Do You Keep a Diary?


Writing Life


I’m reading a thick book called, A Diary of the Century by Edward Robb Ellis. He started keeping a diary in 1927 when he was seventeen and had boxes full of his writings when he died at 83. I’m just to the part where he got his first full-time job for Associated Press in New Orleans when Huey Long was trying to become the dictator of Louisiana.

Eddie speaks of The Great Depression, how the banks closed and people lost all the money they had. The stress was so bad many of them had heart attacks and died. When Eddie saw a breadline of over 200 starving men, he felt the depression was there to stay for a while.

Edward Robb Ellis’s wrote about large events of the days, and he wrote about his feelings and personal experiences, as well. To me that is a combination of a diary and journal. It is sometimes difficult to draw a line of separation between the two. We don’t need to do that if we want to combine them.

David in the Bible did the same thing. He wrote about events, he poured out his anguish, and then he prayed for help. It seems God answered the prayers as he was writing because often in the same Psalm where he’s asking for help he soon begins thanking God for His deliverance.

I write in a diary or journal almost every day. It never fails to lift my spirits. Only God can do that, of course, but writing is my best way to hear Him. Eddie said that writing a diary keeps him straight and honest with himself. I agree.

This week I’ve written about going to a sales party and seeing friends I haven’t seen for awhile. It was a joyous time. I’ve written about Bill and I having lunch with our son and walking around Lake Eola in Orlando. The swans are all in love. The turtles are swimming together. A beautiful black man in a hot pink tee shirt was walking entwined with his ladylove who looked like an exotic Indian dancer. The next day I had lunch with our daughter and we talked in mother daughter shorthand. I wrote all about that.

Today I had no appointments, but I got up grouchy. Thank the Lord there’s a way not to ruin my own day. First, I wrote about the dog next door. If he’s outside, he barks at us every time we open the door. I wrote about my headache. I even wrote about how Bill keeps washing the dishes and putting them in the drainer instead of rinsing them off and putting them in the dishwasher so I can accumulate a full load. I know, they are frivolous, silly complaints, but when I got through telling the God who loves me and who already knows everything about me, I felt relieved of a burden. I was ready to write His love pats. The process reminds me a little of David’s, but of course no one is trying to kill me, as they were him. The great thing is that God loves little old me as much as He did David and so he makes no difference in the help we need or deserve.

“Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar.” Psalm 5:1-2

My journal




  1. DiVoran Lites says:

    I enjoyed your comment. It’s so geat to hear about what other writers think and do.

  2. DiVoran Lites says:

    Journal keeping seems to come and go at first, but now you’ve settled into an enjoyable habit and that’s wonderful.

  3. When I was a little girl, about 7, I started a diary. I might have only written a few lines and the rest of the page was empty. Over the years, if I’ve opened it and seen room, I’ve written the date and told “myself” what I was doing right then and there – that diary became “a letter to myself” as the years went on.

    • DiVoran Lites says:

      That’s a great thing to do. Then when you read it you have a record of what happened in different. What fun!

  4. I keep a dream journal and it helps to go back and look at what I dreamt over the past year. I also see a blog as a journal of our thoughts and journey. Thanks for a great reminder!

    • divoran09 says:

      I just looked at your website. It is beautiful. Congratulations on your book. Good Christian fiction is a wonderful way to bring our Lord to life for others.

    • DiVoran Lites says:

      Dreams tells us what we really think and are fun to figure out. I knew a woman once who dreamed gorgeous happy dreams and I envied her, though I don’t actually remember having nightmares.

  5. I wish I kept a better journal. I have so many lovely notebooks to write in, I just don’t make the time. 🙁

    • DiVoran Lites says:

      Thanks for your comment. You’ll get a chance at it some day and you’ll really enjoy it.

  6. As a young girl I kept a diary. I wonder where that is? LOL!!! But as I grew older, I started to journal daily. I’m not quite sure what stopped me, but it’s likely that I was doing it long hand on spiral notebooks, and my hands couldn’t handle it any more. The digital age has changed the concept of keeping a diary, but it’s a great idea — especially for writers.

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