Schreibtischtäter > Literary writing > Genre
A diary is a record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. Diaries undertaken for institutional purposes play a role in many aspects of human civilization, including government records, business ledgers and military records.
A diary is not a book, only a sequence of entries or journals of a person's thoughts or feelings.
Generally the term is today employed for personal diaries, in which the writer may detail more personal information and normally intended to remain private or to have a limited circulation amongst friends or relatives. The writer may also describe recent events in his/her personal diary. The word "journal" may be sometimes used for "diary," but generally one writes daily in a diary, whereas journal-writing can be less frequent.
Whilst a diary may provide information for a memoir, autobiography or biography, it is generally written not with the intention of being published as it stands, but for the author's own use. In recent years, however, there is internal evidence in some diaries that they are written with eventual publication in mind, with the intention of self-vindicationor simply for profit.
Diaries are highly varied, from business notations, to listings of weather and daily personal events, to inner explorations of the human psyche, to expressions of one's deepest self, to records of thoughts and ideas.
By extension the term diary is also used to mean a printed publication of a written diary; and may also refer to other terms of journal including electronic formats.