(This is a photo-free post. Mainly because I couldn’t find a single page of my diary that was suitable for public consumption!!)

I say ‘new’ – I have compulsively journalled, if that’s a word, since I was small. I can’t help writing, and once I start an account of my day, it rolls into pages and pages.

One of the only things I have ever truly regretted not buying was a box of diaries in an antique shop in Battlesbridge, covering one lady’s life from nine years old during the war to shortly before her death in 2009. I sat in the shop and read through them for a good three or four hours – it was incredible to see the minutiae of someone’s life – living history, though she probably didn’t think of it that way when she wrote them.

My lifestyle doesn’t really allow for lengthy diary entries every day, however, and so on my 25th birthday, my present to myself was a One Line A Day diary from Chronicle books. It covers five years, and gives you just a few lines (belying the name!) to put in a summary of the day. I use it (with very small handwriting) to try and cover key things that have happened and how I feel.

Each day has five sections, for five consecutive years – I liked the idea of recording the latter half of my twenties, but of course you could start one any time.

Nearing the end of my second year doing it, there are very few gaps – the brevity of space means I can incorporate it into my night time routine on all but the craziest of days, and it’s easy to catch up the following day (though I really do prefer to do it daily) – and I’m starting to notice lovely coincidences, things I’d forgotten about, reminders of happy events… It’s a great record of the years without getting bogged down in detail and I can’t recommend it enough!

Do you keep a diary? On paper, online or a little of both? Do you look back at old diaries or lock them away?

A very happy Christmas and New Year to all of you – the next Ink Drops box will ship on 7 January 2013. See you next year!