As of today I have decided to keep a diary again — just a place where I can write my thoughts and opinions when I have a moment. Somehow I have to keep and hold the rapture of being seventeen.
— Sylvia Plath, diary entry
The problem with journal writing . . . is that it has no retrieval system. You write and write, and it all swirls away into the unnumbered, unindexed pages of notebooks that stack up year by year, in the dark of a closet shelf. You forget, but they remember. You say you’re going to reread them — and sometimes you even begin to. But in the end, the inky lines blot into the non-acid-free paper, and you’re too busy writing this year’s journal to work your way through two decades’ worth of old ones.
— Patricia Hampl, “A Book with a Lock and a Key”
in The Writer’s Journal, edited by Sheila Bender