Yesterday I was with a friend having breakfast somewhere in Randburg. He asked me a fascinating question, “Have you ever thought of writing a book? or maybe a diary of a sort?” I was a bit puzzled. Not because I wasn’t expecting to hear this from him. Instead, because he is now the fourth person to ask me that this year alone.
And while I gave him a response, he said he only asked because he has been thinking a lot about his diary. Apparently, he started updating a diary. At the same time, he has been enjoying spending time at Exclusive Books reading a book.
This was his next question, “So Nash, aside from their historical value, do you find diaries as interesting as literature? Do you enjoy reading them? Why or why not?” PS, he was asking this because he had just remembered he left his diary at home.
I said to him, “well, modern-day bloggers, considering the amount of personal detail they choose to include in their blogs, are in a way fond of diaries, just an online diary.” I also refer to the diary of Samuel “The Bloggfather” Pepys, which has now been categorized as a blog. You can check it out here.
Actually, back in 2013, when I started blogging, I seriously contemplated running an anonymous one. At that time, I truly believed that truth hurts many people. This sounds like just a statement, but lol it’s actually a judgment.
I am the kind of person who prefers to keep certain things private. It’s actually easier than I thought it would be to keep something, like a blog, private. I have realized that attention from 99% of the population is just a wasteful exercise.
As I think about it, I imagine most of my first novel might comprise of daily scratches in my notebook, unrelated to one another except united by a common voice. I think it’s essential for writers to write aimlessly often, and the closest way to enable this is to write a diary or a journal.
I think it’s worth it to spend thousands of words as an investment to realize one perfect phrase or idea. Most great things that are written are simply a moment in time, a snippet from a timeline within a lot of necessary filler.
The only way to get there, very often, is just to keep writing even though you know it’s not perfect, which is what most diaries are. The problem with going about maintaining a diary is that it takes a rare person to be able to commit to writing mundane details of one’s life each day, every day.
That’s a big commitment and doesn’t take into account errands, hangovers, intoxication, the actual writing, surfing the internet, flipping through reality shows, reading, or working. All the things that we are pretty sure are already going to happen in a given day.
This struck a thought in my mind, ‘are blogs another form of modern literature then?’ I cannot say I am so sure yet. But what I am sure of is that I find my blog motivates me to write more than I would otherwise. Do you keep a diary or journal?