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Reawakening the Diarist within me

As a child I always kept a diary. I'm not sure what age I began it but I know when I finished it - when my mum found it under my bed!

I was 17 and wrote a great deal about unrequited love. I had also recently seen 'Dead Poet's Society' and had taken to writing poems about life, love and loss. I believe one started 'Que sera sera my darling, what will be will be.' You can imagine my angst therefore when it was found under my mattress (yes, I know this is a very obvious hiding place).

I love writing. I find it brings me a huge sense of peace and and I over the years I have written blog posts, articles and indeed a book (note the subtle mention of Tiny Voices Talk). However, despite a great deal of determination, I have failed to reawaken the diarist within me. I have bought the perfect diaries, taken advice from others (John Magee has tried hard to pass on his love of daily writing to me) and yet I haven't been able to get going! That was until I read Dr Lucy Kelly's book and spoke to her on my podcast - Tiny Voice Talks Education (yes I renamed it slightly).

I hadn't realised that I saw diary writing in such a 'fixed' fashion and indeed how historical diaries and my teaching of 'diary writing' had locked in previously learnt notions. Lucy wants us to 're-imagine' the diary. She wants us to rid ourselves of what we think we know and use diary writing to support our wellbeing in any way that works for us. Wow! Doesn't that open everything up!

Gone is starting 'Dear Diary' or indeed even writing the date. Gone is needing the perfect diary (although in all honesty, I doubt that will happen for me). Gone is worrying about purpose and audience (yes, I did that) and instead freedom!

Anyway, since reading Lucy's book and chatting to her something has happened - something exciting. My diarist has come to from her coma and has started writing again. I say writing but at times it is more a word explosion. Thank goodness I have thrown audience out of the window as I think some of you would be horrified by my handwriting, grammar and at times spelling! Lucy said that they didn't matter when I am diary writing, so I have her permission to forget about them (sorry Lucy if this wasn't quite what you meant).

Writing this, I am reminded how much I love writing my blog too. In 2020, I wrote a great deal. I was part of Hannah Wilson's 'Daily Writing Challenge' and I loved having a purpose for my writing and being part of a collective who also enjoyed putting finger to keyboard so to speak. I wrote lots about the advent of 'Tiny Voice Talks' and on the back of that, I was asked to write educational articles (which I loved) and then I moved on to writing the book (yes, I got it in again) and my Diploma in Coaching. I didn't stop writing but I never found space for my 'tiny voice'. That voice that is often heard in the pages of a diary.

Lucy kept mentioning diary writing and wellbeing in the same breath and interestingly, as a coach, I often suggest writing to coachees. Our tiny voice, that one deep down inside of us. That voice that often gets drowned out by the clamours of every day life, is the voice that supports our wellbeing. It knows what we need and what we want. It knows what makes us excited and what leaves us cold. It knows when something feels right and when it feels oh so wrong. Yet, how often do we give it voice? If I am honest, I wasn't listening to mine that much. However, even though my diary writing is in its infancy, I have discovered that my 'tiny voice' has a great deal to say.

I am so pleased that I have discovered writing again - I have missed it. It is funny what a podcast conversation can do. Thank you Lucy!

To hear Lucy and my conversation, just click on the link and please use the comment section of this post to let me know how you use writing in your life.


The Tiny Voices Talks book is out now - order it here and use the code Tiny30. It contains a section on inclusion which includes chapters on race, LGBTQIA+, disability, neurodiversity and so much more.

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