You don't have to be a writer, or even like to write, to keep a journal for your child, even before he or she is born.
Christopher Briscoe, the photographer for our book, writes letters to his son every year. That's a nice way to do it.
Another wonderful way to chronicle your child's life is to keep a family journal -- a collective journal that you, your partner, your friends, and your family contribute to. When your child gets old enough, he can write in it too. In the meantime, you can put in scrapbooky things like:
first footprints and handprints (this is fun to do with a stamp pad and a cooperative newborn!)
photos of the baby
updates on world events
hair from a first haircut (put it in an envelope and tape the envelope in the journal)
We keep our family journal in the bathroom. The rule is whoever spends a lot of time on the john has to write in it! This almost never works but the idea is a good one.
To read an entire article by Jennifer Margulis, from the Medford Mail Tribune, on family journaling, click here.