The Benefits of Keeping a Diary
The reason is thought to be because it allows you to process your experiences safely, and review particular events in a less stressful way. Writing your personal story appears to play a part in this, and it seems to be important to focus on both thoughts and feelings, and not just feelings.
The best way to get better at anything is to practise. Writing a diary allows you to focus on your writing without worrying about your audience or what anyone else will think. And doing it regularly helps to improve your thinking processes, and can even help you become more creative in how you think.
This can be important for a number of reasons. For example, when you are applying for a job, you often have to describe times when you have demonstrated a skill, or done something particularly well. A diary or journal can be a good way to record your successes, and ensure that you have a ready source of examples for job applications. It can also be a way to reflect on your experiences, and learn for the future. Writing about positive events, and looking back on them, can also be a good way to boost your self-esteem.
Paper or Electronic?
There is a huge range of electronic options as well as the traditional paper-based route. You could, for example, use a diary app such as Penzu, which claims to take security very seriously, try a note-taking app like Google Keep, or just record your thoughts in a Word document stored on your laptop or in the cloud. You could even go ‘open’ and keep a blog, sharing your thoughts with the world, and not just your diary.
All these options have merits. Diary apps are right there on your phone, and quick and easy to access. They are also private. Electronic back-ups in the cloud should mean that even losing your device does not mean that you have lost your diary.
Using word-processing software gives you the option to craft your thoughts more carefully, and to go back and change them later. This could be both an advantage and disadvantage: an advantage because you can refine your thinking, and a disadvantage, because it will not show you your raw thinking when you look back, and may encourage you to spend more time than you really need on your journal.
A paper-based diary may be old-fashioned, but it is also completely private. You can hide it away at home, and nobody need ever suspect that you write it. Writing things down long-hand can also be useful practice in ordering your thoughts in advance, which is good if you will ever have to sit written exams.
Diary Writing Sample #2
Our board exam results have not yet been declared and already the news of malpractice is making the rounds. There are cases of attempted bribery reported for admissions into esteemed colleges. Such news is really very disheartening. Especially when coupled with the various reservation schemes already existing. This leaves no scope for children like me who do not fit in any minority groups nor can sum up large amounts for donation. This is a very serious problem, and I am really threatened by it. Even if the malpractices are ignored or hushed up, as very often they will be, the fact that these students will not excel in their courses is inevitable, thus causing a loss of the country’s resources employed in their training. I do not know what to look forward to anymore. I just hope and pray that such practices are tracked and nipped in the bud.
Last night, I had a very strange dream. I saw that two of my friends and I were going to attend my cousin’s wedding reception. On our way a rather strange-looking man intercepted us. Despite our protests, he insisted on narrating to us his tale of resentment. He looked unnaturally old with skinny limbs and glittering eyes, and the tale he narrated seemed too surreal to be true. He said he used to be a mariner who shot an innocent albatross who was guiding their ship out of the perilous ice at sea. This act enraged a powerful spirit who used to love the bird. His actions resulted in the death of his crewmates. Also, he was doomed to feel a great deal of agony which was relieved only when he narrated the tale to somebody. The dream taught me a valuable lesson: Never hurt the hand which helps you.