How many books have we read where the young protagonist's secrets in her diary are uncovered, causing her unbelievable angst at having her very private thoughts revealed to the world? It's a common theme, common enough to make most of us tremble and throw our diaries out the window.
But don't do it!!!!
Why? Why would you want to continue writing down your innermost thoughts and feelings and risk exposure???? Because those very thoughts and feelings are ones you will want to recall when you are an author later in life!
Time moves on. We grow. We change. What was important to us years ago, may not be of the same value and importance it once was. So what if down the road, you want to write books for children or even have a child as one of your characters in an adult novel? Writings in diaries or keeping journals provide windows into the child we were and the people who populated our world at that time. It is essential as a writer to be able to recall sights and smells, the joys and sorrows of younger years. Using your old diary or journal entries will allow you to tap into those memories and write about them with truth in your voice.
Anne Frank never expected her diary to be such a public piece of work. And yet how much did we as readers learn about her imprisonment in that small room, the fears and triumphs of hiding from the Nazis? This book was invaluable to generations of readers in understanding how real people dealt with the horrors of World War II.
Likewise for writers, these diaries will inform and remind you. So don't throw out those secret writings! Instead, continue to jot down everything you are feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling as you journey through these years, knowing that you are saving up little pebbles of recall for when you will need them as a writer.
But just to be safe - I would get a diary with a lock and key!!!!