I have kept a diary for 34 years. It started with a New Year's Resolution and a Christmas present from my grandmother, I think because she had seen me reading my brother's copy of A Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. As a sorely misunderstood teenager, surrounded by Philistines who comprehended little of the difficulties of my existence, such a diary appealed. I wrote it keenly, writing a whole A4 page every day for a few years. While at university, I began to type my diary on Herod, my manual typewriter, seeing it as a way of practising my typing. I began writing Dear Herod at the top, affecting the Dear Kitty of Anne Frank. Sometime later, the diary began to be computer based, and now it is in the cloud.
I have confided my deepest secrets and fears to the diary. I have told it of my anger and my anguish. I have committed to it the vicissitudes of my spiritual struggles, my emotional life, my work worries. It has formed a travel diary, a commentary on the life and character of those around me, a journal of my nation, and my thoughts on the latest news. While I do not write every single day, believing it should be a diary that serves me, rather than masters me, I write on average five times a week, and never less than three times a week.
Over the next month, I intend to publish extracts from my live diary - edited by me, and with attempts to preserve the anonymity of those mentioned. I doubt this will interest anyone, as my life is quite humdrum, but I like the idea of doing this, and entertain the grand notion that someone might be inspired to keep their own diary. I am very glad I have kept mine - it has calmed and soothed me, helped me to process complex matters, and been a useful reminder.
Extracts will appear a day or two after written. Prepare to be stultified.