12th May – Keep a One Day Diary for Mass Observation

May 12th 2016 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results.  The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents. We would be very grateful if you could document your May 12th for the future.

Please write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you, how you are feeling and of course what you yourself think.

Source: 12th May12may

The Culture of the Diary

If you’ve never kept a diary, try it for one week. Write a note to yourself every day and see how it goes. If you already keep a diary give it an update or think of something unusual to write about. What haven’t you confessed to the clean, white pages? What are you holding back, even there?

From Samuel Pepys to Bridget Jones, the private journal combines the mundane with the confessional. Lucy Scholes reveals why the diary still fascinates readers.

Source: BBC – Culture – Anne Frank and the cult of the diary

Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

Capture

Today’s challenge is one I am skipping for now. I’ve got a lot of blogs I follow, years and years worth of blogs I follow and I almost never read them. I would like to take time to weed through my list to find which are link rot, moved and can have a fresh link and find new sites which I would love to add to the list. That all takes quite a lot of time though, more than one day for sure.

So this day three of the WordPress Blogging 101 will have to be on the list of extra things to do later. I’d like to do the same for all of my sites. Actually, links I have on the two main sites need to be sorted into relevant topics which would fit on the niche sites too.

Lots of work to be done!

 

Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.
Why spend time reading other blogs?

Publishing posts is only half of blogging — engaging with the community is the other.
Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.
Part of what makes blogging such a rich experience are the relationships we develop with people from around the world. Those relationships only happen when we engage with one another — just look at The Commons. Plus, reaching out to other bloggers is the best way to have them return the favor.

The first step is finding the people you want to connect with. By following topics you care about in the Reader, you’ll discover a world of blogs. Some of them will become favorite reads, and some of their authors will become your fans.

Want to share your great finds? Visit The Commons.
To get you started, review our tips on using the Reader to find and follow blogs that speak to you. A few of our editors have also shared their favorite Reader topics. Add five topics, so you can access them quickly whenever you feel like doing some reading. As you browse the topics, follow five new blogs, too.

The Blogroll on The Commons is another great place to explore. There are over 1200 of you participating — you’re bound to find some new favorite reads. Scroll through the list, and click on titles that intrigue you, seem up your alley, or make you laugh. (Adding the “blogging101″ topic to your Reader is also a great way to keep up with your co-bloggers.)

If you don’t blog on WordPress.com, you can still use the Reader if you have a WordPress.com username. If not, there are other ways to explore — your blogging platform may allow you to browse, or you can visit blogs you love and check out their blogrolls and commenters’ blogs.

Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing today’s task if you’d like! Write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog, or take a look at our prompts and challenges for more inspiration.

I Used to Write on BackWash Kids

bwkids

If you also wrote for (with) the BackWash community network of writers/ columnists join us for a BackWash reunion.

Here is the content from the post above. In text for those who can’t read it from the screen captured image above.

Spin your Thoughts with a Journal

Do you keep a journal? Sometimes its called a diary, I think thats the old fashioned term. What you write in your journal is up to you. Be creative, rant about your family, chronicle your life, or just spin your thoughts on the web.

Keep your journal in a secret place if you don’t want anyone to read it. Or, if you feel like sharing you can read what you write to friends or even keep your journal online with sites like Blogger. Of course, you can do both. Have an online journal and another secret journal for just yourself.

Journals can be kept in plain notebooks or fancy lined paper books you buy in stationery stores like Hallmark. I like to write with a fine tip black pen but you can experiment with all kinds of pens and colours. Add stickers or stick in clippings from newspapers and magazines. If you really want to put in a lot of clippings have a look at scrapbooking. Thats another form of journaling but there tends to be less writing and more drawings.

There are lots of websites about journaling and scrapbooking. Have a look around and see which appeals to you.

Who Will Read your Diary in the Future?

I write a diary. You could also call it a journal but I prefer diary because that feels connected to history and all the women who have kept a diary through history. Since the early days of writing on paper women have documented their thoughts, their lives and their ideas.

We write with someone in mind, a reader.

It may be a generic reader or you may think of an actual person as you write. I do. The person I write to has changed over the years. I think I wrote to myself when I was a kid. It’s hard to remember and know for sure what I was thinking as I wrote so long ago when my mind was so much less complicated. Then I wrote for the people. I used to think my diary would be read long after I’m gone but it would be used for my biography, whoever took up the task of writing it.

At some point I began to edit myself as I wrote. Having that reader in mind, I started to think about how much I didn’t want the world to know versus how much I wanted to write about everything in my head. Writing a diary is a release, a freedom of thought and a way to organize your emotions too. But, when you think of someone else actually reading all of that… your outlook changes.

Now I try to write just for myself again. Thinking too much about the reader took away too much of what I needed from the whole thing of keeping a diary. So, they all join each other in a big storage box as I run out of space to write. But, I don’t know if anyone will ever read them. At least not until I am long gone and will never know (or hear) what people say about the real me in the pages of those hand written books.

The history of women is in our diaries, our letters and our crafts. I’m so glad to see the history of women being pulled from obscurity.

So few women managed to become a part of recorded history, other than being mentioned as the daughter, wife or sister of some important man. So much of women’s history is lost. What was it really like to be a woman, daughter, wife, Mother or sister in the 1600’s? Those were the days when North America was being discovered by Europeans. I’d really like to know about women in early, ancient and prehistory. In such early days we don’t have history of any people but those who were politically important, enough to have been written about. Of course, in those early days of writing, it was rare for women to be taught to write.

I think about that sometimes. I don’t take writing and being about write for granted. We record our own history, in our own words. That is something of value – our way of having a mark on the world, even if we aren’t sure we really want someone else to read it!

 

Write Like a Diarist

Most people who keep a diary / journal write with an audience in mind. They write to someone, even if they don’t ever plan to let anyone else read what they have written.

Try writing a diary entry about your day, or pick an average sort of day to write about. Choose who your audience is. As you write change your audience to someone else about midway through. How does this change what you write and how you are writing it?

How to Start a Diary or Personal Journal

What to Write

Any time you are not sure what to write or just can’t seem to get started – read back your last post to the journal and comment on it. Did you meet any goals, achieve something or did the day you expected turn out completely different from what you had written?

Write with Pen and Paper

Take a break from the computer, sit in a different chair and use a different table when you write your journal. Buy yourself a paper notebook with blank pages for you to fill. Pick a pen with a nice flow and even a pretty colour of ink to write with. (Blue ink can be pretty – there are all kinds of shades of blue ink in pens once you try out a few of them).

There are endless books created to be journals. You can go to a book store and look at a display full of them. Pick something appealing to you. While you’re there pick out a bookmark too. Not that you really need one but it’s nice to have something to mark the page you last wrote and the new one where you will write again.

There is a nice feeling when you actually write with a pen on paper. Plus you will be practising your penmanship. keeping cursive writing alive and working through writer’s cramp rather than losing those muscles and that hand dexterity.

Writing Every Day, or Not

There are those who believe a journal or diary must be written in every day. That’s a lot to stick with. I know from my own experience how tough it is to stick with a schedule/ plan like that.

However, writing everyday does give you writing discipline. You can get into the habit of writing each day and then it does become easier. You will even find yourself composing your daily journal entry as you get up in the morning, on the drive into work or while you’re doing something routine like brushing your teeth. Then all you need to do is sit down long enough to write it all out.

Putting thoughts on paper is a great way to sort out all the stuff going on in your head. We think about so many things, get so many ideas and plans and then poof, they’re gone as we get busy with something else. Keeping a daily diary is a good way to keep track, solidify, and give more respect to your ideas, thoughts and plans.

As you sort out and give some real space to everything in your head you will find your mind become a little better at organizing everything going on in there. You can define your thoughts as you have to work out just what they are and how they could work in order to put them on paper.

Of course, there is no law saying you have to write in your journal or diary every day. So don’t take it so seriously you end up not writing at all because you feel you haven’t done enough with keeping the journal. It’s there, waiting for you, when ever you come back for it. A journal is just a notebook, a collection of pages, it doesn’t blame you or want you to feel obligated to it.

To Edit or Not to Edit

This is such a tricky thing. I did go back and edit some of my old diary posts. I regret it and yet, those edits are part of the history of my diaries now too. I still feel I should have just left them as I originally wrote them, however. I can never go back in time and be the person I was at the time I wrote them. It seems just a bit snarky to criticize or correct myself in any way.

Of course, some of what I wrote were not so much edits as comments based on how things turned out as time went by. The comments are pretty cool really. Now, even more time has gone by and I have yet another perspective on both the original post and the comments I made on it somewhere in between then and now.

One of the good things about keeping a journal/ diary on paper is that you can’t so easily delete your old posts. Online you can make a quick decision to edit or delete something and it will be lost and gone forever.

Extra Tips for Diary/ Journal Writing

How to Keep from Getting Bored with Your Diary

diaryIf you’ve been keeping a journal. or diary, for awhile it can become a little stale just talking to yourself, the same monologue. Here are some ways to perk your journal writing back up and make it something you can look forward to again.

Start with a diary you like. Shop for a pretty or interesting blank book or make a cover (and even pages) of your own. Or, you might use an online diary and begin on a site like Open Diary, LiveJournal or Blogger.

If you really want to write every day, do it. Keeping a writing schedule is a great way to boost your creativity and discipline yourself to write.

If you don’t want to be a disciplined writer versus a creative writer then don’t push yourself to write ever day.

Whether you write daily or not, don’t always write a long post. Give yourself quick days so you don’t feel chained to your diary. Then, when you have something to say and really do want to write about your feelings, thoughts, ideas and happenings in your life, do so. Give yourself all the space you want to explore your own self.

Have fun with your journal. Draw in it, sketch, stick souvenirs or stickers inside the pages, Turn each fresh page into something uniquely you and don’t be too timid about trying something new. This is your diary, your journal, all the rules are your own to set, or even ignore when you choose to.

Be emotional. In life we are told to be nice, not to be too sensitive and not to get so angry. However, in your diary you can vent, you can pour out sadness, grief, envy, anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, hopeless feelings – any and all feelings can leak out from your fingers, into your pen or your keyboard and onto the fresh white page. This is your place to be emotional and not be judged or told what you should feel.

Always remember this is your adventure on paper. Write it your way.

Don’t always write in the same place or at the same time. Take your diary on the road. Go out to the coffee shop, the mall food court, anywhere you can find a decent place to write. Don’t always look for quiet and solitude. There’s something kind of special, romantic and even mysterious about being a writer right out there where everyone can see you.

You don’t have to use your best penmanship. As long as you can understand our own grammar, spelling and punctuation, that’s all that really matters. (Maybe some day your diary will become a big, best seller) but right now it’s all just your own message in a bottle to yourself. Make mistakes, get messy and don’t go back and fix everything.

If you write with paper and pen take some time to try a few different kinds of pens. Experiment with ink colours, thick or thin nibs and different kind of grips on the pen itself. It’s really nice to have a pen that completely suits your writing style.

Write with pencil if you find yourself wanting to sketch or go back and fix your spelling.

Not everything in your diary has to come from your own brain. If you come across a quote by someone else stick it in the pages too. Write about why you like it, what was special about it for you.

Inspiration, Prompts and Articles for Diary Writers

Diary Groups and Projects

 

One Hundred Things to Help Inspire Creativity

wallflower

This was originally posted to HubPages. When it became mothballed due to their no-index policy I pulled it and brought here to rescue it from content scrapers and give it a second wind.

100 Creative Ideas

This will be my 100th post to HubPages. I actually joined years ago but didn’t start writing here until last year. Still, it took awhile to write 100 posts.

I almost went ahead and just posted one of the ideas I have been working on without thinking to make this post anything special. Then, I stopped. One hundred posts should be some kind of milestone.

So, after considering a few ideas, I decided to post 100 creative ideas to help, inspire and push others to be creative (more creative). Yes, they are slightly slanted to women. But, I’m thinking of ideas out of my own head and that’s who I am.

Enjoy the ideas. Let me know if you try a few and what kind of creative adventures and explorations you have.

  1. Write your own list of 100 things.
  2. Gather up all your pens and some paper. Have a pen testing party. Get rid of pens that don’t still work.
  3. Create a design with coffee cup rings (or tea) on a blank page.
  4. Take paper and pens – find somewhere public where you can spend an hour or longer just writing whatever comes to mind.
  5. Draw a dragon. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, doodle until it starts to look good.
  6. Interview someone interesting, to you. Ask them what you really want to know.
  7. Write a suggestion and send it to the right people.
  8. Go barefoot (within reason) for at least an hour.
  9. People watch.
  10. Practice calligraphy. Bonus if you can use a fountain pen too.
  11. Pick up a pebble, a leaf, a shell, something small from nature.
  12. Start an account on Twitter and use it.
  13. Try ASCII art. Images created with keyboard text.
  14. Write a haiku poem.
  15. Draw a map of your local area, add all the land features, streets, etc.
  16. Play Scrabble with someone.
  17. Leave your car at home and take the bus for one day.
  18. Read out loud.
  19. Write your favourite word on an index card (recipe card) then decorate it in any way you dream up.
  20. Try a unique flavour of tea. The best I had was caramel.
  21. Make a chain of paperdolls.
  22. Write a postcard to someone, mail it.
  23. Take a unique self-portrait photograph of yourself.
  24. Read the newspaper and clip out one idea you can write about.
  25. Try baking something: pie, cake, cheesecake.
  26. Repurpose an old T-shirt in some useful way.
  27. Try Snip.it – set up a topic you want to research there.
  28. Paint your body. If you seldom paint your nails, try that. Otherwise, face painting, a temporary tattoo…
  29. Photograph water, any kind of water: rain on a window, a puddle, water in the sink…
  30. Make thumbprints and turn them into characters.
  31. Try origami. Follow a pattern and see how it turns out.
  32. Write at least one journal (diary) entry about your day.
  33. Clean out your purse or wallet (or both). Reduce clutter in a small way.
  34. Put an ice cube in a glass of water. Start writing, keep writing until the ice has melted.
  35. Try a graphics software, Gimp is free, create a web banner for your blog, site or just your own name.
  36. Write about your ultimate vacation: where you would go, how you would get there and what you would do.
  37. Rename all the characters in whatever book you are reading now.
  38. Think of something completely unacceptable to write for a woman’s magazine. Write it anyway.
  39. Photograph an abandoned place or thing in your area.
  40. Take one photograph of anyone (not someone you know) in a public place, street photography.
  41. Watch a favourite movie you haven’t seen in a really long time.
  42. Read about night photography and give it a try.
  43. Sew on a button. If you are already a sewing diva create something with a lot of buttons.
  44. Create your own bookmark.
  45. Try freestyle embroidery. Embroider a square of fabric which you can sew on as a patch on jeans, a blanket, etc.
  46. Invite a friend over for an unbirthday party.
  47. Use crayons and draw a big picture – be a kid again.
  48. Become a cartoon artist for a day.
  49. Clip glossy photos from magazines and create a collage.
  50. Write a fictional news story. Use the newspaper writing style and all 5 Ws – who, what, where, when, why and… how.
  51. Try a crossword puzzle.
  52. Crochet a granny square.
  53. Get sticks and yarn to create a God’s Eye pattern from the 1970’s.
  54. Use paperclips or dandelions (in season) to make chains you can wear.
  55. Find out about mail art. Write a letter and use what you have learned about mail art.
  56. Start a scrapbook for something. Not for family photos, but a collection of newspaper clippings and such which you keep together in a traditional scrapbook.
  57. Write your name over and over using different fonts/ lettering each time.
  58. Make your own personal time capsule to be opened more than a year from now.
  59. Recycle newspaper by trying paper mache.
  60. Learn how to tie a sailor’s knot of some kind.
  61. In winter make a snow angel, in summer try a sand angel, or something else you can lie in and make an impression upon.
  62. Make Jello, pick a few colours, add the cubes to a large bowl and squish it all with your toes.
  63. Repurpose all those unmatched socks. Sock puppets are easy, what else can you do with them?
  64. Write out your favourite quote (or find one) and share it with someone else.
  65. Settle in somewhere nice outside and try bird watching.
  66. Turn something you like to cook or bake into an actual recipe, with measured ingredients and instructions for a beginner cook.
  67. See how far back you can go with your family tree, without peeking at anything you have already written/ printed out.
  68. Give yourself a ribbon for ‘World’s Greatest…’make it out of ribbon, paper, whatever you have on hand.
  69. Read one non-fiction book from the dust bunny collection on your bookshelves.
  70. Draw happy faces. Keep drawing them with different expressions until you run out of ideas.
  71. Go without your watch for a day. Ask other people the time or find a clock in stores, on the street, etc.
  72. Watch for little lost things in the street, sidewalk, etc. What can you find when you really look?
  73. String together different sized coloured beads and see what patterns you can make.
  74. Play with the sand, the snow, a pile of leaves, whatever is in season.
  75. Try some of the other mystery settings on your camera. You might like them.
  76. Design your own business card, even if you don’t have a business.
  77. Back up your computer files. See what you forgot you had. Save the important stuff to a DVD.
  78. Write the dedication for a book you haven’t written yet.
  79. How would you sell ice to people living in the Arctic?
  80. Get sidewalk chalk and remember the world of chalk drawings.
  81. How many different kind of shadow animals can you make?
  82. Play with an ink pad and rubber stamps.
  83. Make doll clothes. They can be for paper dolls if you don’t sew.
  84. Try to fold a better paper airplane.
  85. Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes.
  86. Use a small mirror to write secret messages or draw backwards pictures.
  87. Draw a family of stick people, add pets, the family car and a house too.
  88. Draw or sketch or doodle something you can’t see.
  89. Get big sized paper and take crayons to the cemetery. Make cemetery stone etchings. (Don’t use stones which look fragile).
  90. Create a connect the dots game for kids.
  91. Make a meal based on one colour, try to keep every food/ dish one colour.
  92. Make a list of everything you smell.
  93. Trace your hand and then draw all the lines in your palm.
  94. Try storytelling. Or just write a complete nonsense story for fun.
  95. Collect random words and pull them together into a story.
  96. Write a story using less than 50 words, flash fiction.
  97. Paint something.
  98. Draw a flower.
  99. Cut out paper snowflakes.
  100. Plant something. Use a flower pot or container of some kind if you don’t have garden space outside.