My 30 Day Diary Writing Challenge

2015-08-12 13.08.14

It was walking along the excellent Welsh Coastal path (above) with Debbie that I decided on my next challenge, to write a diary for the next 30 days.  It was clear to me that I wanted to write it as part of my blog, because diary posts would document the emergence of ideas and capture aspects of my life that might eventually emerge as blog posts, It also appeals to me to have all of my thoughts in one place.  But using my blog made use of all the infrastructure that’s grown up around it, the writing tools, the storage, the RSS feeds, search, the automated integration with Evernote and Memento etc.

There was a challenge though as I needed to filter my blog so that the main RSS feed and the home page didn’t show the diary.  I documented how I set all of this up in this post, but the bottom line is that diary posts can only be accessed in four ways, directly through diary.seasidelife.com, through the diary category, through the diary RSS feed and through search, so only the determined will see them.

Writing the diary has been something of a revelation, I’ve written diary blog posts for many months before, but writing a diary is different as there’s no pressure to deliver.  I’m writing the diary for myself, I can write as much or as little as I want, but something always happens worth writing down.  When I first started though it felt like a bit of a chore, but my the end of the month reviewing my day became one of the highlights.  I found that I appreciated my days more, I made more of an effort to do something useful each day and to try and tease out of the daily experience some lessons that would help me live better tomorrow.  It’s really been a surprising delight.  Writing in public on my blog has also worked out nicely, even some of the kids have started to read my entries which is cute.

I’m gradually trying to capture more useful information in the posts too, places that I’ve been, books I’ve read, challenges, delights, ideas, failures, successes, it’s improved my clarity of thinking.  I’m definitely going to keep it up!  I’m particularly anticipating reading last years posts on a daily basis next year and on into the future to keep my memories alive, losing my memory is already an issue and diary writing is the best tool I know of to mitigate it’s decline.

The titles (in reverse order) of my first batch of posts are listed below, for interest, and also to show off how clever I am to be able to generate it in just a few clicks of a mouse Winking smile another example of the efficiency of using a single platform for all of my writing:

  1. Flamborough Head
  2. Lawn Care
  3. Whipped And Bruised
  4. A New Toy
  5. Amazon Deliveries
  6. Plan’s Dashed
  7. Living Near Water
  8. Raised Beds
  9. The End of The Holidays
  10. The Distant Hills
  11. Wasp Tales
  12. Appreciating The Familiar
  13. Friends and Family
  14. Watching The Sun Rise
  15. The Kale Just Keeps On growing
  16. The First Twinge Of Boredom
  17. I’ve never Worked So Hard
  18. Starting To Get Fit
  19. Outdoor Swimming
  20. Exploring Nottingham
  21. Canal Walking
  22. Making Future Plans
  23. The Preston Guild Wheel
  24. Preparing For A Short Break
  25. Patching the lawn
  26. Back To Nature
  27. A Day Of Grumbles
  28. Car Washing
  29. Runner Beans
  30. Leaving Home
  31. Changing Plans
  32. Homeward Bound
  33. Fantastic Four, Python And Shopping
  34. Swansea Cliff Top Walk

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

2 Responses

  1. September 17, 2015

    […] up to do a bit of writing and I struggled through a post on medication withdrawal and another on my experience of diary writing.  They really were a struggle, because my concentration is terrible and I made dozens of […]

  2. June 10, 2016

    […] Now that I have my allotment I’m writing an allotment diary as well as a personal diary, it provides a similar purpose, but it’s also a really useful practical record that I can use each year to help me plan.  My allotment diary is a ‘hidden’ section of my main blog that can be reached at http://steves.allotmentnews.com/ or the ‘allotment news’ category of the blog http://steves.seasidelife.com/category/allotment-news/.  I started this diary writing habit with a 30 day challenge. […]

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