So I was looking in the folder with my old writings that date back to 1966, and in the folder, I found an article from The New York Times Magazine by Patrick Huyghe, dated 11/8/81. The article is titled "Diary Writing Turns a New Leaf" and these are some quotes from it.
- "Why do I feel compelled to write down all these little ideas and notions?" (Saxon Holt, San Francisco, 1/9/81)
- "More often, however, journal writing is cited by practioners for its cathartic function. The journal is, and has been throughout history, a tool for self-understanding." (Huyghe)
- "For the most part, diary keeping is a closet practice, and most of its practioners are unaware that they are part of a long cultural and historical tradition." (Huyghe)
- "When we go deeply into the personal, we go beyond the personal. We achieve something that is collective.: (Anais Nin)
- "I throw away my diaries a few weeks after they are completed. They are like millstones around my neck. I don't like being encumbered by the past." (Craig Schenck, Charlottesville, VA)
- "Usually, when a man quits writing in his journal...he has lost interest in life." (E.B. White)
My own diaries, kept in small notebooks, from grade school through college, then sporadically for the next 5 or 6 years, were more datebooks than journals, recording events, the friends I made, the things I liked or disliked, the movies I saw, the TV shows I watched. Books I read went into the Reading Journal I still maintain.
For more personal matters, feelings and introspection, I wrote essays. There aren't very many of them and they're in the folder with the bits of writing I did growing up, the bad poetry and satirical essays about people I knew in college or who I worked with back in the '70s. There is even some bits of fiction, no longer than 1 or 2 typed pages. Some things aren't in there anymore. I must have weeded them out for some reason now lost to my memory.
Also in the folder are the 4 articles I submitted cold to some magazines, knowing nothing about submission guidelines, and the rejection letters that I received in reply. And there's the eulogy I wrote, at my father and sister's request, for my mother's funeral. And there's only one actual poem remaining. I'll give it its own entry.