a twist in the tales of life

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Diary Experiment

I am conducting a writing experiment on myself.  On Thursday I began to keep a diary which I will constantly update throughout the day. The length of the experiment is one week. Every thought deep or shallow, every event big or small will be documented in full. This is a departure for me as I keep notes in tattered copybooks and ideas on scraps of card but never a diary.

It may seem a bit unusual for someone who writes (a bit) not to keep one, but I haven’t kept a diary since I was 16 and then after a few months I had to burn it one day when no one was home. I was rather worried  because as someone who has always been a bit on the scatty side it was likely I would leave in where it could be found and read. Then I would be in more trouble than I could ever imagine!

Looking back now the diary was harmless enough, pages packed with teenage angst and tales of being misunderstood. I have always been a free spirit even if at that age most of the free spiritedness had to stay in my own head. There were a few incidents of experimenting with alcohol which were actually quite funny now and a few tales of mine and my friend’s experiments with boys. Not forgetting one about criminal damage.

Well it wasn’t exactly criminal damage. It was one Sunday when a gang of us got together and my friend Jim and I decided that it would be a laugh to dress Jim up as Prince. So as he was already wearing a black coat, I got two tassel scarves and tied one around his head and the other around his neck and played whatever Prince track was in the charts then on my portable stereo. I thought to complete the look he needed a mock guitar so I pulled up a no dumping sign from the road side and he used that to perfect his look and moves. I wish camera phones were around then.

Anyway the diary experience put me off writing one again. I thought that the safest place to keep any thoughts or memories or ramblings was in my own head. But I thought as I wasn’t getting the time I would like to write as much as I was before aunty B took ill and when I did write it was coming from somewhere rather rushed and stressed. I thought if I record every thought and deed for a week and see what is actually spinning in my head it might actually be a very useful exercise in more ways than one. It could relieve the little bit of stress I can feel from time to time so it would be a therapeutic exercise, it could help me look at stuff differently, and also perhaps bring a new angle to my writing.

As it stands I have my project which is fiction, I have this friendly blog and the frequent use of the communicator messaging in work where we send instant smart and cheeky messages directly to each other trying to outwit each other’s wit. A complete diary is hitting a completely different spot.

I am going with the free association theory, whatever comes up goes down. I have even managed to argue out a few things with myself so it is certainly bringing something new to the table as they say. Next Thursday I will read it back and see do I recognise myself.

I am not doing any read back at all. No checking the page I just turned for continuation I just go. I am not, as far as I can, holding anything in short term memory so I can get a real view of the inside of my head in four days time. This is helping resist the temptation as I know I will get a kick out of the full picture on Thursday.

I am quite interested as to what I might say about work when I am totally unbridled inside this turquoise notebook. Especially with some of what has been going on lately. It been a great time to observe certain human behaviours shall I say. I will have to be careful I don’t leave the thing on my desk at lunchtime or go home without it.

 I could even end up having to burn this one too. If anything interesting comes up I will let you know but I may end up editing just in case I come across as a serious nutter and you never visit me here again. Or indeed my friends, if I haven’t scared them off send for the white coats to drag me away from this keyboard. All shall be revealed! (Maybe)

I don’t feel I can end this one as I usually do what with the sad events in Norway this weekend so I will send  a thought of sympathy and compassion to all who are grieving and a prayer for their loss.


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