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The New Diary: How to use a journal for self-guidance and expanded creativity
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The New Diary: How to use a journal for self-guidance and expanded creativity

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The New Diary is about a completely modern concept of journal writing. It has little to do with the rigid daily calendar diary you may have kept as a child or the factual travelogue you wrote to recall the Grand Canyon. Instead, it is a tool for tapping the full power of your inner resources.

The New Diary is as much for those who already keep a journal as it is for those
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 1979 by Tarcherperigee (first published 1978)
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Kate Very little. There's a small update acknowledging the existence of blogs, and in the resources section at the end there are a few websites listed,…moreVery little. There's a small update acknowledging the existence of blogs, and in the resources section at the end there are a few websites listed, most of which are already out of date; apart from that, it's basically the same book.(less)

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Barbara K.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading Tristine Rainer's The New Diary this morning. Great book! Although it was published in 1978, it's every bit as fresh today, from the preface by Anais Nin to the final chapter on using a journal as a resource and tool to enhance creative work.

This is both a book for people new to keeping diaries or journals and an excellent resource for people who've been keeping them for decades. There's something for everyone here, even for those who've never considered, never thought they
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This could arguably be the most important book in my life. I read it at 12 and started journaling seriously - a practice which continued for 20 or so years. Around 9/11 most of them were lost forever. It's something that I can't even think about without getting very upset.

Anyway - my 12 year old self thought this was a VERY important book, second only to Harriet the Spy! By the way. GO READ Harriet the Spy!
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: journal keepers
If you're serious about journal/diary writing, I highly suggest this one. The book doesn't provide lists of journal prompts, but rather provides various frameworks and ways of thinking about journal writing and how it can be useful. Rainer also includes journal entries by herself and other writers as examples of what she's explaining. The book is not preachy or filled with quotes and spiritual prompts. She show how journaling can help you process your current and past experiences, and deal with ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, writing
In this book, she doesn't teach you how to keep a diary, but instead shows you how your diary can offer you so many possibilities. You will be able to clarify your goals, focus your inner energies, free inhibitions and release your imagination. Here you explore and seek to understand. It is that active communication with the self that makes the diary a "new diary".
Here are some of the goals we can achieve through the New Diary:
The New Diary is a safe place to free the creative child within you
Cindy Richard
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book talks about the importance of journaling for all sorts of reasons and shared several techniques. I’ve been journaling for years, so it was helpful to examine new ways to refresh and deepen my practice.
Deborah Blair
This is one of the best books to support people in their process of keeping a journal. The well known journal keeper, Annais Nin,gives a good introduction - she and author, Tristine Rainer had some years of interaction.

I first started journaling when I was 12 years old. Having suffered from Selective Mutism, both from the extreme physical and emotional abuse from birth on, and from Asperger's Autism - I was fortunate to be in a gifted student program where I had a wonderful teacher who suggested
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning journallers, those who are spiritually-inclined
I don't quite remember how or when I got this book — I think it was for sale in a horribly stuffy second-hand bookshop for a couple dollars — but it was very, very important to me when I was 13 or so.

If I'd have written this review back then, I would have given it five stars. Now, however... there are times when I'll pick it up and read a section, and depending on the section in question I might be inspired or irritated by it. The main problem I have with books of this sort, nowadays, (and why I
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book on journaling. Can be delved into deeply or picked up at odd intervals. I used this text in a class for six months and can look back now and positively identify when I began making huge changes in my life -- it was after less than 2 months working in my journal every day. I've given many copies to friends.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's got that 70s self-help smell all over it, but at its core (if you ignore some of the more godawful example entries) this book provides a lot of interesting journaling techniques.

I do find that some of them get me writing more than I otherwise would, and in ways that clear my head and feel helpful. Its tone doesn't suit me, but the content underneath is good.
Emma Sea
Very difficult to separate my views on the book from my views of the diary contents that are explored. The diaries are from the 60s and 70s. Women debate if they should choose a career or get married. One woman writes that her fear is she's such a poor housekeeper that she will never find a husband. Like, this was actually a thing? Men married you because of your ability to fucking cook and clean and mend? Like they were interviewing for a housekeeper? Because... wow. That's so screwed up. One ...more
Michael Armijo
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I found it on sale for $5.00 at a local Santa Monica bookstore. It was on the sidewalk of a cart of 'on sale' books. Tristine Rainer, the author, really offers some great ideas for formulating new spice to ones diary or journal. It's so true that ideas can truly come from the stories we write in our diary. The every day happenings...and thoughts...and emotions...and lists that we write down are key to our memoirs.
I'd HIGHLY recommend reading this one in combination with the
Aug 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
An excellent reference book for one who is discovering the healing aspects of keeping a diary. The four modes of diary expression: catharsis, description, free intuitive writing and reflection along with the seven special techniques described in the book gives much food for thought. Motivating and encouraging as well.
Angie crosby
Jul 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alex, non-fiction, journal
Good book. Good for learning ways to journal. Old but still great.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book. Inspired me to start journaling again after a long absence... can't wait to try out all the exercises. I got this book from the library but I think I will buy a copy of my own.
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Ordered this because I want to focus more on journal writing after three years of pottering miserably through a novel. Wasn't very hopeful when I started it, but it was actually much more useful than I thought. Even though I consider myself a somewhat "experienced" journal-writer, it was very helpful to see all the things I was already doing listed objectively, plus another list of things I was not doing but that I now really want to try, even devices that at first glance sound a bit ridiculous ...more
Nicole Perkins
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love keeping a journal; mine is a receptacle for everything from rants about a bad day, gushings about exceptional moments, story fits and starts, poetry (mine and others'), recipe lists, books to read, just about everything that can be committed to the page. Tristine Rainer's book explores the many uses of a journal as a tool for self-guidance and growth. All in all, a really useful, valuable guide book.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
Will definitely read this again.

This is great as self reflection as well as creative stimulation. Though there was no exercises there were plenty of ideas to expand the diary writing processes. It also takes excerpts from other diarists. It also was instructive as far as looking at what you might be weak in recording your own ideas, feelings and daily activities.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A little repetitive, but chock-full of techniques that I've found extremely useful and easy to integrate into my journalling practice.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For a writer of literary fiction who draw most of her material from her own life, this book has proven invaluable.
Sue Hughes
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book offers various amazing journal writing techniques for self exploration and self discovery.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
some good ideas in here, but mostly a lot of stuff I was already doing on my own.
Literary Mama
As my children grew from preschoolers to high schoolers, entries to my childhood diary increased while my responses to writing prompts became more and more sporadic; those one-line prompts didn't always strike the right chord to get my creative juices flowing. I started to rethink “journaling” and how I spent my writing time, and turned to these books for guidance.

Read Literary Mama's full review here:
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
An intersting overveiw of journalling approaches, but not what I was looking for at the moment.

I had picked it up because it was cited in another book on writing that I was reading, and it is relevant to other books like Professors as Writers (Boice) and The Artists Way (Cameron).

Like these it also has relevance to literature on hypnosis, because it is about accessing and changing states, in this case using journalling as a medium. I will probably dip in again, and look for quotes or examples,
Tiff Miller
I have to be honest. I didn't actually, technically finish this book. Overall, there were some valuable nuggets buried here and there. And I mean buried. Her writing style is good, but she really said all she needed to say in the first few chapters. After that, it just felt like it was repeating itself.

It wasn't bad, and those nuggets I picked up were useful to me. And that's all. Nothing remarkable here.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because I had seen it on a list of books following an article on the Psychology Today website. I really liked this book. It removed the idea of there being a "right" way to keep a diary/journal (which I thought I could not do and why I thought I was falling at being able to keep one). I found inspiration in the ideas and themes outlined in the book as well as enjoyed the snippets from journals of other people.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I keep coming back to The New Diary. Rainer's various techniques for expression in journal writing have been very inspirational. The "Readings of Interest to Diarists" section is a cool little bonus.
Karl Schmiedeskamp
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any one who writes or wants to write
Recommended to Karl by: I cannot remember
Kind of a girly book but full of good ideas for self expression & self discovery. I think it is a must for anyone who wants to write for any reason. I use it regularly in my work with troubled young men.
Meh. Got through about halfway... just not the writing book I was looking for. This book prompted me to dig into Nin a bit... should have known, after putting down Nin, that this is just... not my style. Too much psycho-babble, though I'm not sure what I expected...
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. If you are interested in any kind of journaling or writing this is a fascinating book. Years ago I read her other book on writing which was great, but this one takes everything to a new level.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first picked this book up when I was in high school, along with my first real diary. It changed the way I thought of writing, and I keep going back to it whenever I need to do some serious journalling work. It is the best book on diary writing I have ever read.
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Tristine Rainer, Ph.D, is a pioneer in the fields of contemporary journal writing and narrative autobiography. Her book The New Diary, how to use a journal for self-guidance and expanded creativity has sold over 200,000 copies and has been used as a text in university Psychology and Occupational Therapy courses, although her degree was in English Lit. After a quarter of a century in print The New ...more