Before I was a photographer, a marketer, a father, a husband, an author, a
college student I was a diarist.
February marks my twenty first anniversary of documenting daily. That’s a good chunk of anyone’s life. I started documenting some trips/vacations
some seven years prior to that. However day in, day out for most days – give or
take a few – I’ve been capturing thoughts, experiences, the world at large for
over two decades.
It is amazing to go back and review previous days, months, years. I’m often
struck by how I used to think or feel on a subject. It’s a clear reminder of the
growth and changes we go through in life. Both refreshing and startling at the
Do you keep a journal? How long have you kept it for? What has the experience
been like for you? Do you slip on occasion and also have to catch up for Tuesday
and Wednesday on Thursday night? I must admit to committing that crime on
occasion. I much prefer to do it on the day, whilst things are fresh in my mind.
Poignant emotions and observations of the world often fade or are corrupted over
a day or two, I’ve found.
Do you do it by hand or on the computer? I opt for the former – one of the
main places in my life that requires the use of a pen and paper. Working in
hi-tech this is a refreshing tactile pleasure to enjoy without the back-lit
Have you found you sleep better after spilling your thoughts onto the pages
of your journal… I find it helps.
What has your experience of documenting life been like?
I was inspired by the Adrian Mole series in 1990 and I haven’t stopped. 21 years of keeping a journal taught me the following lessons, explicitly.
- Practice doesn’t make perfect
- Spending time on a weakness don’t make them better, let along into strengths.
My handwriting has always been terrible – despite the best efforts of my teachers and parents early in life and my own later – it simply has never been very good. I’m comfortable with that. I always try and write well and as clearly as possible to make reading my journals easy in the future. So this isn’t for lack of effort.
These learning’s reinforces my subscription to the strengths based learning model.