11:20a.m. Have realized column is due today. Realize draft written last night is lame, and also utterly nonsensical. Panic. Want to write about diaries and how so many female characters keep them. Should not be difficult, as have been keeping own diary since age 7.
11:30a.m. Decide to compile list of books/movies where characters keep diaries in attempt to find inspiration. Realize have also done this ‘listing’ business in last week’s column. Blast. Make list anyway, as lists also seem to be key part of diary-keeping process, as evidenced by preponderance of lists in book version of Princess Diaries.
Movies and books where people keep diaries:
Bridget Jones Diary
The Carrie Diaries
Waitress (those letters to the baby count, right?)
Well. Have made a list of things that mostly seem to include the word “Diary” in the title. This just reeks of creativity.
12:30 p.m. Perhaps should go through own diaries in attempt to find something to write about. Writing about own experience doing things from movies is point of column, after all.
4:30 p.m. Have learned that own diaries are largely comprised of inane observations and obsessing over boys. Interestingly, diaries reveal was obsessing over boys named Dan at ages 7, and also 17. Lesson learned: Diaries help with pattern recognition. Also, avoid boys named ‘Dan.’
12:30a.m. Well. That went later than expected. “Drinks” turned out to be “drinks then dinner then more drinks” with some French friends of N’s in Little Tokyo, where I also ran into a guy who I’ve been maybe/maybe not flirting with for weeks now. He was just as enigmatic tonight. Wait. Nope, point of diary is not to obsess about boys.
N said very flattering things about the column while we were out. She looks forward to it every week, which means I must finish this week’s. Will just make a quick cup of tea first.
12:45 a.m. Okay. Have tea. Now. Column.
As deployed in literature, the diary is a useful way to both narrate the everyday events of a character’s life as well as reveal their thought process. It is also a fun gimmick.
As deployed in life, on the other hand, a diary is so much more. As someone who has, in fact, been keeping a journal on and off since age 7, and pretty consistently since age 12, I can say that having a diary is something that has definitely helped to keep me sane over the years. Studies have shown that writing about traumatic experiences can ultimately help increase self esteem and happiness. Sure, my experiences usually weren’t more traumatic than being rejected by boys named Dan, but if science tells me that writing about those rejections helped me get over them faster, I’m all for it.
And about those boys named Dan – for me, the pattern recognition aspect of journaling is no joke. If you’re keeping a record of everything you do, you notice when you start doing the same things repeatedly, and you’ll have better insight into whether those things are working out well for you, or not. Journaling is also helpful for keeping track of the “Aha!” moments in your life. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought I had a profound revelation about my life, and then gone back, read through a journal, and realized I had the same profound revelation three years ago. Keep a diary, and go back through it on a regular basis, and you’ll potentially also save yourself months of soul searching.
My conclusion – if reading Bridget’s diary inspires you to keep one of your own, it will be nothing but good for you. Just make sure you keep it some place your roommates can’t find it.
1:20 a.m. Ha! Column written! Triumph.
Image via ScreamingDominos