So, the other day I had a casual conversation with a younger woman who likes writing, but is reluctant to wade into words, arranging them in such a way that satisfies herself and communicates her thoughts.
My analysis — not her’s.
Writing is . . . tricky.
Being honest and kind; truthful and tactful — interesting — believable . . . inspiring . . . edifying . . . How can some writers do that with just twenty-six letters?
Think To Kill a Mockingbird. (Now is the time to read it by the way if you haven’t!)
Writing is like my oxygen . . . so, of course I urged her to WRITE — Young mothers need to breathe!
I suggested she start by keeping a journal. “Even if all you can say is UGH! I hate this,” I told her, this is a start.
I’ve told you about my journals . . . Nina Martin, a friend, suggested I start one. Now I have . . . many.
Most are lame — what makes them even mildly interesting is seeing where the kids, who were SO young back then — made their marks.
Most of what I wrote was trying make sense of Scripture —some entries are cryptic prayer requests for others, whose names bring back memories that are not quite clear — my requests were always about my fears and failures, my weight and financial pressures. Not exactly fodder for The Great American Novel!
The more things change the more they stay the same.
No — that first year journaling isn’t interesting; I know I was being . . . selective . . . about many topics . . . but so many details I thought I would always remember I didn’t. Which is a mercy for all concerned.
And I think I wanted to look smarter and more “spiritual” than I was — still a problem in my writing. Put it out there people, and the world will know!
So WHY in the world did I urge a young mother to write — to journal?(!)
Because even thumbing through my self-conscious, amateur journal —I see me — maybe the journals are the me I wished to be, more than I was . . . but there I was, and here I am.
Moms can get lost in the dailies.
Without ’tis autumn, the wind beats on the pane
With heavy drops, the leaves high upwards sweep.
You take old [journals] from a crumpled heap,
And in one hour have lived your life again.
~Mihai Eminescu (1850–1889) (The Quotegarden.com)
In the journals — All the squiggles and spots; the misspellings and missing words, I wrote them . . . and I can’t lose them the way I can on a computer.
Writing is like the fuel that keeps my brain and heart connected, even if the product they produce is always in need of revision and editing.
So reader, please write . . . something. Your thoughts matter — your memories, dreams, and wonderings.
Even if it is a letter to an old friend, or new acquaintance; or, a spouse or child, or parent . . . start today — before postage goes up again.
The pen in your hand is a magic wand with which you can send joy, hope, love and courage across deserts and plains, over mountains and seas, around the world and around the corner. ~Wilferd A. Peterson, “The Art of Writing Letters
And consider starting a journal — in long-hand. It can all be recycled anyway.
PS: Listening to so many biographies during COVID, I learned interesting people often kept interesting journals, and wrote long letters; hours were longer back then, (I think). Oh, wait; they didn’t have WiFi.