Conventionally, a ‘diary’ is a record of each day’s events as they happen, while a ‘journal’ records feelings and thoughts as they develop. But what if we challenged ourselves to write a ‘journal’ that focused on the external world rather than the self, like French author Annie Ernaux's: Exteriors and Things Seen. Ernaux keeps diaries of travelling by public transport, visiting the supermarket, reading the news and other quotidian experiences, but her thoughts and feelings colour the details she captures and the way she represents them.
Could you challenge yourself to take some brief notes when you are in public space - the shopping centre, the pub, the bookshop, the bus, the city streets - this month? Who do you see, what do people say to you, what do you overhear? How does your body feel moving around your environment? Where do you hurry and where do you linger, and where do you feel belonging or ownership?
We hope that you might find some inspiration in this writing prompt but as always if you would like to write something else - a diary entry, poem, your reflections on something else about your life at the moment - we'd be delighted to read whatever you would like to send. To go directly to the submission page and send us your writing, click here.