The news that we were to go into lockdown hit me hard. Panic set in. I’m a creature of habit leading an active work and social life. The thought of being locked in, without being able to see friends and having no access to my studio, seemed unbearable.

With no time to move the contents of my studio to my home, and a burning desire to be creative, I thought about what I could do with my limited supplies. I needed a project. Something that I could focus on each day and that, in years to come, would help me remember my life in these strange and unique times.

I recalled the illustrated journals I made when on family summer holidays as a child, primarily to help crystalise my memories in my mind. I have a form of dyslexia that causes me to easily forget things such as names, places, films or books, and my diaries were a great way to capture a holiday’s worth of memories.

Hence, I began my ‘Locked in- Lockdown’ diaries; a word and picture log of, amongst other things, my daily activities, films I’ve watched, music and audiobooks I’ve listened to, and in true British style, the weather! Every day I do a blog post with a photo of my diary from the previous day. I then share this via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. It’s helped me immensely. It’s given purpose to the days and sharing them has enabled me to connect with friends and family. I’ve been surprised by the response – the number of positive comments, retweets and ‘likes’ has delighted me. It’s pleasing to see conversations developing between readers, suggestions being made as to other good films for me to watch, and messages telling me that I have inspired other people to do their own versions.

I was delighted to be commissioned by New Writing North to create a diary template for you to complete. I hope that you embrace the project, summon all your creativity and enjoy identifying and recording your stories; the subtle changes in nature, things you are enjoying, and the people you are connecting with. Imagine showing these to your grandchildren in the future, or if someone discovered them in 100 years. May your very own diary prompt curiosity, creativity and provide joy!

To view the ongoing series, please visit my blog
helenshaddock.blogspot.com

 

Download your template here