The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing: Writing Myself

By Gillie Bolton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Keeping a Journal:
‘The Diamonds of the Dustheap’

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something
sensational to read on the train.

(Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, p.32)

Only good girls keep diaries, bad girls don’t have the time.

(Tallulah Bankhead)

‘Great God! merciful God! Let me be calm, for out of that way lies
madness indeed. I begin to get new lights on certain things which have
puzzled me. Up to now I never quite knew what Shakespeare meant
when he made Hamlet say:

My tablets! Quick my tablets!
’Tis meet that I put it down, etc..,

for now feeling as though my own brain were unhinged or as if the shock
had come which must end in its undoing, I turn to my diary for repose.
The habit of entering accurately must help to soothe me.’

(Bram Stoker, Dracula, p.50)


Not a filofax!

A diary is a friend, the best friend you will ever find yourself. It is always there, always receptive and it is the only time you can talk openly and be certain that you will not be questioned and that what you say will not be repeated to anyone else. And it’s quiet, blessedly quiet ‘Through diary writing we can create our own identities in this private space’ (Simons 1990, p.36). This is the ‘journal intime’, the private or secret diary in which the diarist can explore and examine whatever they want or need to about themselves

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