It would seem to be an easy thing to get a writer to put down on paper (or computer file) the things that matter to them. However, you’d be surprised.
Because we are often involved in creating fiction – a story that isn’t really true – we use our real life experiences and feelings to lend truth to an otherwise made-up tale. Therefore, we often neglect the most obvious type of writing, autobiographical.
There are some really important types of writing everyone should do or at least try to do. Here they are:
- Personal History – This is probably the most important thing you can leave to your family. What seems unimportant to you can easily fascinate your descendants or even your siblings and parents. Also, in the process, you may develop an appreciation for your own accomplishments and experiences.
- Clearing the Air - Work out anger and frustrations by writing about them. This has a wonderful benefit for both you and those who live or work with you. Have you ever experienced relief by typing or scribbling out your annoyance? It allows you to detail every little thing that bothered you about some event or interaction. You don’t have to edit yourself in writing and you don’t have to be reasonable or grownup about it. No one else is ever going to see what you write unless that’s your choice. Try this, if you haven’t before. I promise you that you’ll feel better afterwards. Then give it some time and see if the whole thing doesn’t just go away. It often does for me, IF I remember to write about it.
- Expressing Gratitude – If you’re too embarrassed to share with someone how much they or something they did means to you, write a note. I’ve often been very thankful for the presence or support of a friend or loved one, but knew that one or the other of us would be embarrassed by my saying so in person. I have written notes and poems to convey my feelings and highly recommend it to you. Additionally, just noting somewhere how wonderful life it on the days that you notice can lift your spirits and result in increased good feelings. Try it!
- Ideas – How often are our creative impulses lost to memory? All the time. I tend to scribble notes and occasionally write out my ideas more formally. I’m amazed at the number of times I’ve reconnected with ideas from years ago as I read a journal or tucked away notebook. I’ve even opened word docs on my computer, with a title I didn’t recognize, and found wonderful ideas I had long forgotten about.
- Lists – I’m currently compiling a list of my personal fears. Why? So, I can recognize and then eliminate them. Sometimes things are floating around in our brain without even being acknowledged. One of the best lists I ever started was one of all the things I’d done in my life – everything from being a mother to homesteading in Alaska. It made me feel so good about my life. Again, see if this isn’t a tool that works for you.
Write, people! Write. It’s a good for you.