(Not especially) dear diary

by Scribble Monboddo

Up here in the northern hemisphere it's getting a bit dark and gloomy in the evenings and so, traditionally, a good time to retreat to the scriptorium and return to soothing routine of a daily diary.

Admittedly not all of us have a monastic cell to hand, or indeed a magnificently appointed study, but the kitchen table or even the cupboard under the stairs will do. Anywhere that's yours and yours alone.

The point? Well, avoiding life becoming a forgotten blur isn't a bad starting point. But a diary can do much more that; plenty of research shows benefits in capturing the good things in life to be thankful for - and (thankfully) writing it in proper sentences is a lot less energy-sapping than weirdly formatted 'gratitude journals' or the like. We all have ups and downs in life, most of us every day, but writing down at least a little of it is a surprisingly therapeutic habit to get into; try it for a week and you might well end up feeling considerably better about the roller-coaster of existence. Plus, it's such a valid excuse for buying that shiny posh fountain pen that your family dare not protest. Bonus!

Unlike bullet journalling, there aren't complex rules to master (no disrespect, Bujo ninjas) and all you have to do is set a rough limit - a page a day is traditional - and pretty much stick to it. Oh, and it's a thoroughly legitimate reason for treating yourself to a nice A5 hardback notebook too, of course. Depending upon which side of La Manche you favour, obvious choices include Clairefontaine's excellent paper in their Inkebana, or perhaps some terribly British astronauts. There you go, full zen mastery achieved in a few flicks of the rest - not bad, eh?