I’ve never kept a journal or a diary. The idea always seemed odd to me. It reminded me of books by Judy Blume that I read when I was a kid. I wasn’t the type, I thought, to write “Dear Diary” to nobody in particular.
Colleagues, friends, significant others — they’ve been chronic journalers. Some have talked about the healing and restorative power that keeping a diary brings to their writing. Others say they don’t want to forget where they were (physically, mentally, emotionally) on, for example, March 3, 2012. I could give an educated guess, I suppose. I could search my e-mails, maybe, or go through my computer’s files to see if I created or modified any that day.
Because I write mostly fiction, I was never terribly interested in the reportage that I associate with diaries. It intrigues me, however, to be able to look back into my own mind, like a daily mental time capsule. It’s not exactly what happened that I find interesting, but how I would choose to record it.
Maybe the trick for me is not to write about what happened, but write what I think will happen. The entries could be a preparation for the day instead of a distillation of it. The notebooks I would fill would be full of hope and possibilities.
Today I will write my first entry.”