A diary provides a record of your life from your unique point of view. It is a way of keeping track of your memories, but it has other benefits as well--it's good for your creativity and your mental health, and can help you become a better writer. Writing in your diary daily can get repetitive and discouraging. It's easy to start feeling like you don't have anything to say after a little while. However, with some dedication and a little creativity, you can reap the benefits of daily diary writing for a full year, and beyond.
Firstly, Keep your diary handy
One of the hardest parts of daily diary writing is simply getting in the habit of writing every day. An easy trick for getting in the habit is keeping your diary somewhere easy to access and visible.
- Many people like to keep their diaries with them wherever they go, in a pocket, purse, or backpack. This way, you can write in your diary any time you have an idea for something to write about.
- Others prefer to keep their diary in an accessible spot in their home, such as next to the bed. Keeping your diary somewhere you can see it can help you remember to write every day.
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Schedule a time for writing
Many people find it helpful to choose a specific time to write each day. Common choices include right before bed or first thing in the morning. Either option gives you an opportunity to reflect on the previous day.
- Having a scheduled writing time helps you develop a routine of writing daily. This makes it harder to forget, and gets your brain in the habit of writing at a particular time. Eventually, you should find that words start to flow more easily at writing time.
- Of course, you can write in your diary any time! Having a scheduled writing time doesn't mean you can't write at some other time if inspiration strikes you. You should also feel free to write more than once a day if you are moved to do so.
Don't worry about others' opinions!
Diary writing is for you, not for anyone else. When you write in your diary, don't worry too much about the rules of spelling and grammar or how other people might judge what you write.
- Getting bogged down in the rules can distract you or slow you down. This can hinder your creativity.
- Personal writing, just for yourself, can help you get to know yourself better, decrease stress, help your resolve disputes with others, and process difficult emotions. This can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health.
- If there's something in your diary you decide you want to share with others, you can always edit it later if you are concerned about spelling and grammar.
Create a "template" for entries
Some days, writing will flow easily and naturally. Other days though, you may find it's harder to get started. On these days, having some pre-established questions you can write answers to, a sort of writing template, can help get you started. Here are a few suggestions:
- What did I do yesterday/today?
- What lessons did I learn?
- What am I feeling right now?
- What am I thankful for?
- What did I read yesterday/today?
- What are my plans for today/tomorrow?
- What is the most important thing I must accomplish today/tomorrow/this week? Why?
Use bullet points for brief entries
Some days, you may not have much time to write, or may just not feel like it. In such cases, it's okay to do a short entry using just some bullet points about events or thoughts you had that day.
- For example, your entry might read:
- Met Sarah for Lunch at Casa d'Italia.
- Worried about new work project--will funding come through?
- Started reading Crime and Punishment, interesting so far, but a little hard to follow.
- Sometimes, these bullet points might provide content for a longer entry you write at some later time. Even if not, it's better to just jot down a few notes than to skip a day.
Don't give up if you miss a day
If you are, for whatever reason, not able to write in your diary one day, don't get discouraged. Your diary is for you, and there's no rule that says you absolutely must write every day.
- That said, try not to ever miss more than two days in a row. Doing so runs the risk of getting out of the habit of writing daily.
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