No, you don’t have to call it your diary. You don’t even have to call at your journal, if you don’t want to. Choose whatever name you like. If you want to sound really dramatic, you can even call it your chronicles. Whatever you call it, it could be a valuable thing to your family for you to keep a record.
My parents gave me a journal when I was eight years old and I still have all of those eight-year-old entries. The record continues up through my teenage years into adulthood up to the present day. In order to facilitate ease of reading for others’ enjoyment, I later went back and typed up all of my handwritten entries. They are now safely backed up in several places on my computer and Internet storage.
My father never really kept a journal with any regularity, and so there are many things that I don’t know about his childhood that I would like to. His parents unfortunately died when he was only 16 years old so I never got to know them. How valuable a journal would be for me today in order to learn more about those grandparents I never met.
Journal entries don’t need to be long. We don’t need to talk about every single thing you ever did during the week or day. I only compose about one typed page for an entire week. It’s one of my favorite Sunday activities to the chronicle the week, hitting the high points and some of my reactions to them—the most interesting details that people might want to read about you later. It’s not so important what you had for breakfast, but it might be important how you feel about some important events the day. Then again, it is your journal. Write whatever you like whatever you do make sure to back it up.