My first diary was about 4 by 5 inches. It was red and had a diamond pattern on the cover and a lock. Diaries with locks were popular in 1959. I have no idea why I was inspired to keep a diary or where that diary is today, but it was my first attempt at self-expression. In 1964 I wrote a typical teenager’s diary full of angst, friends, school woes, and horseback riding. 1968, college years, the world was crashing down around all of us with civil rights marches, student protests, and Vietnam. I was experimenting with creative writing and disintegration. Throughout the years the diaries changed in focus and subject as I went through different stages of life and a unique communal experience. The entries became longer and full of introspection, as well as reflection on world events. The books themselves grew larger in size.
I became interested in reading other people’s diaries and have followed this path in my studies besides reading the various “how-to write a diary” books that have appeared. I have preserved diaries written by my mother and my great-grandmother and have been gifted with some real handwritten diaries from the 1900s. Years ago I tried to set up a National Diary Archive for the preservation of the diaries of the common person and created a website to set that in motion. I have taught several workshops on keeping a journal.
On June 23rd I will be leading a three hour seminar on keeping a journal and other creative uses for blank books. This will be from 9 to noon at Gryphon Games and Comics in Cimarron Plaza at Drake and Shields in Fort Collins.
We will discuss everything from materials to subjects. I will offer what I’ve learned from more than 55 years keeping a diary/journal and suggest various resources and a recommended reading list of published diaries.
Cost of this seminar will be $15. Pre-registration and deposit required at The Eclectic Reader. Limited to 12 people. There is a coffee shop in Gryphon and we will have a half hour break. Potentially I will repeat this seminar in the fall.
You might be interested in exploring the website I started called The National Diary Archive at nationaldiaryarchive.wordpress.com
Call 970-223-4019 for more information.