How to Write a Diary Every Day for a Year and Make It Interesting

Four Methods:Getting in the Habit of Writing DailyKeeping it InterestingChoosing Inspiring MaterialsSample Entries

A diary provides a record of your life from your unique point of view. It is a way of keeping track of your memories, but it has other benefits as well--it's good for your creativity and your mental health, and can help you become a better writer.[1] Writing in your diary daily can get repetitive and discouraging. It's easy to start feeling like you don't have anything to say after a little while. However, with some dedication and a little creativity, you can reap the benefits of daily diary writing for a full year, and beyond.

Method 1
Getting in the Habit of Writing Daily

  1. 1
    Keep your diary handy. One of the hardest parts of daily diary writing is simply getting in the habit of writing every day. An easy trick for getting in the habit is keeping your diary somewhere easy to access and visible.[2]
    • Many people like to keep their diaries with them wherever they go, in a pocket, purse, or backpack. This way, you can write in your diary any time you have an idea for something to write about.[3]
    • Others prefer to keep their diary in an accessible spot in their home, such as next to the bed. Keeping your diary somewhere you can see it can help you remember to write every day.
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    Schedule a time for writing. Many people find it helpful to choose a specific time to write each day. Common choices include right before bed or first thing in the morning. Either option gives you an opportunity to reflect on the previous day.[4]
    • Having a scheduled writing time helps you develop a routine of writing daily. This makes it harder to forget, and gets your brain in the habit of writing at a particular time. Eventually, you should find that words start to flow more easily at writing time.
    • Of course, you can write in your diary any time! Having a scheduled writing time doesn't mean you can't write at some other time if inspiration strikes you. You should also feel free to write more than once a day if you are moved to do so.
  3. 3
    Don't worry about others' opinions.. Diary writing is for you, not for anyone else. When you write in your diary, don't worry too much about the rules of spelling and grammar or how other people might judge what you write.
    • Getting bogged down in the rules can distract you or slow you down. This can hinder your creativity.[5]
    • Personal writing, just for yourself, can help you get to know yourself better, decrease stress, help your resolve disputes with others, and process difficult emotions. This can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health.[6]
    • If there's something in your diary you decide you want to share with others, you can always edit it later if you are concerned about spelling and grammar.
  4. 4
    Create a "template" for entries. Some days, writing will flow easily and naturally. Other days though, you may find it's harder to get started. On these days, having some pre-established questions you can write answers to, a sort of writing template, can help get you started. Here are a few suggestions:[7]
    • What did I do yesterday/today?
    • What lessons did I learn?
    • What am I feeling right now?
    • What am I thankful for?
    • What did I read yesterday/today?
    • What are my plans for today/tomorrow?
    • What is the most important thing I must accomplish today/tomorrow/this week? Why?
  5. 5
    Use bullet points for brief entries. Some days, you may not have much time to write, or may just not feel like it. In such cases, it's okay to do a short entry using just some bullet points about events or thoughts you had that day.[8]
    • For example, your entry might read:
      • Met Sarah for Lunch at Casa d'Italia.
      • Worried about new work project--will funding come through?
      • Started reading Crime and Punishment, interesting so far, but a little hard to follow.
    • Sometimes, these bullet points might provide content for a longer entry you write at some later time. Even if not, it's better to just jot down a few notes than to skip a day.
  6. 6
    Don't give up if you miss a day. If you are, for whatever reason, not able to write in your diary one day, don't get discouraged. Your diary is for you, and there's no rule that says you absolutely must write every day.[9]
    • That said, try not to ever miss more than two days in a row. Doing so runs the risk of getting out of the habit of writing daily.[10]

Method 2
Keeping it Interesting

  1. 1
    Consider giving your diary a specific purpose. During some times of your life, you may not feel like there's much interesting going on. This can make it harder to write something interesting every day. One possibility for getting around this is to devote your diary to a specific purpose, and write about that every day. For example, you can try:[11]
    • A project diary, in which you chronicle your progress on some on-going project, either personal or professional.
    • A gratitude diary, in which you write every day about something you are grateful for.
    • A nature diary, in which you write about plants, animals, weather, or other natural things you see each day.
    • A dream diary, in which you write about your dreams each morning when you wake up (if you can't remember your dreams, you can just note that you can't recall them).
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    Be detailed. Getting in the habit of writing about events in detail will make for more interesting entries. It will also make your diary more useful for remembering things later.[12]
    • Even something very interesting can seem bland when described without much detail. For example, you could write: "I saw my favorite band play a concert tonight." That's not particularly compelling.
    • On the other hand, describing the wild applause of the crowd, the guitar player's amazing solo, and the moment when the singer bent down and kissed someone in the front row on the cheek makes this memory come alive. That will make it more interesting to write, and to read later on.
  3. 3
    Write about thoughts and feelings, not just events. By the same token, your writing will be more interesting if you describe your personal reflections about events that happened to you, not just the events themselves, or just your emotional responses.[13]
    • Following the previous example, you could describe the anticipation you felt in the moments before your favorite band walked onto the stage, how the sound of the bass made your whole body feel like it is shaking, how excited and happy you were when they played your favorite song, and so on.
    • This can also help you use your diary to process your feelings during difficult times.
  4. 4
    Be honest. Remember, this writing is just for you. Filling your diary with your honest reflections will make the experience more beneficial for you. It will also probably make it more interesting.[14]
    • Suppressing your feelings in your journal entries will make the experience of writing less satisfying. Since you are writing for yourself alone, you should feel free to explore your thoughts and feelings in a deep and substantial way, without fear of judgement.
  5. 5
    Use your diary for creative writing. Most people think of a diary as a personal story, and indeed, a lot of diary writing is just that. Don't be afraid, however, to use your diary to write more creatively, especially if you don't feel like you have much to say about your own life.[15]
    • Some people use their diaries to write short stories or other works of fiction.
    • You can jot down poems you read or song lyrics that inspire you,[16] or better yet, use this as a venue to try writing your own poems or songs.
    • This material can become a first draft for something you develop more fully later, or it can just be a piece of personal writing that stays in your diary.
  6. 6
    Add visuals. Yet another way to keep your diary interesting is to use it for things other than just writing. Liven it up with some visuals![17]
    • This can be anything from a fully developed scrapbook spread, to some simple drawings or doodles you add in the margin.
    • You can use your diary as a means of hanging onto small mementos from the events you describe.[18] For example, after going to see your favorite band, you could tape the ticket stub on the page you've used to write about the concert.

Method 3
Choosing Inspiring Materials

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    Find a diary that is appealing to you. Some people feel that what you use to keep your diary in isn't important. For some, this may be true. For many people, however, having a diary that feels right makes it easier to write.[19]
    • Go shopping for diaries at a store so you can pick up and examine different choices, holding them in your hand to get the feel for each.
    • Choose something that is appealing to you, but not so pretty you'll be afraid to write in it or get it messy. Writing in a diary isn't all bout being neat and orderly. The best diaries are often messy and jumbled.
    • Consider the size of your diary. Many people like to carry their diaries with them. If you anticipate this, a smaller choice might be right for you.[20] On the other hand, if you plan on doing artistic, scrapbook style layouts, you'll probably need something a little bigger.
  2. 2
    Experiment with different pens. Similarly, some people find it easier to write with some particular type of pen. If a cheap disposable feels fine to you, don't worry about it, but if you prefer a nicer pen, pay a little extra for something you'll feel good writing with.
    • Again, visit a store such as an art supply shop and try out different pens. See what feels best for you. The idea here is to make you want to write, so you can keep up the habit daily.[21]
  3. 3
    Consider online journaling. Not everyone who keeps a diary does so on paper. While many people find they are more creative and focused writing in a physical book, others are content to keep a diary online.[22]
    • An online diary avoids the risk of loss. On the other hand, there is always the risk that it could be hacked or the server might crash. Consider the pros and cons and decide what's right for you.[23]
    • If you opt for an online diary, there are numerous options available such as Livejournal, Penzu, or Some of these websites allow you to make some of your writing public while keeping other material private.[24]

Sample Entries

Sample Personal Journal Entry

Sample Reader Response Journal Entry

Sample Task Oriented Journal Entry


  • You can make your diary more appealing by personalizing it. Glue some pictures of you, your favorite actor/actress, your pets, your friends, or whatever you like to the outside (or inside).
  • If you're at a loss for what to write, you can write the lyrics of the best song you listened to that day, or something that really caught your eye. You could even go on a rant about something that really annoyed you that day. Just try to write something.
  • Try adding some history about places you go to. You can do some extra research on the places you visited and include this in your diary. If you really are stuck for ideas, you could write about the history of a random household object.
  • You can put drawings, doodles, and even comic strips in your diary to make it interesting.


  • Make sure you keep your diary in a safe place. You don't want anyone sneaking a peek at it, but you don't want to lose it either. Keep your diary in a place you'll remember it and away from prying eyes.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Diary and Secrets