What I Write: Sturm und Drang

What I Write:  Sturm und Drang

I’m stumbling around trying to find something relating to diaries that someone might want to discuss.  I’ve been feeling like I’m “talking to the hand” in this blog on establishing a national diary archive.  Today I’ll switch and make this more personal.

I decided to count my diaries.  I hope I found them all.  I came up with 57 books and notebooks, not counting notebooks full of letters.  I began my journal in 1964 at the age of 16.  I’ve heard 16 mentioned by many diarists as the year they began to record their stories.

There were some years I skipped a lot.  I also remember years where I completed a book every three months.  That’s why I can’t buy those beautiful leather bound blank books…too expensive.  Pens…as long as they write smoothly and are easy for me to hold it doesn’t matter what kind.   My journals are all sizes.  Some are on cheap paper, some on beautiful Italian paper.  I’ve pretty much settled on a paper size of 8.5 x 11.  I’ve tried three ring binders and using high quality paper for either a handwritten entry or one composed on the computer, but find it more satisfying when the pages are already bound in a book.  Then I feel like a “writer,” even though it is essentially a vanity press.

“Mon Dieu!,” you might say. 57 books, whatever does she write about?   The emphasis has changed over the years as I go through different life stages.  I suppose the day approaches when I will write about my doctor visits, medicines, and operations.    Don’t smirk, you know you will be there, too, someday.

My journals contain:

Reflections and self-examination


Family, friends, strangers, co-workers

Relationships – love, sex, hate, frustrations


Craziness and absurd behavior  (in others)

My women’s group

The detestable masses

Birth and death


Joys and sorrows – struggling with my dysthymic Eeyore nature

Complaints and rants





Personal stories both common and astonishing

History/sometimes politics

Events in the lives of others around me

Comments on things in the news

Theatre, music, art, museums, shows

My 8 years in a drug rehabilitation organization/commune – turned utopian community – turned cult – were all recorded


Cats, cats, and more cats

Pet antics

Farm stories

Wild animal experiences

Natural phenomenon

Weather (we have a lot of that here)

My beekeeping experiences (39 years)

My gardens


Remembering the past

“Here and now” descriptions of where I am and what is going on around me at that very moment  – all the sounds, smells and happenings

Health problems (oh-oh)

Choices I am trying to make

Ideas (inventions I come up with)

Dreams (used to be in a separate book from the main journal)

Metaphysical events


Close calls – “near death” experiences

Very strange occurrences  (the UFO in 1967)

Book reviews/movie reviews – occasional entries

Quotes (I used to have a separate book for quotes, now I incorporate them in the   journal)

Clippings, drawings, photos

So, what do I write about?  The answer is: just about everything…if it interests me.

As Muriel Barberry put it: “the tumult and boredom of everyday life.”

And you?



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