THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS
I have written diary entries regularly since 1974. For a short while, when I was travelling, in 1974 and 1975, I tried to write an entry every day. For most of my life, however, I've written more freely, reflecting in retrospect on my actions and behaviour and thoughts, on average, over the years, probably about twice a week. From 1973 until 1987, I kept hand-written journals, usually in hard-back books. Since 1987, I've written most of my entries directly onto a computer. I do still hand-write journals when on holiday.
To date, I've transcribed - unedited - about half my hand-written journals onto computer files, and I am slowly editing these transcribed files to publish here. Each published file relates to a particular month. Although these files are edited (and reduced), I am not making any changes to the originals, other than to remove errors, and make the text more accessible and/or readable. This is a long-term project, but, in September 2007, I decided to suspend this process. Between March 2004 and August 2007, I edited and net-published nearly 12 years of my past diaries, averaging about three months of diary time for every month of real time.
It's not unusual for me to be asked why I net-publish my diaries. Apart from the obvious answer that almost everyone who writes wants to be read (even though, of course, my diaries were never, never written to be read, or with an audience in mind). I do wish to make it very clear, though, that I am not net-publishing because I think my diaries are good writing or valuable in a literary way. Thirty years ago my writing was poor and immature (it took me several attempts to pass English Language O-level).
In fact, I hope my writing has developed over the decades, and I do not wish to disregard or disguise this development. On the contrary, one of the main reasons for publishing these diary entries is to demonstrate and reveal change, whether this is through the writing itself, or, much more broadly, through what I have to say about my own life, and how I've coped with the physical, emotional and psychological trials and joys of being alive, of being a conscious human being.