We often highlight how wonderful journals can be for holding your private thoughts – places where you can be completely honest about how you’re feeling about your life and the people in it. We should mention, though, that if you become famous it is entirely possible that these personal diary entries may become part of the public domain or, at the very least, popular pieces at museums.

As these three examples show, even the most successful and talented writers sometimes need to take to journalling to really say what is on their minds.

Jack Kerouac on Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were both pioneers of the Beat Generation, but that doesn’t mean they always held the other in the highest esteem! Check out what Kerouac had to say about his fellow writer below:

Image Source: https://patrishka.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/jack-kerouac-1953-notebook/

Sir Walter Scott on Lord Byron, Jane Austen and William Wordsworth

Scott was late to take up journalling, but quickly became a fan of daily diary writing and cited Lord Byron’s style as his influence. Aside from writing about his personal life, he took time to critique many of his contemporaries, including the man who greatly inspired his journal-keeping! Check out the Morgan Library’s online feature “Final Years of a Full Life: Sir Walter Scott” for an in-depth look at his journal and get the chance to read a full entry.

Marianne Moore on Mina Loy

Moore writes with empathy about her fellow poet who was going through a rough time following a personal loss (see bottom left). Get more of the story and check out journal entries by other famous New Yorkers on the New York Times interactive article “Pages from New York’s History.

Photo Credit: Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia
Image Source: http://yuwenshan303.blog.163.com/blog/static/4943745201211184547899/


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