Paper Mirror:How Honest a Diary Writer Are You?

End of the day. Time to pause and reflect on the day’s events. Time to write your diary. But just how honest will you be when it comes to putting pen to paper? How brilliantly your presentation went? How devastated you were at being passed over as club secretary? How totally incomprehensible it was that you were out-voted in favour of Mandy Greenstock of all people?

Some might say that if it’s our private diary, then does it matter if it’s an edited version.

Susan Sontag, in her autobiography Reborn, admits to almost creating an alter-ego when she writes her diary:

‘It does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather – in many cases – offers an alternative.’

Beatrice Webb also wondered if we didn’t address our diary to an alternative version of ourselves, ‘Possibly to some mysterious personification of one’s own identity.’

A better version of ourselves, maybe?

Diaries certainly present an opportunity to re-write history, whether our own or that of others. No surprise then that politicians often write diaries!

For most of us though, our diary is a safe place to go to think over our day, to reflect on events and emotions. It was Dawna Markova who referred to her diary as a ‘paper mirror’. She went on to say, ‘It is where I go to sort out confusion and decipher the invisible’.

What are your reasons for writing in a diary? Working through hopes and frustrations? Hoping to carve out your place in history? Let us know how you feel about the subject.P1000758 (2)_1