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The Benefits of Writing a Diary

Updated on February 6, 2015
lawdoctorlee profile image

Ms.Treadwell is a licensed attorney and the author of "How Do Hurricane Katrina's Winds Blow: Racism in 21st Century New Orleans."

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I have kept a diary since my childhood, although I have not been able to save them all; and I keep/write diaries in many different ways. Some of my diaries are kept regular journal style. Some are brief comments kept in calendars. I write in all of the books I own as I read – my thoughts about what I read and my opinions about the respective author.

My textbooks from law school look like a young child “ripped through them” - worn out pages with comments in the margins explaining to myself in English what it all means and then a kaleidoscope of highlighted paragraphs. Heaven knows, as a lawyer, I wrote thousands of pages. I can write in my sleep (just kidding)!

Finally, in my first three months of writing for HubPages, I published 42 hubs/articles. I'm up to about 65 now. Yes, HubPages has become another diary of mine. It’s a diary of issues that are important to me and my feelings and experiences along the way.

There are many reasons to keep a diary; and I will share them with you in my Top Ten Style.


Top Ten Reasons to Keep a Diary

1. The more you write the better you get. Writing is such a important skill to develop, particularly in this information world. Whether it is an email to a friend or applying for jobs online, grammar, spelling, and the ability to be articulate are valuable skills.

2. Documenting important events is healthy. Keeping a diary can prove to be useful to remembering important events in your life. More importantly, clinical psychologists have found "Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health." (Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2005)11: 338-346doi: 10.1192/apt.11.5.338).

3. Express your emotions. A diary provides an outlet for your emotions. Not everyone likes to wear their emotions on their sleeve. Writing can prove to be a wonderful outlet to let loose, get the emotions out of your system so that you don’t carry them around with you. Writing is very therapeutic.

4. Writing keeps the mind sharp. It can be a great way to sort out your problems without argument.

5. Writing increases your confidence. Writing about positive things or events in your life can help to boost self-esteem and confidence.

6. Write about whatever you want. Diaries do not necessarily have to be about your personal experiences. That’s the best thing about diaries…fill the pages with famous quotes, your favorite poems (or your own), your favorite song lyrics, sections from books you have read, or your own sketches…

7. Writing gives you perspective. Writing on a particular experience, situation, or issue can help you achieve proper perspective.

8. Writing is a productive activity. Writing in a diary is a productive way to spend your time.

9. Writing is a conversation. Diaries provide the space for you to have a conversation with yourself, which we all need from time to time.

10. Writing makes you self-aware. After writing in a journal for a period of time, you will find self-awareness. You will be able to see patterns in your life experiences and thought processes.

Long Term Benefits of Expressive Writing

Health Outcomes
Social & Behavioral Outcomes
Less stress-related doctor visits
Lower absenteeism from work
Improved immune syst. function
Improved working memory
Reduced blood pressure
Higher students’ grade point average
Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2005), 11: 338-346, doi: 10.1192/apt.11.5.338 http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/5/338.full. Accessed 11/28/2014.

Now that you know all of the many good reasons for keeping a diary or journal, I hope you take the time to start writing. Writing, for the sole purpose of writing, can be an amazing experience. Who knows how talented you might be…you could be the next famous author!

Thanks to kannanwrites for inspiring me to write this hub.

By Liza Lugo, J.D.

© 2012, Revised 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Ms. Lugo retains exclusive copyright and publishing rights to all of her articles and photos by her located on Hub Pages. Portions of articles or entire content of any of these articles may not be used without the author's express written consent. Persons plagiarizing or using content without authorization may be subject to legal action.

Permission requests may be submitted to liza@lizalugojd.com


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    • lawdoctorlee profile image
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      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Marcy, thank you so much for taking time to read this hub and for commenting. I know what you mean about that sense of internal peace...it's kinda like a cleansing of the soul for me.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      I believe in journal writing and diaries - they truly do help us sort out our feeling, our problems and shed old baggage. I confess I can be a bit inconsistent on writing in them, but I always feel a sense of internal peace when I do.

    • SonQuioey10 profile image

      Toni Northern 4 years ago from Williamston NC

      Makes me want to keep one again for my own benefit.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      TnTgoodrich, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. A lot of people like #6 - in fact, it's my personal favorite.

    • TnTgoodrich profile image

      TnTgoodrich 5 years ago

      Another non-successful diary keeper,great Hub though. I think I always think about if I write all my personal stuff down then someday someone is bound to find it so I like #6 :)

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      kannanwrites, thank you so much for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments...and of course your inspiration for allowing me to write this hub. Glad you decided to maintain a personal diary. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Remember...no pressure...write whenever and whatever you want. Thanks for the compliments.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      xstatic, thank you so much for reading this hub and for your comments. Put that conversation with yourself in a diary/journal/notebook...it will help to give you perspective. Thank you for your compliments.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Wayseeker, thank you so much for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. Glad you decided to keep a "writer's notebook" Keep it variety filled. You'll be more likely to write.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      AudreyHowitt, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. One of the best things about keeping a diary is that there is no such thing as an "undisciplined diarist." You write when you want, whatever you want.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      As others have written, I have never been successful in keeping a journal, and that conversation with myself seems to go on non-stop. But your brief is very persuasive, so I may have to give it another try. Well presented Hub!

    • kannanwrites profile image

      Kannan Reddy 5 years ago from Mumbai

      This is wonderful!!! Now I'm thoroughly convinced that I should write a diary. You've given enough reasons and benefits to start maintaining a personal diary.

      I'm off to the stationery shop to get a diary.

      Thanks for this great hub.

    • wayseeker profile image

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      I have tried keeping a diary before, but it is a perpetual failure for me. I only write in it when I'm deeply worried or depressed about something.

      That said, when I transitioned it into a "writer's notebook," I now write in it almost daily. It still contains memories and such, but is filled with a wide variety of other things as well.

      After reading #6, I now feel like I can, in fact, keep a diary, too. It is a great joy to return to now and then.

      Great ideas,

      wayseeker

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I have kept a diary from time to time, but generally find that I am an undisciplined diarist. So I use poetry these days for much of the "working through" processing of life. My hat is always off to those who are good and steady diarists since I, like you, believe wholeheartedly in its benefits!