Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A while ago there was a programme on BBC 4 called Dear Diary. Richard E Grant presented one of the programmes and he was looking at the power of the diary. Unfortunately, the programme isn’t on the BBB iPlayer or YouTube, but if it ever gets repeated, it is worth a watch.

Anyway, he made some really interesting observations on diary keeping. I don’t see my blog as a diary, but I thought some of what he said had echoes and similarities to writing a blog. So I shall with you a couple of things that he said. Make of them what you will.

All diaries are about dealing with loneliness. No matter who or how much you are in love with somebody or how many friends you have there is part of you that is always alone and I think keeping a diary is companionable in that way.

If no-one else has understood you, you are trying to understand yourself in writing it down.

Then at the conclusion of the programme he said this:

I’ve realised now at the end of my journey that I need to be very careful with what I have written in private. I’ve had to be honest in my diary. But however true and authentic it may be, it has power over the innocent bystanders in my life, and I risk betraying myself and them in the words that I leave behind. I’ve realised that my diaries are potentially powerful, possibly hurtful, in that they are open to interpretation. I can feel my hand hovering over the delete button as I speak.

A diary is your control of what you want to say about things. How other people read it, interpret it or use it then you have no control any more, unless it is completely secret and you press the delete button or you burn the lot.

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