Thinking Out Loud – Diaries & Journals
[4.5 min read]
I confess they fascinate me, but I don’t mean sneaking a peek at someone’s without their permission – that is something I would never do. I’d feel very keenly that I was violating their trust because a journal is somewhere the writer needs to feel able to record their thoughts for the purpose of self-analysis, and to censor those thoughts (in case of discovery) seriously limits the effectiveness of journaling. I hope you’ll read other posts linked to this meme, one in particular has already provided me with both inspiration and admiration for his strength was this by Charlie X, who has used journaling to help his personal growth.
As a little book-worm, I belonged to the Puffin Club. So for several years I used one of their navy blue diaries with a matching pencil in its spine. I would write a few lines about what had happened to me each day, but I kept these diaries sporadically – lots written when the diary was new, not so much as the year wore on.
My mother encouraged us to keep a journal when we went on holiday, to record what we had seen and done. I still have a few stashed away so I know the date that I first visited Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle (the latter readers may know as the setting for Harry Potter’s first flying lesson).
The year I was 15 I was using a wall calendar as my diary. So that nobody in my dormitory could read it, I wrote it in code. (That was a labour of love!) When I was 16 I was given a desk diary. An improvement which gave me a whole page to record thoughts and feelings, which pop stars I was crushing on (Terry Hall from the Specials). I even used symbols to record my periods and if masturbated; It felt important to note down ‘real’ things.
I was strongly influenced by a diary style novel which included very personal aspects of the central character (a mixed-race young american female)’s life. I wish I could share its title, but I have been unable to track back and find it. It was set in the 60s, because her life is impacted by the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King and the death of Jimi Hendrix.
After my first forays into sex, I would record these intimate events in my diary, until my mother warned me to hide it better. Apparently my grandmother had read my diary when she was dusting and came to her telling tales.
Once I moved out of my family home to live with my boyfriend, keeping my own journal fell by the wayside. The fascination for a story told using a timeline, however, didn’t wane. A friend recommended the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ (Sue Townsend)
– a book which I found hilarious, very tongue in cheek. The hero Adrian’s serious demeanour reminded me of my younger self and seeing the world through his guileless eyes was vastly entertaining.
Having bought my copy from a charity shop, I devoured it avidly. I believe it was ground-breaking at the time, a narrative told entirely through diary entries. As a plot vehicle it is genius, the reader only ever sees things from Briget’s point of view so misunderstanding motivations or drawing conclusions happen as our heroine experiences them.
“Can officially confirm that the way to a man’s heart these days is not through beauty, food, sex, or alluringness of character, but merely the ability to seem not very interested in him.”
― Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary
It’s recognised that Helen Fielding modernised the plot of Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen] for the framework of BJD, which was always going to score points with me. Since 1996 many have followed HF’s formula, writing their stories in the form of diary entries, or e-mail conversations. Helen was the front-runner and the best in my opinion, I’m delighted she also produced a great sequel (I can’t comment on the third book not having read it).
In later life, my journaling re-emerged via this blog. The majority of my posts are erotic fiction, but I buffer these by writing thoughts, opinions and my take on things which happen to me, often (but not always) on sex related topics. I read other people’s blogs too and it’s recognised that examining our thoughts on a topic through writing them down is often helpful. Occasionally the feedback we receive can shed some light or offer advice. I don’t put myself forward as any kind of expert, in fact I’ve recently needed to revise some older posts. I have learned so much along the way, realising there are topics on which I should listen rather than speak. I owe a great debt to my various guest bloggers, to readers who provide feedback, and many generous sex educators within this community.
I was recently invited by a fellow sex blogger to participate in the creation of a journal which demonstrated the limitations, restrictions and very real health concerns imposed by the lockdown imposed to deal with the global pandemic Covid-19. My journaling of the first 7 days in April 2020 were combined with the thoughts of 6 other sex bloggers and published in the book Seven Days in April
which can be purchased (to download) from Amazon. It was a venture in which I was proud to participate. Reading what the other diarists wrote gave me 6 different windows on the world while helping me get to know new writers. I found the evolution of people’s attitudes and outlooks surprisingly varied.
Other diary/journal style work I recommend:
On Elliott’s blog he’s been sharing several entries from Howie’s Diary. Howie is a 53 year old Australian, who has documented his sexual encounters through the years. Here he finds a sex worker with whom he seems to have a real connection.
On her blog, missy crafted an intriguing fictional stay at a submissive training school. April faces many new experiences, here she describes coping with the challenge of yoni balls worn when running errands.
On my blog Rabbit (a submissive) keeps a diary to record her D/s life,(not unusual I’m told) here is an excerpt where she displays particularly bratty behaviour.
If you enjoy this, it is part of a longer serial so you could read all the episodes.
Also on my blog I shared my fan fiction offering: Bridget Jones Re-imagined
It’s a 2-part story which re-imagines the the outset of a young woman’s infamous office romance with her boss, but set in the current era of mobile phones and unashamed use of sex toys!
Belle de Jour – Diary of a London Call Girl
Both these books originated from sex blogs. Each gained a popularity which resulted in their authors losing their anonymity. Each consist of frank accounts regarding the motivations and feelings involved as well as the mechanics of the main characters’ varied sex lives.
In her Closet (the Lust Diaries Book 1) by Tasha L Harrison
Entertainment columnist Yves Santiago unapologetically lives her life as carelessly as a man. Her day job keeps her flush in men with few regrets. By night she details her exploits on her anonymous sex blog ‘Lust Diaries.
My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by Rae Earl
Rae is 17 and living with her mum in Stamford, Lincs in 1989. She is boy mad and can’t seem to keep away from the larder. This is the hilarious and touching diary she kept during that fateful year.
The Not so Secret E-mails of Coco Pinchard (Book 1 of 5) By Robert Bryndza
Coco always dreamed of being a successful writer, but then life got in the way. She married young, had a son, and put her dreams on hold… Now she’s forty, with her first novel poised to be published! Her husband is a silver fox, and her son is all grown up. Surely it’s time to enjoy life?
Murdered in Chelsea (a Lily Cane Mystery) By Ticky Hedley-Dent
Lily is a journalist in 2007, demoted from Features to Obituaries by her new boss. When aristocrat and fashion muse Lady Zuleika Winters is found dead in her Chelsea apartment, Lily is assigned the task of exposing decadent London – infiltrating an impenetrable clique to find out more. Varying from a diary format, the plot follows a police timeline.
Submitted for Tell Me About on the topic of Writing, Blogging and Journaling, why not follow the link to see what others have shared.