I know I’m not the only writer out there that has a notebook beside their bed. I use mine to write down the character ideas and plot points that float around in my grey matter desperate to be noticed, which normally coincides with when I’m just about to close my eyes and wait for sleep to arrive.
Yet, sometimes a notebook isn’t quite enough? What about everything else that’s going on? To-do lists, bills to pay, is the car MOT due soon or is that next month, where do I find X, Y or Z without breaking the bank, are the kids OK, would they tell me if they weren’t? – all these things and more need to be written down, it’s as if my mind needs to discuss everything with me before it’s ready to let me rest at the end of the day.
I started writing a diary when I was about to go into first year at high school. At least I think it was then, I haven’t found any well-thumbed notebooks from before that time and I am a bit of a hoarder.
I’m not sure why I started at that point, maybe it’s because I was nearly 12 and heading to the ‘Big School’ or maybe it was more because I had a vague idea what lay in store for me and I needed an outlet for my worries. My sisters had obviously told me all about high school, their tales about some of the teachers and consequences of not doing homework etc had been stretched into fantasy just to scare me but I knew that some of what they said was true. Though at that point, I was more interested in the 80s band A-ha and whether Morten Harket could possibly find love with a Scottish soon-to-be teenager who had a Pierrot Clown duvet cover that had never occurred to me to realise I was now too old for.
Fast forward mumble years and I still use a diary. Not every night to be fair, I mainly keep it for the good/bad things that have happened on any particular day. It’s filled with hopes for my family and what lies ahead for my stories amid the ever-increasingly crazy world we live in.
The worries never seem to go away, they just change form and morph into other meaningful things at each point in my life but at least they feel somehow ‘managed’ a bit better now that they’re shared on the page. The importance of each one paling into insignificance as I furiously scribble my woes most nights. Sometimes the pages are spattered with amazing things that have happened and sometimes they’re filled with sad or anxious thoughts that never seem to leave me be. Niggling at my happiness, convincing me that they need a voice too.
These musings may never be read again but the act of writing them down snapshots a moment in my life that I may well have forgotten the next again day.
It’s good to know the memories are still there, should I ever choose to go back in time.