5 reasons why writers should keep a personal diary

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by Rita H. Azar on September 11, 2014

Bonjour!

When I was in my teenage years, I tried a few times to write an entry a day in a personal diary but, it never lasted for long. When I look back at these journals, I see scattered memories of my life and I regret the fact that I was not more disciplined, important parts of my life exist only in my head and memory fades.

But, since about two months, I have been keeping religiously a personal diary, writing in it every day.

Although my diary is a place where I don’t have to worry about grammar, where I don’t have to censor myself and where my thoughts can go wild, it does have a certain formula. Following the teachings of Kate Forsyth, I first start by trying to remember my dreams. I value them in the writing process. For example, my manuscript was inspired by a dream. This piece of my subconscious then became a chapter in my novel and the entire story was built around it. My dreams have also inspired some of my short stories.

Then, I write about my days, random thoughts, special things that are happening in my life. I finish with writing about a memory, one memory per day.

Since I have been writing my diary, I‘ve been more attentive about what is happening around me. It has helped my inspiration to keep flowing. Ideas are everywhere and keeping a journal allows to write them all down. You never know when you will need and use them.

You know you're a writer

I have listed my 5 reasons why writers should keep a personal diary.

1- A personal diary is a great way to start writing and re-enforce the habit of writing every day.

There’s no blank page syndrome with a personal diary, just writing about normal days and general thoughts. And, like anything else, more writing is done, more inspiration comes flowing and better is the writing.

2- A personal diary allows to experiment with writing, stress free because no one other than yourself is reading.

For example, sitting in a cafe and observing what is happening, the sound of the coffee machines, describing the people, the smell of the cakes, the general feeling of the place. These types of exercises can help with the way the scenes are set in the story.

3- A personal diary allows analysing events and gives plot ideas.

I value the importance of keeping a record of life events in general. I find that when I put my thoughts into words and I can see them on paper, I can analyse and reflect much easier on ways to resolve issues and problems I face. Recording these personal events is also important because they can end up in some way or another into the creative writing.

4- A personal diary allows to experiment by describing people, how they interact with each other and how they react towards certain situations.

Observing people gives ideas on creating characters and writing dialogues. It helps in writing believable characters that have a sense of truth and reality.

5- A personal diary allows to analyse the news and use news stories into the creative writing.

For example, Suzanne Collins said she was inspired by a reality TV show and footage of the war in Iraq to write The Hunger Games Trilogy.

I also use my personal diary to analyse plot issues and character’s behaviour. I reflect on what will happen next in the novel, why and how.

It’s a strange thing but writing a personal diary has been giving me a sense of security, as if all these things that are happening in my life are recorded into words kept preciously.

And, I read this article on Brain Pickings, many famous authors who have written about the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary.

Do you write a personal diary? What benefit do you see in writing a personal diary?

Au revoir! 

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10 books that have affected me

by Rita H. Azar on September 8, 2014

Bonjour!

On Facebook today, I was tagged to post a list of 10 books that had a great impact on me. Only one rule: “Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. It’s not about the right book or great literature, just those that have affected you.” Then, tag other people!

I thought this was quite a quick and fun game to play on blogs and spread the world about books we love!

So, here’s my list; ghosts, magic and words of wisdom!

1.Rebecca” – Daphne du Maurier

2.Wuthering Heights” – Emily Brontë

3.The Shadow of the Wind” – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

4.Me first” – Katherine Pancol

5.The Alchemist” – Paulo Coelho

6.The Devil and Miss Prym” – Paulo Coelho

7.The Prophet” – Gibran Khalil Gibran

8.Bitter Greens” – Kate Forsyth

9.Broken Wings” – Gibran Khalil Gibran

10.Flowers in the Attic” – V. C. Andrews

 

I’d like to tag everyone who like to play this game and, more specifically Jess @ Used York City, Lara @ This Charming Mum, Lisa @ Lisa Berson, Ingrid @ IngStyle and Francesca @ Francesca Writes Here

Have you read any of these books? What are the books that have affected you?

Au revoir! 

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If you enjoyed reading my post, you can subscribe by email and receive all my new posts in your inbox.  You can also like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, on Instagram and Bloglovin.
Please, leave me a comment.  Let me know what you think of my post or any opinion you would like to share.  Even though I don’t answer all the comments, I read them all and I love them!

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Dalia’s story (continue the story)

Thumbnail image for Dalia’s story (continue the story) September 4, 2014

Bonjour! This is an update of an older post.  Our mysterious Dalia is back today.  Come on, hop in and keep her story alive…    I was waiting for my dinner to cook and looking at my social media when I had a flash, a woman sitting in a coffee shop.  Quite a random thought […]

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Some thoughts on critique partners and some knitting

Thumbnail image for Some thoughts on critique partners and some knitting September 1, 2014

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Researching World War 1 – A guest post by author Margaret Tanner

Thumbnail image for Researching World War 1 – A guest post by author Margaret Tanner August 28, 2014

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Melbourne named the most liveable city in the world

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Bonjour!  I am doing volunteering work at the Melbourne Writers Festival which is taking place at the moment in the heart of the CBD, Federation Square. It’s the second year I take part in this event.  It’s a great way to be inspired.  Last year, I discovered an author who would become one of my […]

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Women reunited in a creative project against domestic violence

Thumbnail image for Women reunited in a creative project against domestic violence August 21, 2014

Bonjour!  Today, I went to the launch of a banner to raise awareness against domestic violence in Arabic communities created by the Moreland’s group Women Looking Forward . The issue of Arabic families in Moreland (a suburb in Melbourne) experiencing domestic violence was raised. It was decided to implant a project aimed at informing families […]

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Interview at Expat Blog

Thumbnail image for Interview at Expat Blog August 18, 2014

Bonjour! I hope you had a great week-end!  What have you been up to?  I went to my writing group on Sunday and I shared on my Facebook page today a magical moment I had the chance to experience.   Also, do you remember the competition I entered on Kate Forsyth’s blog by creating a […]

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Some colours and blog design changes

August 14, 2014

Bonjour!  So I have finally got around changing a few things around the blog with the help of Michelle at Little Hero Hosting. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you again to everyone who commented on the post My first bloggers meet up and some thoughts about blogging. What you said regarding […]

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How Deborah Harkness is making me walk

Thumbnail image for How Deborah Harkness is making me walk August 11, 2014

Bonjour!  I have never been a sporty kind of girl. Do you know anyone that has actually failed her physical education class? Well, now you do. Me! When I was in college, that’s an institution after high school in Quebec where we study before getting into Uni, I failed my Volleyball class! Yes, yes! That’s […]

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