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Five Year Diary

I first heard about five year diaries in a quarter column in Kare Kano. (Quarter columns for those who don’t read manga/Japanese comics are small spaces – a quarter page to be precise – where, when the chapter was printed in the serialised magazine it originated from, an advertisement used to be. When the chapters are collected up into a book the space is left blank and the author usually fills it with what might resemble a short blog post or a tweet. They usually talk about their life, or something to do with the comic you’re currently reading.)

When I read about it I was immediately enamoured of the idea. I wanted one. I scoured the bookstores, newsagents and stationery stores around me, but to no avail, I’d started looking for it too late in the year, no one could order them in (apparently, even though they don’t bear any set year date) and they are not usually a desired item.

After almost giving up searching I stumbled across one on the sale table in front of a newagent’s where all the 2012 diaries were stacked up and discounted. The ‘yoink’ as I grabbed it before anyone else could was audible I’m certain.

A five year diary features one date (for example, January first) on each page, but the page is split into five parts, one for each year. So as each year passes you can look back to exactly what you were doing this day last year. I’m using it as a tool to encourage me to accomplish at least one thing with my writing each day. Knowing that Future Me will look back on it and frown if I did nothing is a bigger incentive than just feeling glum when a whole week passes me by with no notable progress.

I’ve been having a great time filling up the pages. Some days the five measly lines I have aren’t enough space for everything, even if I shorten my sentences down to note form. I feel a sense of achievement even just looking back at the previous day’s entry sometimes.

What methods do you use to keep yourself motivated? Do you keep a different kind of diary?

2 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I like that concept, but the more I think about it, I kind of do the same thing with my blog. I come up with a set of goals at the beginning of every year, and then each month create goals that are in the spirit of that year’s goals. Right before I set goals for the current month, I look back on the previous month’s goals and write about how I did. Here is this month’s goals post. When I set goals for the year, I look back at the previous year’s goals. So I guess you could say it’s a continuing cycle of the five-year diary that I’ve been doing since… 2009, I think. I’m too lazy to look and see. Heh.

    For writing, I filled out a writers’ questionnaire in December 2011 and plan on revisiting it soon. The idea is to revisit it every time you feel like you’ve grown… and I think I’ve almost reached that point. (In less than six months, whoo-hoo!)

    I like the idea of seeing them side by side, though; you can’t really do that with a blog. Hmn…


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