Introducing the Secret Diary Project
If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog, you might recall that, a few years ago, I embarked on a project in which I aimed to transcribe all of my old diaries, going right back to my childhood, and publish them on my blog.
It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but, having completed the very first diary, from when I was 11 years old (You can read it here, if you’re particularly interested…), I quickly realised that there was a fatal flaw in my plan: because, while the contents of that first diary were innocent enough, when I started to read through the rest of them, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or cry with laughter – which is what I ended up doing.
Unintentionally hilarious though those journals may have been, however, they were also so toe-curlingly embarrassing, that not even I, accustomed though I am to public humiliation, was willing to publish them on my blog, where they would stand as a lasting testament to my absolute idiocy as a teenager. And, OK, as an adult.
Instead, I left them to gather dust, while periodically wondering what the hell I should actually do with them. Should I throw them away? Burn them? Keep them forever, in the hope that one day someone might find them even vaguely entertaining/informative? I had no idea. Then the pandemic hit: and, because I like to pick some really weird shit to worry about, all of a sudden the ‘what shall we do with the drunken diaries?’ issue came back to the forefront of my mind.
I was, you see, absolutely convinced that I would die in the pandemic. I mean, I thought we’d ALL probably die in the pandemic (It’s recently become clear to me that most of my ideas about pandemics came from the movie Contagion – which I don’t really recommend watching if you suffer from health anxiety, just FYI…), so that was my main worry, but a secondary fear was that it would be JUST ME … which meant I had only a few weeks to get my affairs in order before my untimely demise.
Trust me when I tell you that I’m well aware of how absolutely INSANE this sounds now, even to me, but I spent a large part of last February worrying about things like making a will, choosing someone to look after Max in the event that Terry and I both died in the pandemic, and, of course, what I should do with those embarrassingly awful diaries that I’d stuffed into an old trunk in my bedroom, safe in the knowledge that I was the only one who’d ever open it.
But what if I died? And then someone ended up going through my stuff and reading the shameful confessions of teenage me? WHAT IF, people? I mean, I knew I couldn’t die TWICE… but the very thought of someone reading the approximately 534 posts I’d written about how my hair was ruining my life made me very much WANT to, so I hurriedly binned some of the worst offenders, then spent the next few weeks worrying that someone might have fished them out of the bin before it was collected, and was, even now, about to attempt to extort money from me (LOL, good luck with that, btw…) by threatening to publish them.
Wow, you forget how much fun early 2020 was, don’t you?
Anyway. I threw away two of the diaries (I think: I obviously wasn’t in my right mind at the time, as you can clearly see…), but kept the rest, because, at the very moment I opened the bin to add them to the pile, I suddenly had a change of heart, and decided I’d wait until I was ACTUALLY dying before making a decision I might live to regret – assuming, of course, that I lived.
The diaries got a temporary reprieve, then, but it was obvious to me that their days were numbered, and that something would have to be done. And so here it is..
Starting this week, I’m going back to my original plan of going back through all those old journals, transcribing the bits I think are worth keeping (Along with my commentary on it, which, just to warn you, is already proving to be extensive…), and then getting rid of the rest ( i.e. the bits people might potentially use for extortion or blackmail purposes…): and I’m going to publish them over on my Patreon page, where you’ll find them under ‘The Secret Diary’ tier.
While I will remove or change information that could be identifying (I mean, you’ll be able to identify ME, obviously, because it’s my diary, but most other names will be changed, including place names…), and will obviously not publish anything that I think might infringe someone else’s privacy, or upset them if they were to read it, I’ll be keeping everything else exactly as I wrote it, no matter how embarrassing that might be. (And trust me: I spent part of last night crying with laughter at some of those old entries, so I know for certain that it can be REALLY embarrassing …)
If you’d like to follow along for a little bit of light relief in these dark times, you’ll find my Patreon account here: and if you’re not into teenage – early twenties diary entries, there’s a couple of other options there that you might want to check out. My ‘Behind the Scenes’ tier, for instance, contains Instagram out-takes, photo exclusives, and other, random updates that don’t make it onto the blog, while ‘Things I Shouldn’t Say On the Internet’ is filled with… er, all the things I probably shouldn’t say on the Internet, really, including posts about…
* The most embarrassing incident of my entire life (so far…)
One of my New Year Resolutions (Because, yes, I’m exactly the kind of idiot who made some resolutions, even though you’d think the last 12 months would’ve well and truly beaten that kind of nonsense out of me…) is to add more content to Patreon this year: it’s the online space I talk least about, but it’s also the one I enjoy most, so I hope you’ll take a look, and hit the button below if you’re interested in subscribing…