Inside Taylor Swift's Personal Diary Entries: Read All of the Biggest Revelations
Lover of Diaries
Along with some behind-the-scenes recordings, each album featured a 30-page booklet with excerpts from her personal diaries — some even from she was just 13!
“I’ve written about pretty much everything that’s happened to me. I’ve written my original lyrics in those diaries, just feelings,” she said on an Instagram Live announcing the booklets. “It’s everything from pictures drawn, photos of that time in my life, I used to like tape stuff in my diaries.”
Here are the top 10 takeaways from her personal diary entries.
Swift the Lyricist
If the diary entries are filled with anything, it’s a deep dive into her song lyrics.
“Red” was born on a long flight — and everyone she played it for loved it.
“Its [sic] so different than anything we’ve done,” she wrote in 2011. "I can’t even tell you how alive and worthwhile I feel when I’m writing a new song and I finish it and people like it. It’s the most fulfilling feeling, like getting an A+ on your report card.”
The diaries also share early versions of "All Too Well" and songs like “Long Live,” “White Horse,” “Holy Ground” and “This Love.”
In a 2014 entry, she writes about the creation of her ultra-hit “Shake It Off.”
“The best way I know how to describe it is that the chorus just fell out of the sky,” she wrote in 2014.
“We all went home and I wrote the first and second verses and brought them in the next day. We wrote this chanty cheer leader bridge that I absolutely LOVE,” she continued.
As for the album cover that would accompany “Shake It Off,” she wrote that she “saw it within 10 seconds.”
“The craziest moment came when something caught my eye. The cover photo is photo 13. I kid you not,” she wrote about the polaroid cover to 1989, which she accompanied with a sketch.
A Glamorous Gala
In a diary entry, Swift writes about being invited to “this event called ‘The Met Gala.’”
To an 18-year-old Swift, that day was “THE party of the year.”
“The paps started SCREAMING for me. It was crazy,” she wrote in May 2008. “We made our way up the red carpet, posing for everyone. All of the women looked so glamorous in their gowns.”
Once inside, she lists “every celebrity ever created” at the event, including Scarlett Johansson, Tom Brady, Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Tom Cruise and Jon Bon Jovi “who called me over to talk to him.”
Weeks before the release of Lover, a public feud involving Swift and her old label Big Machine made headlines when the label’s founder Scott Borchetta sold the label (and ownership of her masters) to Scooter Braun.
But years before, Swift had nothing but kind things to say about the label founder who signed her.
After meeting with Capitol Records and not being offered “the deal I would want,” she met with Borchetta — and left with feelings of excitement.
“I really loved all the stuff he said in the meeting, and he stayed for the whole Bluebird show,” she wrote in November 2014. “And he’s SO passionate about this project. I think that’s the way we’re gonna go, I want to surround myself with passionate people.”
A meeting with Borchetta also made “Sparks Fly” as she came up with the name of her second album.
“We were talking about the record and I had this epiphany,” she wrote in April 2010. “I didn't talk in interviews about how I felt about much of what has happened in the last two years. I've been silent about so much that I'm saying on this album. It's time to Speak Now.”
"Scott freaked out. He loved it," she wrote in April 2010. "We have a title, ladies and gentlemen!"
"The Hunters Will Always Outnumber Me"
Swift also opens up about the lack of privacy that comes with being a celebrity — and how she’ll never get used to seeing “a group of people staring, amassed outside my house, pointing, camera phones up…”
“They could never imagine how much that feels like being hunted,” she wrote.
Swift compares her “mostly perfect life” to “being a tiger in a wildlife enclosure.”
"It's pretty in there, but you can't get out," she described in the August 2013 note.
"No matter how big my house is or how many albums I sell, I'm still going to be the rabbit," she added. "Because the hunters will always outnumber me. The spectators will stand by, shaking their heads, going 'that poor girl.' But the point is, they're still watching. Everyone loves a good hunt."
But her feelings about being “hunted” also translated into worrying about her generation’s obsession with taking photos “so that they can spend all day checking the comments underneath.”
“They will never truly experience a moment without attempting to capture it and own it,” she wrote, comparing pulling a flower from the ground to take photos. “Nevermind that picking a flower kills it, the same way taking a picture of a moment can ruin it altogether.”
Swift has notably kept comments off of her post to improve her mental health.
“I’m training my brain to not need the validation of someone telling me that I look 🔥🔥🔥,” she wrote in Elle. “I’m also blocking out anyone who might feel the need to tell me to ‘go die in a hole ho’ while I’m having my coffee at nine in the morning.”
From Fearful to "Fearless"
Though Swift is now known for her jaw-dropping stage presence, as a young singer she wrote that she would “get stage fright every time I walk onto a stage.”
“I wish it wasn’t so, but I can’t blame my mind for freaking out about performances,” she wrote in 2010, days before releasing Speak Now. “Criticism of my performances has been the biggest source of pain in my life.”
“I sometimes feel like my college degree is in acting like I’m ok when I’m not,” wrote a 20-year-old Swift.
But even as a burgeoning singer at just 13, she would get hate while on stage. During one performance, her guitar pick broke in half and fell while she was playing.
“There was this huge silence! It was awful! I had to bend over and pick it up in front of everyone!” she wrote next to the broken pick. “And while I was singing, this guy was shouting stuff like, ‘Go on, b*#@! Sing that country bulls#*%! Go on motherf—!.’ It was awful.”
Done with Dieting
In her diaries, she also candidly writes about sticking to a diet as a teen.
Soon after Thanksgiving 2006, she returned to Nashville to her “own comfy bed” and planned to go out to eat with her best friend Abigail Anderson during a day off.
“Oh and I’m dieting again,” she wrote right after.
“Over the holidays I didn’t watch what I ate and man its [sic] so weird how fast I can gain or lose weight… It’s crazy,” she ended the note. “So I’m going to lose some now.”
Earlier this year, she wrote about finally being okay with gaining weight.
“I learned to stop hating every ounce of fat on my body,” she wrote in Elle. “I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair, and more energy.”
The “Daylight” singer also said that she’s constantly working on her body image.
“I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous. There is no quick fix,” she said. “I work on accepting my body every day.”
"I'ma Let You Finish, But..."
“Ahh… the things that can change in a week…” wrote Swift in a Sept. 18, 2009 journal entry.
“If you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump up onstage and announce that he thought I shouldn’t have won on live television, I would’ve said ‘That stuff doesn’t really happen in real life,’” she wrote.
“Well… apparently…. It does,” she ended the note.
Little did 19-year-old Swift know that West would cause more tumult in her life seven years later. In an August 2016 note, she simply wrote, “This summer is the apocalypse.”
The “apocalyptic” summer came when West referred to the singer as “that bitch” in his track “Famous” and featured a nude version of the “Shake It Off” singer in its accompanying video.
Then, Swift said she never approved of the lyric after his wife Kim Kardashian leaked a phone call conversation between the two singers.
“Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination,” she wrote then. That “Cruel Summer” ordeal would go on to inspire her sixth album, reputation.
A Joe Alwyn “Love Story”
Clearly writing about Alwyn, the singer confessed about wanting to keep their relationship under wraps as much as possible.
"I'm essentially based in London, hiding out trying to protect us from the nasty world that just wants to ruin things,” she wrote in a January 2017 note. “We have been together and no one has found out for 3 months now. I want it to stay that way because I don't want anything about this to change or become too complicated or intruded upon.”
“But it’s senseless to worry about someday not being happy when I am happy now,” she concluded. “OK. Breathe."
But Swift wasn’t always so sure about love being real — especially when it came to Valentine’s Day.
"I somehow feel like it's my destiny to roll my eyes at happy couples and resent Valentine's Day. I also feel like I'm the girl before 'the one.' I'm not 'the one,'” she wrote at 19. “I'm the girl you think is the one for you, and when it doesn't work out with me, you meet the next girl and realize she IS the one."
And as a mere 13 year old, she imagined the first time she’d have her first kiss — and about being “such a romantic.”
“I just dream about looking into someone's eyes and feeling something I've never felt before, you know?" she wrote. "I just never was able to put a face to my fantacy [sic]. But something tells me that my first kiss is really far away from happening!”
The Night Before...
Before the 2014 Grammy Awards, Swift was confident her album Red would take home the biggest award of the night.
“It’s the middle of the night and I was at the Clive Davis party tonight which means… the Grammys are tomorrow,” she wrote. “Never have I felt so good about our chances. Never have I wanted something so badly as I want to hear them say ‘Red’ is the Album of the Year.”
Though she was up for four awards that year, Swift would head home empty handed.
Though she had won that award two years prior with Fearless, it wouldn’t be until her 2014 album 1989 that she’d take home the coveted prize again. In her 13-year career, Swift has won 10 Grammys from 32 nominations.
“This Might Be Worth Money Someday”
Though her diary entries are filled with some insight into the more complicated times in her life, the entries also feature some cute memories of her youth — including her middle school class schedule, some song lyrics and memories about listening to Sugarland for the first time.
Accompanied by drawings and the number 13, in her first journal entry, she signs her name and writes “(That could be worth money someday!! Just kidding hehe).”
Under “Journal #1,” a 13-year-old Swift writes a poem: “The world is as big as you make it / Never be shameful to fly / When a chance comes you should take it / May you never be scared of goodbye…”
After performing at a school talent show, Swift wrote: “I <3 SCHOOL!”
Reminiscing on the grand day, Swift wrote, “I got a standing ovation and everything.”