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Famous People Who Kept a Journal or Diary

Plenty of people write in journals or diaries, but most of them are never read by anyone but the writer. And honestly, most of them are probably best left unread. Private thoughts are just that – private. You might not want anyone reading about how your cousin dissed you at Thanksgiving, or all that terrible poetry you wrote after the breakup. Good for you to write, and probably best kept under wraps.

But sometimes someone’s journals are so important or interesting they need to be shared with the public. Here are just some of the many famous diary- and journal-writers:

1. Anne Frank
2. Virginia Woolf
3. Lewis and Clark
4. Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Audre Lorde
6. Kurt Cobain
7. Anne Lamott
8. Sylvia Plath
9. Henry David Thoreau
10. Frida Kahlo
11. Spalding Gray
12. Beatrix Potter
13. Michael Palin
14. Ronald Reagan
15. Captain Cook
16. Thomas Merton
17. Franz Kafka
18. Anais Nin

Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll rank among these esteemed writers, and the public will in fact want to know all about that rude cousin or bad breakup. So until then – keep writing. Crack open that journal or diary and record your thoughts, ideas, questions, and, yes, bad poetry. Even if it’s for your eyes only, it’s important to write about the moments of your life.

(And of course, Journals and Notepads has a huge selection of journals and blank books where you can do just that.)