Virginia Woolf on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary | Brain Pickings. (by Maria Popova)

Literary icon Virginia Woolf, born on this day in 1882, was not only a masterful letter-writer and little-known children’s book author, but also a dedicated diarist on par with Susan Sontag and Anaïs Nin. A fairly late journaling bloomer, she began writing in 1915, at the age of 33, and continued until her last entry in 1941, four days before her death, leaving behind 26 volumes written in her own hand. More than a mere tool of self-exploration, however, Woolf approached the diary as a kind of R&D lab for her craft. As her husband observes in the introduction to her collected journals, A Writer’s Diary (UK; public library), Woolf’s journaling was “a method of practicing or trying out the art of writing.”