Mynlo | What is a Diary?

What is a Diary?

and Why Keeping One is Doing You Good

Updated: 26/02/2019

What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.
Walter Scott

What could be a diary do for you

Once upon a time you lived an interesting life, keeping secrets from the outside world, sharing your thoughts and ideas in written form far away from criticism. You were happy to have a space to discuss your feelings, honest without any judgment. You loved your family and friends, but some things had to be dealt on your own. Feelings had to vent and you needed a safe path to achieve it.

You wrote a diary. You could write about anything you liked. There you could be totally yourself

In your diary you kept past, present and future of your life, recording thoughts, events, dreams and feelings. You were born on earth having a blank story and your diary has helped you fill the blank pages with moments, meaningful to you. They mirrored you.

Today I start a diary; it is against my usual habits, but out of a clearly felt need.
Robert Musil

What You Could Write About In Your Diary and Which Actions Help You Overcome the Writers Block

Looking at a white blank page or an empty screen could engage you in a writers block situation. You would feel there is so much to talk about, but you couldn't express it in words. Such a disheartening situation can cause you to give up or neglecting to write as much as you could. In reality there are so many topics you could write about.

Then there are also some useful hacks you could implement to get over your writers block. Some of these techniques will not only give you a mental boost, but also help you in other facets of your live.

1. Avoid distractions

Close any device that could distract you from writing, get to a silent place. Avoid checking your emails, if there isn't an important reason to do it.

2. Get physical

Engage your body in any activity that makes your heart beat reaching a higher rate. Dance, go for a walk, run, yoga, etc.

3. Find an inspiring quote

Quotes make up for great daily prompts, as by answering to them and sharing your opinion about what they say can be the bridge for further thoughts that you can now express in relation to the quote.

4. Write freely

This method is one of my favorites. Write about anything that comes to your mind. It doesn't matter at all if there isn't a structure to find. You can add a fitting title in the end.

5. Do something

This is pretty obvious, but if the reason "do something" isn't presented in a list like this, it would be like Christmas without Santa Claus. Read a book, watch a movie, go to the theater, eat out, play counter strike, try to cook, call a friend, visit a relative, go to a small tour. That list can be really long and differs on your location and the circumstance you live in.

6. Change you environment

You can't come up with something to write today, maybe a change of background stimulation is needed. Leave the room you usually write and go to another or better visit your local library, park, lake.

7. Treat yourself good

Hey writing a diary should be fun and not an obligation. If you are a morning writer brew some well smelling coffee and make a tasty breakfast. Not the morning type? You like to write before going to sleep? Then, close your TV and drink a hot Choco or a glass of wine.

8. Reward yourself

This is the exact opposite of the above technique. Start writing first and reward yourself with anything you crave for. It could be candies or some special drink, maybe ordering your favorite pizza at the morning. You can be as crazy as you like, it is up to you to create an reward system. Oh, you could write about your crazy reward system.

9. Get enough sleep

Sleep helps your brain to sort things out. Your brain actually never takes a break, when you shut down almost every other movement during the night, your brain dreams, organizes, prioritizes and relaxes from outside factors. This procedure takes time and you should allow yourself to take as much rest as you need to feel rested in the morning.

10. Put your computer to sleep mode

This works best for an online journal. The white screen can sometimes be too prominent and the best way to overcome it, is going the total opposite direction. It always helps me huge, to know there is a black screen in front of me, so I can turn off my brain and focus on things in my real life. A night modus can also be useful here. It does change your screen from white to black and if you combine it, with a full screen mode, you have a wonderfully black screen open to receive your thoughts.

I've been keeping a diary for thirty-three years and write in it every morning. Most of it's just whining, but every so often there'll be something I can use later: a joke, a description, a quote. It's an invaluable aid when it comes to winning arguments. 'That's not what you said on February 3, 1996,' I'll say to someone.
David Sedaris

Why Keeping a Diary is Doing You Good

To do anything in life you have to be persuaded in believing it is of good use. Writing a diary has helped millions of people to reduce their stress levels by bringing out their day's worries. Those people put their thoughts on paper to stay organized, keep their goals on track and improve their ability to write better. They felt an increase in confidence by being more relaxed and calm towards life. It all starts with a blank page which waits to be filled. Many successful people over the timeframe of Centuries swear about the positive benefits they got by keeping a daily or weekly writing habit.

Express thoughts and feelings

The main reason why most people would use a journal. It is an excellent place to share your inner world to. A blank page to get rid of negative pressure by writing down, how you feel and how an event affected your well being. Vent without restraints and second thoughts. Share positive feelings and relive them a second time, preserving them for a future read. Write entries about thoughts you would never share with someone else. Be there to witness how your thoughts and feelings evolved over time.

Record events

Life moves fast and time never pauses. Memories therefore fade with time. A great way to keep your memories safe and remember the happenings, is writing about them in a journal. Positive memories will always occupy a special place in your heart and keeping them safe should be a priority for you. Negative memories shouldn't be neglected either. They are a big part of who you are. The struggles you face, shape your persona, create your values. In every struggle there is a learning process. Learn from it and it could become a positive experience for you moving forward. Your dairy can serve multiple purposes, being a keepsake box of your positive memories and a teacher regarding your negative ones.

See the big picture

Sometimes you may feel the only control you have over your life is the next breather and chaos is everywhere around you. Concentrate on the moment, enjoy the pureness of it and try to do the best you can. Nothing else is in your control. By documenting your days or weeks, you will gain a more holistic view of life. We like to see our life's having some meaning, even if the causes and events cannot be attributed to 100% to our actions. Life can be unpredictable and by accounting this factor in, your view of life, can become more relaxed and detached from unimportant noise.

Planning your future

An old Yiddish adage says "Man Plans, and God Laughs." You might set goals, plan everything ahead, but unexpected changes will inevitably occur. So why bother writing your plans and goals down? Because achieving a goal isn't the end. The journey matters a lot and when you reach it, new goals will probably be set. Your life has a meaning when you dedicate your attention to something with care and you see the progress of it over the years. Create a bucket list and work on it, slowly and steadily. Look back when you have achieved something that you have always wanted and feel the satisfaction which comes with it.

It can be therapeutic

Many people visit a psychotherapy. Most often this is the best place to deal with unexplainable issues, but how about things like stress and worries? Did you know that there is another method of dealing with the stuff in you? Write away your worries. Relieve your nerve system from stress. It doesn't matter if you write gibberish, alone the act of focusing on writing is worth trying out a diary. The same effect that is taking place in coloring books can be used here for your advantage. Move things out of your mind by writing them down.

Catch your dreams and sleep behavior

Your brain never stops working, even when you sleep. Your dreams are puzzles with an underlying solution or true opinion about a matter. Decoding your dreams will allow you to know more about yourself and tackle a situation with a new approach. Dreams are sensitive and easily forgotten. A fast reach to your diary can assist you catching those passing dreams. To have dreams you obviously need to sleep. A deep sleep is essential for you to retain your health and live better. Noting down your sleep pattern will show you how much sleep you need. To extract the most out of your sleep you have to get aware of the duration and the quality of your sleep is the first place.

Read your diary when you grow up

Life doesn't have to be serious all the time. Take a step back and read what you wrote in the past. Being in the present will ultimately boost your excitement level, as now you know better. The opposite could also be happening. Facing sadness when reading old diary entries can help you elevate your motivation to try doing things better or giving you a boost as things already are better. Your diary is a honest representation of you and is intended for your eyes only.

As you can see, writing your own personal diary can have amazing benefits to your overall wellbeing. It takes time and dedication to keep up with it and at start you may feel somehow foggy how to begin with it. With have assembled a short guide explaining how to keep a diary and achieve a successful diary writing career. The secret is, to have fun doing it, because if you write with joy, it becomes a habit that will stay with you.

Other blog posts:

How to Write a Diary - Your Guide to Mastering a Long Diary Writing Career

List of Emotions and their definitions

Emoji Journal. Add the Cute Pictographs to Your Entries.

The Vent Journal

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