From Blogger to Diarist

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I hate beginnings. Or rather, I hate messy beginnings. I do like, however, a neat starting point: a new year, a birthday, even a Monday is better than nothing. However, waiting for a neat starting point usually means for me never starting at all. Those key days when it makes sense to get started are also days when life is busy and filled with action. Reflection often starts a few days later and by then, the opportunity is missed.

Today, I started a new journal. A different kind to the writing I do here. It is offline. Whilst I already have an offline, old-school paper notebook journal, I rarely write in it. It just isn’t convenient for me to sit and write by hand, romantic as that notion is.

As part of Apple’s 5 year App Store birthday celebrations, I picked up Day One for free. It is available and syncs between our iMac, my iPad and iPhone and importantly it is pretty to look at. Well, maybe sleek is a better word. In any case, the fact that it is aesthetically pleasing makes it much more likely that I will want to access it regularly (dare I say it, daily?).

Writing offline is a new experience and it makes me realise how much of a show-off I am (it feel VERY strange to write knowing no-one will read it  – apparently, I love an audience. So why am I bothering to write offline in a personal journal if it feels so strange, so private?

Writing privately has a big advantage that write here does not allow: I do not have to censor or edit my thoughts. I can write freely. However, I do not intend to use my personal offline diary as a place to vent whatever petty grievance I have with the world on any given day. Whilst that could serve a useful, fleeting purpose, it would not serve any long term purpose. Instead, I want to build a journal that is more than a list of events, more than a angry rant, more than a carefully edited version of my life. As I have to be increasingly careful about what I write about online with my fledgling teaching career, it will feel good to be able to write honestly and opening without fear of inadvertent exposure to pupil inquisition.

I want to create a piece of writing which will help me be a better writer (perhaps a better teacher) without having to think about why I am writing and who might be reading. Whilst I have already admitting to loving an audience, the audience I love also inhibits me from writing what I want. I can write without being accused of being banal. Because that is what I really fear: being banal

I have started today. Not a Monday, a birthday or a start of anything. I have started with an entry which is a little bit of reflection on diary writing, a little bit of what is on my mind today. I really hope I can keep writing every day about the things that matter to me.  This is my first step from being a sometime blogger to an always diarist.

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