I had a diary as a child. If I remember correctly, I received it in my ninth birthday. It was the typical one most girls got during that period in time, with its pink cover and a drawing of a girl with a ponytail on the front. Of course, it had its small lock and key.
I tried to write in it every day. However, as an elementary school kid, I really didn’t have that much to write about. By the time a month had passed, the dairy rarely left the top drawer of my small desk.
I tried to pick up the habit again when I entered junior high school [now called middle school]. After all, I had picked up the interest in boys and had gained friendships that went beyond the close-knitted neighborhood I lived in. I thought, for sure, I’d have a lot to write about. As before though, the habit didn’t stick. I kept writing in it for about eight months though, which, I guess, meant I was beginning to form a serious attraction to the craft of writing.
Ninth grade was a school year of major changes for me, mostly because of my Civil Government class teacher, Miss Strong. All of a sudden it was a time to learn about how imperfect my world really was. I began writing free verse poems about injustice, discrimination, and prejudice — all hot topics of the latter 1960s, my world at the time. I would walk a mile to the five and ten-cent store on a regular basis to buy more pens and spiral notebooks so I could write my poetry.
Where did my diary go? I haven’t a clue. I could hide the spirals within plain sight without any worry of my brother or my parents snooping around in them. I just laid them with my school books knowing they were safe.
When I entered college, my days of diaries and poetry were left behind. I majored in Sociology/Social Work, meaning I was preparing to do something about all that injustice, discrimination, and prejudice I had found appalling [and still do]. The poems seemed trivial in comparison to what I was learning in my classes.
I didn’t take up the craft of writing again until I married for the second time and quit working as a patient representative. At that point, a little over fifteen years ago, my love of poetry had vanished into thin air. I didn’t find it trivial anymore but I did think of it as being too obscure for what I wanted to do with my writing.
The desire to take up writing again was almost overpowering, drawing me to the chair that sat at a desk in the master bedroom. Nevertheless, I didn’t choose to begin another spiral or diary. Instead, I got busy with a full-blown novel that I still am working on. It just didn’t occur to me to have a diary or journal again until I read some blog posts by some established writers.
Last September I searched high and low for an app that would suit this need. To tell the truth, I was sorely disappointed. I have come to the conclusion that programmers, as a group, don’t have a clue as to what is needed to have an adept journal/diary.
I decided I had to make my own. Being halfway savvy with computers now, I brought forth WordPad, typing the first line in cursive for the day and date. All other lines after that being non-cursive to type out my thoughts.
I haven’t written in this make-shift journal every day but few days have been missed until the week before Christmas when I got that awful cold. I didn’t write in it for over two weeks. Exactly one week ago I brought it up to my desktop again and wrote. Mind you, I didn’t write a lot but it was a new beginning.
This last Monday I got myself back into the swing of writing in the journal every day. I know there will be days I miss because of other activities but I have taken on the habit again.