Diary Notes


Do you guys keep a diary? I do. It's good to write down your thoughts and feelings somewhere, and when you can't do that, it's still good to just write down what sandwiches you ate and what movies you watched. It's good to keep track! If you're a social media person, you might be tempted to do a diary that way, posting everything. But I'm telling you, it's good to have a place somewhere for the thoughts that you're not done thinking, and the data you're accumulating without concern-- the dreams, the daydreams, the lists of sandwiches. It's good for your mind to have this place to process, and quite frankly it's probably better for the timeline.

I struggled with the diary format for most of my life, I just couldn't get into it. Writing in a hard-bound book seemed too precious, and just writing into a text file on my computer seemed way too ephemeral. Anyway I finally got it pinned down now, I have a fake blog.

My fake blog is a group of folders and files on my computer desktop, unconnected to the internet. Every day or every other day I run a little script I wrote (workbook.sh), which opens up index.html and writes the date at the top. Then, under the date, and above the previous entries, I write whatever's on my mind. I write directly in html, which after years of writing a blog is my native format. Writing in html is great, and it allows me to paste in images and decorate the page, as I would a hardbound book, or dollhouse. As with this website (Fujichia.com) I am very particular about the display style. The diary is also in white monospaced font on a black background, with headers in Cooper Black. If the website is my castle, the diary is my crypt, a warm dull cavern, benthic and sessile.

The diary has a lot of pictures, because I take a lot of screengrabs during the day, and I've set the program to automatically include the recent batch of screengrabs in the new post. In this way I always have something to start writing about-- when I start the diary program the recent pics are sitting right there. Some are things I wanted to remember, some are just "here's a nice vibe" tumblr-style image blogging. It's practical but also fun, which is a kind of practical, when you're doing a task in which a good mood is a great asset.


I started taking screencaps of every time I look up a word in the dictionary, for no real reason, I just thought that was data I might want to have at some point.

image image

I know I could just copy the text from the website and paste it into the file as text, but there's something nice and playful about saving it as a picture-- it reinforces that scrapbook feeling, and also lets the text retain its original style, and to some degree, its context.

I'm tempted to share the script that runs the diary but I think that's too much minutia for the moment, and my point here isn't "run this program" or "elegant code", it's just "keep a diary in a way that works for you". Get a notebook or open up a text file and go for it. Being alive is a dizzying dance on a razor's edge between annihilation and infinite embrace-- personally I find it very helpful to take notes.

As with a sketchbook, the less stuff there is in the diary the stupider you're going to feel about it, so push through those first awkward pages by just writing dumb shit, or whatever comes to mind. Don't think about the writing being "good" (as a piece of writing) or even useful. Just grind away at first. This will also function as a security feature-- if the first part is extra boring or nonsensical, no one who picks up your diary will want to follow through to the more sublime moments.

links / misc

OK thanks for reading! Send me a note if you feel like it, would love to hear a hey from the void. Also send links you're donating to, help me keep the ball rolling. You can send me an email or leave me a message on the contact page: [link]. If you want these posts delivered to your email you can sign up for the substack, which is here: [link]. image UPDATE: I can't believe it but I hit post on this and THEN realized that today is BLOOMSDAY! Ay yi yiiiiiiiiiiiii [archive.org]