The New Diary by Trisline Rainer was published in 1978 so it’s a bit dated in places but ok, I admit it, it was the same price as a cup of coffee including postage also many of the reviews of other modern books on journal writing referred to this book.
This book states that is will explore the usage of what she calls “the new diary” to assist in self-guidance and expanded creativity using the work of Carl Jung, Marion Milner, Ira Progoff and Anaïs Nin (with whom she had a friendship with for seven years). I think she accomplished this goal first she discussed the four main ways of using the diary, catharsis, description, free intuitive writing and reflection. She then goes on to discuss more specific techniques for when the basic four are not getting to the crux of the problem, and here we go down a rabbit hole into psychobabble.
Much of the writing is about communicating with the subconscious and other aspects of Jungian psychology, which may turn readers off. Many of the writing devices I can never see myself using, such as having dialogues, or written conversations with an emotion but other may find that useful.
What makes this author uniquely qualified to write on this topic is primarily as she has kept a diary for many years, and uses many of her own diary entries as examples. Also her friendship with Anaïs Nin may well have given her insights into the woman who wrote the famous diaries.
My least favourite part of the book was the chapter on dreams, I guess I am not a great believer in the Jungian theories into the importance of our night-time wanderings so it left me cold.
In the end I did grow weary of the repetition and I skimmed the last three
Overall enjoyed reading this book and can see I may well make use of several of the more specific techniques at some point in my life. I found the author easy to relate to but I do wish she used the work of Anaïs Nin less but I think the author was very inspired by her life and work and the friendship may have been the reason why she started journaling and hence eventually write this book.
Published by: Tarcher Putnam in 1978 in Paperback
Genres: Journaling non-fiction, writing, self-help