How Not to Write a Diary

Michael Palin: If you're not interesting, don't pretend to be
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 1:38 PM CDT
Diary Advice from Monty Python Diarist Michael Palin
Michael Palin speaks to a packed Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong on May 28, 2010.   (Getty Images/AFP PHOTO/MIKE CLARKE)

(Newser) – Keeping a diary is well worth your while—but there are some “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind, writes Monty Python’s Michael Palin in Vanity Fair. The big one is, “don’t try and make your life interesting when it isn’t,” notes the committed diarist. “At the airport that Bruce Springsteen’s drummer once used” won’t pass muster. “On the other hand, ‘Bruce Springsteen’s drummer is the father of three of my children’ is perfectly legitimate.”

If you babysat for Chuck Berry or operated on a Royal canine, don’t dwell on it, he advises. Try “got up late, made some jam, called the chiropractor, neutered the Queen’s corgi, painted the bathroom.” But do “write every day," he urges, and this part of his advice seems sincere. "Diaries are all about habit. They should become a regular part of your day, like cleaning your teeth or going to the lavatory. And, if possible, just as interesting." Click through for a list of topics Palin wouldn't write about. (Read more Michael Palin stories.)

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