The Habit of Diary Writing


Who can forget The Diary of Anne Frank which is frank and compelling to read? A victim of the holocaust, the diary was her means of expression during the times she and her family hid during German occupation. It clearly describes her experiences during the Nazi control of the Netherlands.

Even though Anne Frank died in the concentration camps, her diary was published by her father who made her internationally famous. That is the power of a diary which remains long after we are gone.

Though our diaries need not be so spectacular, diary writing plays a significant role in our lives. Howʼs that? You ask. Let us find out.

So what is a diary?

It is the place where you write about your experiences. You can record your experiences, goals, your mistakes and successes in life.

What are its benefits?

· A diary helps you keep focused. You write about your goals and aspirations, how you are striving to achieve them. In this way, it helps you keep track of your progress. Encouraging kids to write their goals in a diary helps them think with clarity in the future as their thoughts are focused. Goals may change but the act of writing makes kids focused in their lives.

· It helps you chalk out solutions better. Angry words, hurtful actions when seen in a diary help you understand yourself better and how you could have reacted. Problems are easier to solve in diaries.

· Diary writing also sharpens your memory. You and your kids will benefit from this activity a lot as it helps you recall things of the day and gives your brain an exercise.

· It inculcates the habit of discipline. The act of writing a page or two every day at the same time is a discipline by itself.

· The act of writing helps you to introspect and see where things have gone wrong. It helps you in the inner voyage of life and makes you feel more serene towards life situations. Writing is very therapeutic, you see.

· For teenagers, it can solve problems, act as their friends and contribute to a reduction in stress. It helps them deal with peer pressure and encourages them to see things with clarity. The art of writing helps them express their feelings clearly and frankly, helps them vent frustrations and solves their personal issues.

How to write a diary?

Simple, a diary is for your eyes alone. So don’t be too concerned about grammar and vocabulary. Use I and me in the sentences and use symbols, sketches if you feel the need to be very expressive.

What should you write about?

Most importantly, a diary should record your personal experiences. So you can write about the dayʼs experiences, your joys, sorrows, your friendships, betrayal, your hateful boss, about the job – anything which happens during the day. You can also divide your diary into:

· Personal diary which is all about you, your goals, dreams, day experiences, your hobbies, etc.

· Nature dairy which can be your explorations with nature like plants, birds etc. It could also show your gardening efforts, bird-watching documentary, etc.

· Travel diary which records places you visit, your experiences with people, cuisine etc.

· Art diary which is about the place where you practice drawing, sketching, painting, etc.

· Hobby diary which could be about anything from cooking to knitting and reading which you are pursuing.

For a diary writing to be successful your writing should be consistent. So always date your diary and set a time to write your diary. Even setting aside 10 minutes a day for diary writing helps in making the diary writing a habit.

Tips to get started:

· Get those nice colorful diaries which make writing such fun. Hunt for beautiful diaries with your kids. Jeweled diaries, parchment diaries, colorful kids’ diary will motivate you to start writing.

· Use colorful pens, sketching, photographs and stickers to make diary-writing activity fun. Both kids and teenagers will love these.

· If you are one of those forget me types, then use online diaries. You can create your own diary, personalize it and start writing. Such online sites also send you remainders in case you forget to update your diary. Some examples of such sites are Live Journal, My-Diary, edailydiary.

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