Using diary writing: a narrative of radical courage

Journal article


Phillips, Debra and Lindsay, Elaine. (2017) Using diary writing: a narrative of radical courage. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs.
AuthorsPhillips, Debra and Lindsay, Elaine
Abstract

This article considers the use of diary entries as primary source material in autoethnographic research. It examines how the act of diary writing can reveal a trajectory into, and away from, an experience of depression and how diary entries can provide grounds for conjecture about possible futures and imagined self-narratives. It describes how ‘radical courage’, as identified by Phillips, can displace suicidal ideation and bolster a new self-narrative of an imagined future. The article highlights the value of diaries. More than a source of raw data for research and creative writing projects, they offer diarists a safe place to explore and create alternative and productive selfnarratives. In their unedited state, they are a first-person, present-tense record of emotional states, showing how context and events impact upon an individual’s life. Diary entries can reveal to the diarist and researcher alike the beginnings of a new selfnarrative that is not yet fully imagined nor articulated. The article includes selected diary entries and reflections on depression as a lived experience to show the connection between radical courage and a narrative of the future. This narrative form – a narrative of the imagined future – is commended for its therapeutic potential as a cognitive strategy to build resilience. Through writing and speaking, the story develops as it is lived; by being lived, the story becomes embodied

Year2017
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
PublisherAustralasian Association of Writing Programs
ISSN1327-9556
Open accessOpen access
Page range1 - 14
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
Place of publicationAustralia
EditorsM. McAllister, D. L. Brien and L. Dodd
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/85450/using-diary-writing-a-narrative-of-radical-courage

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