I was 16 years old with 4 years’ worth of journals stacked at my bedside before I first read Mae West’s observation: “Keep a diary, and one day it will keep you.”
I’ve kept a diary for almost 14 years now, and I think of West’s quote every time I consult an old journal: sometimes, I return simply to look up up a travel detail that has escaped my memory (What was the name of that trail we hiked?); sometimes, I return with tears or doubts, hoping to find strength in the words that preceded my present pain (What helped me get over the last guy, after all?). But each time I return, whatever the motivation, I think of West’s observation. Today, this diary is keeping me.
Although I’m a long-time journal-keeper and I’ve helped update blogs for past jobs, it has taken me until 2012 to establish this blog of my own. I am here to share my observations, my writing, and my details. I still plan to keep a private journal, but I hope to discover how keeping a public blog, too, might “keep me” in ways that my journal hasn’t (and can’t): I hope this blog will keep me accountable to my earnest writing and professional goals–for myself and for my readers. May we all be pleasantly surprised by how a blog can “keep us,” too.