because everyone else was saying "You're a writer. Writers keep diaries." I never found daily ramblings of much interest. The only one I did keep, for about six months, was when I was deployed to Desert Storm. In a way, I wish I kept it better. I wrote down about a friendship that self-destructed, but I didn't talk about the place.

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  23. I love this post, mainly because I don't keep a diary, but I love diaries. Like you, I use them basically for note-taking. I guess the pretty little book just inspires more ideas. My notes aren't just for my writing either; I use them for my notes on web development, computer engineering, and science-y invention ideas as well. :)

    The A to Z blog said in the latest post to add a link to your own A to Z blog in the comments, so here's mine: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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  24. O I have diaries from way back when! Note books and journals - so so many in different shapes and sizes, colours - I so love them. I have a tiny moleskin that fits into my very small purse, and in there I also have the tiniest little note book that came out of a Christmas cracker! For me I would be lost without my diaries and note books.
    Susan Scott's Soul Stuff

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  25. I love diaries, too, though now keep everything electronically. Still, I make planning calendars on paper, doodle to my hearts content...lovely post, glad you got over your scatteredness-with-D and came up with this!

    http://cynthia-reed.blogspot.com/

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  26. I too live diaries. I am not as good about writing in mine now but for a while I wrote in one every day. I plan on keeping them.

    http://www.m5carolin.blogspot.com

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  27. I have never been able to maintain a diary. I have decided my blog is like a diary, and here it is April and I am still writing. I didn't get started until February, maybe that is the thing for me, I can't start when everyone else does. Anyway, I really enjoyed your post! I am a fellow A-Z Blogger.

    http://agutandabutt.blogspot.com/

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