Archives info called "Reaction to Burning the Diaries" where she discussed her feelings about a New York Times (NYT) opinion piece by Dominique Browning.
In the NYT article Dominique Browning describes her thoughts and emotions following the burning of her own diaries. The original article and Melissa's post are very thoughtful pieces that are worth reading. I left a lengthy comment in response on her blog.
I don't want to specifically discuss those two items here but rather an off-shoot of it. One of the things I have been thinking about lately is intentional diaries. I love the concept of writing a diary, but like Dominique Browning I have no desire to leave too intricate or personal account of my life for my descendants. As I thought through my options I came up with the idea of an intentional diary.
What if you created a diary with the intention having other people reading it? Ok, I can hear you already saying, "Um, yeah, it's called a memoir." Well, in this case it's not a memoir, it really is an intentional diary.
The idea is that you keep a daily record of your life but instead of pouring your innermost secrets and feelings you write it with the intention of having future generations read it. The diary or record is consciously self-edited.
The intentional diary provides a window into your life to be left behind with other heirlooms but removes specific information about your emotional and mental state or details that are too personal or painful to share.
I like the idea of intentional diary more and more. In fact, I've already started one. It is interspersed with daily events and tidbits of family history.
What do you think? Would you ever consider writing an intentional diary? How much do you want your descendants to know about you? Or would you rather bare all and leave the future to deal with it?
Photo Credit: Photo by Barnaby used under the creative commons license.