Diaries are great fun and make wonderful keepsakes, but they can also be inspiring, motivating, and helpful. Why? Because they provide a space to think, vent, dream, and record the events of your life, right now. If you’ve ever felt you’d like to start a diary but aren’t sure where to begin, here are some top tips on how to write a diary.
There are huge numbers of reasons for writing a diary – or journal as it’s often known these days. Maybe you just fancy trying something new or perhaps you’ve been inspired by watching a TV show or reading a book that has prompted you to write one yourself. Maybe you want to record the events of your day-to-day life or have an outlet for the things that are worrying you. Perhaps you’re thinking about writing a memoir and want somewhere to practice or maybe you want to improve your writing skills generally.
Whatever your reason for starting a diary writing – or journal – there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all down to personal preference and what works for you like Notice Writing; however, here are some top tips on how to write a diary that I hope will help get you started:
Ask yourself why do you want to write a diary?
The first step to starting diary writing is to understand why you want to write a diary. Perhaps you are thinking of starting a new hobby or maybe you simply want a way to get your thoughts down on paper. Either way, understanding why you want to write a diary will help you determine the type of diary that is right for you.
It is important to remember that diaries are meant to be private and personal. If you are not comfortable with sharing your feelings and thoughts with others, then this may not be the best option for you. However, if you do decide that it is something that will benefit you both socially and mentally, then there are many different forms of diaries that may suit your needs.
The most obvious form of diary writing is journaling. This is a great way to record your thoughts and experiences during the day. You can also use journals as a way to keep track of goals or plans that you have made in the past. Another great option for journaling is blogging. Blogs allow people from all over the world to connect with each other through their own personal blogs and share thoughts and experiences with one another.
Pick a topic for your diary
The second step to starting diary writing is to Pick a topic for your diary. You should know what you are going to be talking about before you begin. Choose a topic that interests you, but don’t go overboard with it. For example
The regular diary: This is the classic diary that you write in every day. Write about what you’ve been up to, how you are feeling, and anything else that comes to mind.
A workoutTips for new diary writers diary: If you are training for a race or simply want to keep track of your fitness goals, write them down and keep a record of how it goes.
A race diary: If you are entering a long-distance race of any kind (marathon, triathlon, cycle sportive), record your training and how the event goes when it happens. This will be an interesting document to look back on once the race has happened.
A food diary: If you have a big event coming up (wedding, sports day, reunion) and want to get into shape for it, a food diary can help you stay on track with what you eat. If you regularly eat badly then it could also help with getting your eating habits under control generally.
A pregnancy diary: Write about what it’s like to be pregnant. Make sure to include all the details, from doctor appointments to nausea.
A creativity diary: If you’re an artist or writer, keep a journal of your creative process. Include notes about characters, plot lines, and how to express yourself through your work.
Dedicate the first page to your chosen topic
If you have no clue about what to put in a diary, start by picking a topic. You can go for a specific topic, like your personal growth or relationships. Or you can choose a broader subject, such as your everyday life.
You need to know what the diary is for before you start writing in it. Once you have settled on a topic in your how-to start a diary project, dedicate the first page to the topic. State what it is, why you chose it, and what you intend to accomplish with the diary. If the topic is connected to any goals, note them down as well. If you go for an index, this is the place for it.
How often and for how long?
When you are thinking about how to start a diary, also consider how much time you have to spend on it. Make a realistic estimate on the update frequency based on how much time you have or intend to make available for it.
It might also be a good idea to limit the time period for which you’re keeping the diary. Give yourself an end date and stick to it, unless you find it’s strategic not to do so.
As with all other aspects of your diary, this will depend on your topic and the intention behind it. For example, if the topic is related to a project that takes some time to complete (a year or more), then you might stop at the end of that project, or maybe even in between if there’s a natural break.
Sometimes your intention is more important than the topic. For example, if you want to document all your marathons, then clearly, there’s no end date until you retire from running them (or maybe even after!). But if your intention is just to share with others what it feels like running a marathon and motivating others in the process, then stopping after one or two races may be enough for that.
Personalize your entry format (date, time, headlines)
You should also consider your daily routine and what you want to read in the diary. It is a good idea to write down your daily routine as a guide for your entry format.
If you have a lot of activities, you might want to separate them into different sections with headlines. Maybe you have time for a reflection at the end of each day or make time for it on certain days. You should consider how often you will be able to write and whether you will prefer writing late at night or early in the morning.
You should also choose the appropriate size and style of writing paper (diary). Consider whether it would be better to write on lined or plain paper and if you want to use a special notebook or printable diary pages.
Write as no one will ever read your diary
Most people have a diary, either in a physical form or on their computer. They might not write in it every day, but when they do, chances are that they will write about the things that happened to them during the day.
One of the best tips on how to start a diary is to write as no one ever would read your diary. This is another way of saying that you should focus on writing, not on editing. Your diary is yours, and yours only. Whatever you want to write is allowed to go in.
You should also make sure that your writing flows well. If you are writing about something that happened during the day, don’t just tell the facts; try to tell it like you were telling a story, and add some details so that your reader can see exactly what happened in his or her mind’s eye. For example, instead of saying “I went to the store”, you could say “I drove down to the store” or “I walked down to the store”.
Even though your diary is personal and private, there are still some things that you should try not to write about. While it may be fun to write about embarrassing moments or embarrassing things someone said at work or school, this could get you into trouble.
Draw, make doodles, be creative, give yourself no boundaries
To keep at the project of how to start a diary, do not limit yourself. Allow yourself to show your creativity in your diary, even if it is an online diary focusing on the written text. Drawing and doodling can help you relax and let your mind become free to focus on the diary, its content, what to write or how to express yourself.
There are no rules for keeping a diary or journal, so you have the freedom to do whatever you want in your writing. For example, you could go with a black-and-white journal; however, if you find yourself feeling more creative when using colored pens or markers, then go for it! Use the colors of your choice. There are many ways to be creative in your journaling and drawing, so look up some ideas online and find what fits you best.
Really go for a format that is fun for you (if it becomes a chore, change what you are doing)
Write down your thoughts. You can write about anything that you have on your mind, from big events to small details. Your diary is meant for you to be honest with yourself, so feel free to pour out anything that comes to mind.
Write about your day at school or work. This can help you relieve stress and reflect on the events of the day. Many people find this helpful in understanding their thought processes.
Write about hopes, dreams, and fears. This can help you sort through confusing or troubling emotions. It can also help you process positive feelings such as excitement and joy.
Write down a quote that inspires you or a meaningful lyric from a song you like. These can be useful in later entries when you want to refer back to something that helps inspire or motivate you.
Invest in a diary, notebook, or journal that is special to you
This tip is at the end since it is not the most important. While the diary itself is a crucial part of the equation when you are thinking about how to start a diary, it is not what makes your diary personalized.
On the other hand, when you are thinking about how to start a diary, getting the diary itself is one of the first steps. Choose wisely, as you will keep it for some time.
When you select your journal, make sure the paper quality matches your pen. This is especially important if you are going to use a fountain pen, as you might have problems with the pen bleeding through the paper in an unwanted fashion.
If you prefer the pages to be blank, lined, dotted, or checked is completely a matter of your taste, and the format you decide to use for your personalized diary. Check out our range of diaries and notebooks made from stone paper for some inspiration!
Remember you are writing your own history
One thing to keep in mind when thinking about how to start a diary is that you are noting down your own history. This means that you are recording memories for the future, that you will be able to look back at for many years to come and recall the events more clearly.
To be able to write in a journal and to actually get something out of it, you have to commit yourself. You have to commit yourself to write in it every day, at least as best as possible.
It’s important in this respect that you choose the right time of the day when you are going to write in your journal. It could be after work, before going to bed, or even early in the morning if this is when you feel most inspired.
However, once you decide on a time, try and stick with it. If possible, make sure that you do this at the same time every day and allow yourself enough time so that you can properly express yourself and not just jot down the bare essentials of what happened during the day just so that it’s done.
Tips for new diary writers
First of all, make sure your notebook and pen are compatible. There is nothing more annoying than sitting down to write or draw and ending up with an unintelligible mess.
When thinking about how to start a diary, make sure you select a topic that will help you keep the diary, making it a pleasant way of spending time instead of something that you feel you have to do.
Decide on a frequency of updates that is not overwhelming. If you intend to make large and extensive entries, then maybe you should not do it daily as it might consume too much time. If you feel that keeping the diary takes too much time, it is more likely that you will stop it so keep your ambitions on a manageable level.
A diary is not just about writing or drawing, it is also about creating memories.
Therefore, don’t neglect the visual side of things by adding pictures or other images from newspapers or magazines.
This can be additional motivation for keeping your diary as well as making the notes look nicer and more interesting for others to read when they see the images.
A diary is a tool for self-expression. It can help you in so many ways — from helping you write that first draft of a novel to developing your creative side. However, it is important that you do not let yourself become trapped by the format or topic of your diary and that you do not allow it to turn into something that does not reflect you.
If you are having difficulties with a particular topic, another way to see if it will work for you is to take a blank piece of paper and write down your thoughts about it. That way, even if the diary format does not work for you in the end, at least you have tried something different.
Once you have settled on the diary writing format and topic that works best for you, try writing every other day. As long as your entries are relevant to your chosen theme and there is no reason why they cannot be written every week, they will be useful on their own and will work together as part of a larger whole.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is a graduate from Tribhuvan University with four-year experience in corporate and start-up sectors in UK and USA. Being a responsible & sustainable business enthusiast he is dedicated to business education to solve problems in entrepreneurship and business growth.