Monday, September 1, 2008

Win a book!!

As a preteen, I read The Diary of Anne Frank and before I’d read the last page I started a diary. I think I even named it Kitty because I was so original in thought. By the end of that first (red plaid with a hard cover) diary I had grown from writing about dolls to writing about feelings and cute boys. The seventh grade through high school graduation was the height of my journal writing. Puberty and figuring out how to be me were cause for much introspection and I filled many pages with my teenage angst.

As a teen, the thought of someone else reading my words was appalling. These were my private thoughts. As I grew older, however, I wanted to know if other people thought like I did. I wanted people to identify with me. By the time I stumbled upon the thing they call blogging I was ready and craving an audience.

I sometimes wonder what percentage of bloggers kept a journal or a diary before (or during) writing their blogs. I’d guess that it’s quite high. That’s why I thought the book Note to Self : On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O’Shea would be an interesting read from the blogger perspective.

O’Shea examines the motivation of journal-writers and the benefits that such writing can offer.

She uses excerpts from her own journals to illustrate her points, often quoting other literature and drawing comparisons between her life and published work. Her excerpts range from embarrassingly funny stories to painful heartbreak. She also offers writing suggestions for those who are intimidated by the blank page.

In perhaps my favorite chapter, O’Shea brings up the idea of being able to talk to yourself through your writing. Years later, you can see the person you once were. It reminded me of the book The Time Traveler’s Wife in which the main character could literally visit his younger self. This, in particular, I identified with because I re-read old blog posts from when I first started blogging and remember who I was then and see how I’ve changed (and how I’ve stayed the same).

O’Shea also touches on blogging in one chapter of her book. She, herself, is also a blogger as well as a diarist. (Which goes back to my original query.)

I found her insights and suggestions for logging one’s life to be interesting. Not earth-shattering or particularly unique ideas, but still a good read. It’s one of those books that is put together in such a way that it makes it easier for busy people who can’t sit and read in long stretches to read a bit at a time and still enjoy the book.

You can win your very own copy of Note to Self and check it out for yourself. Just leave me a comment and I’ll get one of my kids to pick a winner from the comments on September 13th.

9 people like me!:

Awesome Mom said...

That sounds like an interesting read. I hope I win!

Mrs. Swizzle said...

Wow. I tried and tried to keep a diary as a child - and a "journal" as an adult. I was horrible at it. I'd have an entry every now and then - almost all of which started with "well, it's been x months since I've written. Not much has happened." Blah blah blah.

Maybe that explains why I don't blog every day, but I certainly do blog a lot more often than I've ever written in a journal. Funny thing that, as a kid, it never occurred to me to use a diary for it's actual purpose. It was more of a list of things that were going on.

Bikini said...

I had diaries, but they always stressed me out, and after about 2 months of trying to keep up I resorted to just writing "FINE" every day because I felt guilty for not writing in it at all.

Hip Mom's Guide said...

What a great idea! I'd love to win the journal. As a girl and young woman, I kept journals endlessly. I still have them, and reading through them offers a unique glimpse at my younger self, something beyond the photos and the (selective) memories. I stopped when my first child was born--a terrible time to stop, I know, but I was just so darn tired that I couldn't possibly stay away to write it all down. Perhaps this would be a good jump start to begin again.

great auntie sue said...

I always thought I'd like to write a book, but don't even know how to get started or even what to write about. I suppose those are pretty important for writing a book though, huh?

louann said...

I read The Diary of Anne Frank too when I was in highschool. And since I loved it, I read it again when I was in college.

I still have a journal. I started keeping diaries since 1st grade. Although highschool and college sort of led me away from writing down my thoughts, I have gone back to it now. There I keep my inner, inner most feelings and thoughts, my fears, my pain and my doubts and worries. Things I can't put down on my blog =)

chelle said...

I have kept a journal since i read Anne of Green my time is limited so I just blog, but there are times I really miss writing it all down in a journal. A private journal :)

Sounds like an interesting read.

windycindy said...

Hi, This brings back memories. I can still visualize my childhood diary.
It was a small white one with a lock and key. I hid that key so that I couldn't even find it! A lot of heartbreak was written in that book and I suppose, a lot of happiness. Growing up was not easy for me. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

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