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The New Diary
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 1999
When I found this book in 1990, I had no idea what a life changing experience reading it would prove to be. Over the years, I have experimented with the techniques and approaches the author suggests and I always discover something new about myself and my creativity in the process. It is at the top of my list of recommendations for diary and journal writers of all ages and experience. It is truly a classic.
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
This is probably the best book on journaling I have ever read. I only have one hesitation in recommending it: I think that a person who is new to keeping a journal may find the book somewhat daunting. But for someone who has been doing this for a while, this book is bound to be inspirational and even exhilerating. I marked it up so much, I wonder if I left any page empty of my comments. Even though I have been an avid diarist for decades, I found many wonderful and new ideas in this book to keep me going for the rest of my life! Thank you to the author for her commitment to journaling.
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116 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2004
Inspiring...that is the first word that comes to mind when I think about 'The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity.' I have to admit that I've kept journals all my life...but only sporadically...this book has really helped me to understand ALL that a journal can be and how wonderfully helpful, illuminating, and creative it may become if used in a "new" way..."new" in this instance means getting away from the "calendar" or methodical recording that goes on in most journals...which is how most of us were originally taught to keep our diaries/journals.
I think that this is a FANTASTIC book for beginners (and well beyond) -- especially those who journal only sporadically or repeatedly "give up" and throw out journals, feeling like we've failed at it...The New Diary will give you a NEW perspective!! With this book, you'll learn HOW to journal effectively -- what it really means, changing your perceptions of how it "should" be done...allowing you to use it more effectively in discovering yourself!!
I must say that when I ordered this book, I had NO idea that it was originally published in 1978...if I had known that I would NOT have ordered it...but, as it turns out, this was a VERY fortuitous oversight on my part!! The New Diary defiantly holds up 20+ years later!!! There is a rather timeless quality about the information found here and and even greater timeless quality to the way in which it is presented!! The "seven special techniques" are very helpful (and used time and again -- in their own special ways -- in various other books on Journaling)...these are techniques that seem perfectly logical and "mundane..." but they are in fact easily overlooked as journaling techniques by those of us bound to outdated styles of journal keeping -- using The New Diary as a reference once you've read it through will help you keep your journaling "fresh" --allowing you to get the most benefit from it!!
I also like what you DON'T get in The New Diary!! What you don't get here is a forced, stylized, and/or a pre-packaged journal that forces you to do it one way and one way only...this book allows you to get what YOU need out of the experience, rather than being told what you need and how someone else thinks you should do it!! All you get here (and it's MORE than adequate) is good, solid information which provides you with an equally solid foundation upon which you can develop your journaling skills!!
I really love how the author stresses the integration of ALL aspects of your life into your journaling -- using self-reflection and observation as a means to enrich journal writing!!
Finally...the examples given here of various journals -- allowing us to "see" exactly how a technique can be used...this was EXTREMELY helpful both while I was reading the book, as well as when I went back to it as a reference!!
I give The New Diary an A+ for content and usability...I think it will continue to be one of THE best resources on journaling for another 20 years!!
I Give it a B+ for price...it has a LIST price of 14.95...I got it from Amazon for 10.47...I much preferred paying the latter...if I'd spotted this at my local book store, I probably would have passed it up for something a little less expensive -- this was prior to reading it...now that I've read it and used it....I'd pay the 14.95 in a heart beat!!
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2004
These days, the market is awash in pre-packaged journals and books about journal writing, yet Tristine Rainer's 1979 book is still the best on the subject.

Unlike most journal guides today, which are generally highly structured prompt books, offer little more than a series of possible (or, according to the program, mandatory) topics or systems, Rainer offers broad kinds of writing and invites the reader to be aware of them as they guide themselves. Her four broad modes of writing encompass everything from automatic writing to cathartic (one form of this is The Artist's Way's Morning Pages) to the most crafted and reflective journal essay. Her seven special techniques (lists, dialog, etc.) have been used in specialized ways in countless other journaling books. She addresses special topics such as writing honestly about sex or deliberately recognizing joy in your journal (long before the Simple Abundance journal), as well. Yet, every suggestion is presented undogmatically, as a possibility among many.

The important issue of privacy (for the journal and its writer) gets as detailed and thoughtful a treatment as I've ever read. Rainer emphasizes integration of all aspects of life into one journal, rather than separate specialty or overly programatic journal writing. Best of all, she opens up the possibility of using self-reflection and observation to direct rich journal writing, rather than prompt and gimmick dependency. The wonderful examples she quotes are the best proof of how fruitful self-directed journal writing can be.

I've read many, many of the journal writing books on the market, and I have yet to find one that offers as much to the would-be journal writer or does so with such inspiring simplicity and eloquence as Tristine Rainer's book.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 1998
I read this book several years ago and loved it so much I gave it to friends and family that year for Christmas. I thought it was out of print and am delighted to see that it's not.
This is an important resource for everyone who has considered keeping a journal. I keep one sporadically, to help me clarify thoughts and work through issues. If you've ever thought "I don't know what I'd write", this book is for you because it presents a large number of methods to get your thoughts going and offers different techniques depending on the nature of the issue at hand. For example, it explains how to write a conversation out between you and another person to resolve an open issue. I used this to "vent" about an issue with a friend who had grown distant. Surprisingly, when I wrote "her" part of the conversation, I was able to see her point of view much more clearly than I had before, and was able to approach her situation with compassion. I never had the conversation with my friend at all (I had my reasons), and the way I viewed the situation changed, and today we are very close again. The exercise was perfect for helping me get the issue off my chest and put it to rest. It's full of excellent methods for using the journal as a tool of growth, introspection and clarity.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent basic to intermediate how-to book on modern journal-keeping. More reflective in tone than _Journal to the Self_, the popular work by Kathleen Adams, _The New Diary_ discusses broader issues such as confidentiality and privacy instead of just giving "how tos," and offers many short excerpts drawn from the journals of others.
Because it offers such a variety of techniques to spark interest in sustained journal-keeping, this book will be useful to anyone who is interested in keeping a journal over an extended period of time.
One interesting curiousity about this work is the brief preface written by Anais Nin for this volume shortly before her death.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2004
After keeping a journal for the better part of the last decade, it had started to lose its lustre for me and at times even felt chorish. I felt I had nothing to write about and was guilty for no longer writing.

And then I read The New Diary. It reminded me of all the wonderful things about journalling that I'd forgotten and opened me to new techniques and tools. Most importantly, it stopped me laying a guilt trip in myself for not writing and helped me recapture everything I'd previously loved about my diary.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who's thinking of starting a journal or wants some inspiration to refresh their current one.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2005
I've kept a journal/diary off and on for over 20 years. The biggest problem I have is that I have been stuck in the little locked book/calendar frame of mind with my journal. Tristine Rainer gives her readers some really great tools to break out of that thought pattern. Before reading this I didn't fully realize that I was in this pattern of self-editing/self-consciousness with pretty much all of my journal writing. It really held me back. Instead of not having enough to say, not thinking that my life is interesting enough to track on a regular basis, I now feel freed to explore my inner life. The combination of encouragement and practical tools to do this make it an invaluable book for the journaler.

My only complaint is that the language is dated and I would like to see it updated. It took me out of the moment book too often.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 1998
Simply superb book, if you've ever thought about keeping a journal -- or if you already do. Excellent exercises are included, if you are looking to expand the ways in which you use your journal (see other reviewer).I especially like the "altered time" exercises.There are many good journal books out there (Christina Baldwin's One to One, Kathleen Adams' Journal to the Self, for example) but this remains my forever favorite!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2002
A truly useful supplement to discover and express yourself through journaling. I particularly liked the detailed descriptions of the seven special techniques, some of which I had used before, some I had not. I have to admit, the chapter on eroticism challenged and thrilled me - opening my writing to a genre and sexual awareness I was not previously embracing. Perfect for those who want to use journaling and writing for a therapeutic process and adventure.
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