Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Chronology matters.

me and printer

I used to keep diaries but now I don’t. I have boxes of old journals starting back from when I was eight years old. Now, when I feel like writing in my diary, I think instead I should write for my blog. You cannot post to your blog once a blue moon and hope to keep your readers. Some of my journals are embarrassing and I think I should destroy them before I die. Some of my journals make it seem like I am mostly depressed,  but that’s because I went through long periods of writing in them only when I was depressed. Journals represent us in funny, honest, dishonest ways. I used to write explicitly about sex.  I used to be very interested in my own life and obsessively document it.  I kept journals of my dreams for years. Once I had a violent boyfriend and when I was trying to break up, I took all the dreams I had ever had of him, starting from the moment we met, and I wrote them out and had them bound in a little book. I thought then he would see my point.  Some of my journals are funny and, occasionally, interesting. Once I thought I’d start pulling out parts of  them for my blog.  There is so much material!  I could post every week!  I tried it. I started with an entry from when Chuck and I went to Antigua so he could set up a printing press for a group called the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, but we spent most of our time doing acid and then we got arrested by the Antiguan intelligence service and deported.  I thought I’d start there. But my audience was confused. They didn’t read the date. They wrote to me:  I didn’t know you are in Antigua!

Categories: aging, Chuck Willer, memoir, politics, travel, writing

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