When asked why she became a writer, novelist Heidi Julavits pointed to her childhood diaries as early evidence of her fate to be an author. But when she found those early journals in storage bins, they were disappointing. They possessed, in her words, the mind of a “paranoid tax auditor.” Yet they inspired her to try to write a diary again. The result is a collection of reflections on the foibles and desires of a busy writer, professor, and mother. Each entry is a different meditation on time, identity, and husbands, as well as ghosts and barns. Author Julavits on why she decided to write and publish her diary.