Zen and the Art of Diary Maintenance

Many people who eventually became writers have started out by keeping diaries. Though I have never given a serious thought about writing anything other than what the basic academic curriculum required during most of my school and college days, I have often tried to maintain diaries. It is fascinating to see in movies or read in stories how people have captured every little incident in their lives in their diaries. But actually once you get down to it, maintaining a diary is no easy task. If you set out to faithfully record the happenings of the day, it is not long before the tedium of the task completely overwhelms you. If one were to think about it, diaries in stories usually tend to capture all the interesting incidents of the protagonists lives, leaving out all the dreary details, the monotony and the drudgery of day to day life. But how is possible selectively record only the interesting incidents unless one has a talent for storytelling?


The other approach to diary keeping is to focus on one’s thoughts and musings rather than incidents. But this again comes with its own set of challenges. Recording of thoughts has an element of grandeur to it that makes one draw parallels with great minds and want to believe one thinks profound thoughts. But unfortunately when you observe your thoughts, more often than not they tend to be mundane and you wonder if the thoughts are even worth the paper and ink they are going to consume. And at times, when the thoughts do appear profound, you wonder if they are occurring naturally or it is just you being pretentious in an effort to write something cool in your diary. Then there are truths hidden in the recesses of the mind that you want no one to ever know. Would one really dare to put one’s darkest thoughts down on paper and risk discovery?  

So why suddenly all this fuss about writing diaries you may ask. I think you might have guessed the answer- I am going to try keeping a diary all over again. Where? Right here! After all isn’t that what the original purpose of blogs was – Web Logs. Even my idea when I started my blog seven years back was to share my musings. From there I took lot of detours and got into the realms of fiction, reviews, poetry, satire, analysis etc. In an effort to find a sense of structure and a sense of direction, I started my second blog. With that in place, this blog’s identify crisis deepened. Then suddenly one fine day, it all came to me. The two blogs are like Yin and Yan. If Three Realms represents order, Lucifer House represents chaos. While Three Realms is about the past, the future and one’s imagination, Lucifer House is about the present. While Three Realms center of gravity lies outside, that of Lucifer House shall reside within.

So from now on, I shall be sharing my musings here on a frequent but irregular basis with no form or structure, with no rhyme or reason.

6 comments:

jaish_vats said...

Looking forward to more posts from your diary TF ....I love writing in diaries but after mommyhood its an almost nil activity for me ... It's nice to read randomly from past pages and rekindle memories that have gone into a forgotten database :)

indu chhibber said...

Somehow i don't like to keep a diary.I would not like my private thoughts to be there for anyone to read and secondly if it is something which hurt me then i would rather forget it than record it on paper.

Cart Hick said...

Thanks Jaish. Yeah - writing can be tough with toddlers demanding every second of your time.

Cart Hick said...

Yeah, Indu. That is why one tends to sanitize one's thoughts while putting them down in a diary. But sanitization takes away that rawness of pure thought that adds spice to diary writing.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Never was a diary writer :) Let us see where your diary writing takes you :)

Cart Hick said...

Even I am wondering where it will take me, Suresh.

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