I’ve been keeping a journal for nearly 60 years. There are piles of the damn things in archives and covered with shoeboxes on high closet shelves. I’ve never looked back at one word in them. Being a vain sinner, I’ve entertained the fantasy that others would but, as it seems I’m not going to be remembered as a national treasure, I must conclude the journals have served their purpose. This was to get me to write things down. The physical act of transcription forced me to place half-formed thoughts upon the paper, making them concrete; a delusion, or obsession became a fact, and, as such, could be addressed as independent of my mental processes — that is, as other than the vapourings of a madman.
Nancy Mitford loved diaries.