Sally Bayley, teacher and research fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University (or the University of Oxford as they like to call themselves, but which sounds weird to me), has published her new book: The Private Life of the Diary.  Although she is a successful author (and poet!) in her own right, she opted to publish this latest book via Unbound. I have to say the quality of the physical book is excellent - really first class. The writing is of the same standard, but then I knew that would be the case already :) [Full disclosure - Sally is a friend, and has been a supporter of InkTears from the very start].

The book tells the story of the diary as an art form - with plenty of examples from Virginia Woolf, Pepys, Adrian Mole (!), through to modern tweets. She also weaves her own fascinating life story into the book, with some hilarious anecdotes. I'm still in shock that she was sent to Switzerland as a 7 year old, travelling on her own, to stay with her French speaking relatives. I'm already hooked, and I think this is essential reading for writers. Let's face it, we may not all keep diaries, but every writer I know has a notebook of some sort where they jot down ideas, snatches of dialogue, story titles, themes, metaphors, and much more. One of my favourite technique is to paint a word picture about some event that I've been involved in, so that at a later date I can recapture the essence of the situation, and use it in a story. Sally looks at all of these aspects - and delves in to doodling, memoir, secrets, and the way in which writing can help forge identity.

Her book is available at Amazon:

And there is a far more official review by The Independent: