Sometimes, we have a story to tell; a story of an experience, an adventure or a key moment in our lives. This is when keeping a diary can work well and you can diarise your way to a book.

This is a strategy that clearly works best if you know what you are going to do next. If you do it the other way around, you may use your diary or journal as a prompt.

If you diarise your way to a book you can write your book as you go along and based on events as they happen. This is a strategy that works well if you have a major event, or series of events that you have planned and know you want to write about. You can diarise a workshop, a launch, or any other journey or story. Perhaps you want to diaries a strategy you are using to set up your business, a programme or course you are attending. The options are endless.

The benefits of a diary formatdiary

A diary is a great way to record events as they happen. You will be writing them down as they happen so you can record details, take photos, make a note of links, quotes and other relevant data. You can bring in references to other events either in your life or in the world in general. In essence, it gives you the opportunity to record details and context that would otherwise have to work to recall.

One of the other great benefits of a diary is that it is personal, intimate and it creates a natural story and that will make your book very engaging. A diary is an honest record of events – even though they are clearly interpreted by you alone.

Using the diary format

Clearly you need to plan in advance if you are going to use this method to record what you need for your book. While you can sort out some details later on – like how to present your diary (daily, or in chapter-length chapters, for example) you will need to decide exactly what is going to be relevant to your book so you include it.

You can also keep your record verbally too by recording audios, videos and taking photos (this can especially valuable if you want to create a multimedia book – PDF is currently the best format in this case. Although you can include images and videos in Kindle format, it makes the book file very large and means it can be more difficult to download.

Of course, any additional material such as audios, videos and images can all be used when creating marketing materials or creating additional freebies or products for sale. Having this amount of media definitely adds a lot of value to your book and gives you a lot of material to us in and in relation to your book.

Using your diary as a less direct source of data

Of course, you don’t need to directly use the diary format in your book, even if you keep the record in diary format. You can simply use it as an aide memoire that you can reflect upon and write about later. It is easy to think you will remember everything about an event, programme or other key business or personal experience you are planning but some nuances and key details will often elude you. After all, if you are already on an event or speaking tour, for example, you probably already have a lot to think about.

A diary will simply make recall easier so you can use the information with less effort later. Eliminating the need to recall names, resources and the order of events will make writing the book later less stressful so you can focus on getting your message across rather than remembering what happened in the first place.

The diary is one of the oldest writing formats but it is rarely used these days, and particularly rarely in non-fiction so this format will definitely give your book veracity and originality that it will be difficult to replicate with any other format.

 

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Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor

Hi, I'm Deborah Taylor and I'm a publishing consultant and book-writing mentor. I work with established business owners who want to share their message by writing a book but are struggling to get started (or finished). I help them write, publish and launch a stand-out, attention-grabbing book that will raise their profile, reach more of their ideal clients and grow their business. I am a trained editor with over 15 years' publishing experience with major blue-chip UK publishing companies such as Hodder & Stoughton, BBC Books, Cassell and Pearson. I have produced books on every subject under the sun and with professinals and experts from a wide range of professions, from chefs and gardeners to life coaches and career consultants. I would love to help you write a book you love and that will raise your profile, attract new clients and bring you exciting new business opportunities.