I am a diarist. Say it like you say painter, author, sculptor, dancer, musician.
Diaries are an art form, often a mixed media form of writing, drawing, painting, and even sculpture. Like all the other arts forms, the subject matter derives from the internal and external interests of the artist. Unlike all the other arts forms, diaries have an element no other art form has, privacy. Diaries are a form that thrive in the darkness, out of the public eye, hidden in drawers, closets, fire safes, and encrypted files.
What does it mean to go public with a diary?
What is the motive for exposure?
In my case, it's because an art history professor I once had said, "It's not art unless it's in the public discourse." It's the first five minutes of the first class and I realized I'd spent most of my life actively disagreeing with him. I'll be damned if I'm going to let some eloquent, smart-assed, academic tell me it's not art when he's giving a lecture about Marcel Duchamp.
...and he said diaries are boring! (fuming, biting tongue, not risking my GPA, wanting to spit out a biting retort, "And what, critical theory isn't?")
I listened to him.
I got my A.
Now it is my turn.
Besides, I've had over thirty-five years of privacy and I could keep it to myself and let my children donate the 190+ volumes to some university library. Some future art history student, desperately looking for a Master's thesis that will pass her committee, could use my unpublished work as reference material, turning pages with white cotton gloves. Or, as Ruth Brown sings (and the cost accountant in me heartily agrees with), "If I can't sell it, I'm gonna sit down on it. I ain't gonna give it away."
Sandra Haynes, Financial Systems Analyst, the Office of Financial Cost Analysis
New Year's Day Diary Entry
Exposed Spine Bookbinding Project Volume
Diary Volume 189