I reflect on why I started writing and journaling my thoughts. Writing is my dumping ground for expression and experiences that caused pain or joy. A reconciliation if you will, of how I perceive life. I was never a competent English student, however that never stopped me!
I was 8 years old when I started recording in my first diary, I used to start my entries with ‘Dear Diary’! In 1968, living and growing up in Victoria, my first entries were about receiving a ‘new wardrobe’, my primary school crush and what it was like walking to school and being bullied by the state school kids.
I was given a small diary with a lock and key, for privacy, however that wasn’t necessary, as no one was interested in my thoughts, until several years later, when a different diary, with my clear description of my friends fall on a ‘basketball court’, full of potholes, was used as evidence.
My handwritten entries helped the family settle out of court and get some urgently needed compensation for continued operations.
In the lead up to her fall, she and I would turn up Tina Turner’s music full volume in our family lounge room, dancing to ‘Nutbush City Limits’, pretending to be the backup dancers!
I wrote about my friend calling out in pain ‘Augh, I’ve broken my leg’! I wrote clear details about the potholes. I don’t even know why I was that detailed, yet despite the embarrassment I felt, as my diary was handed over to a complete stranger who legally represented the family, then finally a judge, I knew from that moment how significant writing and recording events, accurately and honestly could be!
I think about Anne Frank, who kept several diaries while hiding above an office with two other families during the second world war. She was a German Jewish teenager who sadly did not survive the Holocaust, however the memoirs from her two years in hiding live on forever.
Writing about something that I needed to learn and then share with others was a natural progression. When I wrote ‘The Poo in You’, a top seller for me, I diarised my experiences doing various bowel cleanses. Now people record these activities with video blogs and put them on Instagram, but I like to think I pioneered original information about bowel cleansing in Australia, and the first Raw Food book – ‘In The Raw’ – published in 1993.
I ended up in Hotel Quarantine around 2021. I was in a Brisbane Hotel for 14 days, so I turned the time into a disciplined writing schedule and wrote Lifestyle Reset, The Essential Guide to Healing You and the Planet. I don’t think I would have completed this book, if I hadn’t of had those five hours a day, for 14 days to start this writing project. Out of something not so good, I made it better.
Our whole lives are about experiencing, living and sharing what we learn along the way. For me, writing is healing and that’s why I write books.
Anne Clark is a lifestyle health consultant, author, guest speaker and retreat facilitator.