For my birthday in 2019, I was given a 5 year diary. It’s a tiny little thing, with only 5 lines per entry – akin to a Tweet, I suppose, where you can just blurt something out and don’t necessarily have to dwell on thoughts and feelings. I did enough of that in my teens – these days I save my angst for my characters.
I hadn’t written a diary for a long time, so the first year has a lot of gaps where I didn’t get around to writing anything at all. Slowly, I’ve got the hang of it and now it’s jam-packed – some entries curl into the margin because what I needed to say was so darn important!
I love reading what happened on this day last year – the stories which got accepted, the contracts I signed, places I’d been, friends I’d seen. Ah… places… friends. I recently came across an entry where I was writing the ending of Small Forgotten Moments (due out in August) at the same time I was, er… rewriting the ending of it. And in a few days’ time, I’ll be reading about submitting it and the nerves I had.
And that’s the beauty of a diary like this – your past is right there on the same page as your future. Usually, you pour your heart out and store those thoughts away until you either move or decide to clear out the attic. With a five year book, there’s no hiding – I’ve addressed my past and future selves directly because of the silly things they’ve done or warning them not to do a different silly thing.
Five years is a long time – it will take me to the eve of a BIG birthday. I’m trying to imagine what life will be like for me then, although the past year has probably proved we should really hold back on those ‘what do you see yourself doing in x years time?’ musings.
Do you keep a diary? Do you write every day? And, importantly, where do you see yourself in five years…?