I don’t remember my first diary. I remember having one that was red and had sort of a smooshy fake-leather cover and gilt-edged pages and a lock with an impossibly tiny key, but I don’t know if that was actually the first.
I do know that until I started blogging, I was the world’s worst diarist. I’d start them, write a few pages, and then end up doodling in them, or writing short stories. I didn’t write down my deepest secrets because I didn’t really HAVE that many secrets. I mean, even when I was little, “Dear Diary, I had an extra cookie at lunch today, and Brad Gillespie is kind of cute,” seemed like a stupid thing to write down.
I have strong memories of reading about journals and diaries. Probably the most famous was Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl – which I devoured. Looking back, I think part of what made it so special is that Anne treated Kitty (the diary) as if she was a person, not just a book full of empty pages.
I have never named a diary.
But I did once write a series of letters to Pavel Chekov (the character) from TOS, as if time travel was possible and we’d met. Hey, I was eleven. We all do stupid things when we’re eleven. At least mine were just pages in a book, and not actual, you know, LETTERS. (Of course, now if I did such a thing, I’d call it fanfic and there’d be no embarrassment.)
I like pen and ink, and there are times when in order to get a passage “right” I have to actually write it, but I don’t generally use a journal for stuff like that. I use a moleskine, or I use a plain old spiral notebook. I really like those. Especially when they have green lines and are college ruled.
I still don’t keep a diary as a diary. I have this amazing book that a friend gave me, and I don’t use it as a diary, but as one of my “magic notebooks” – part commonplace, part collection of quotes, part fragments of stories, or notes. To me, a diary implies structure, and my notebooks have none. I lead a rather unordered life.
(Hey, that’d be a great domain name. Unordered Life DOT Com. Wonder if it’s available…)
See what I mean about distractions?