Pen and paper are my lifelong companions.
I cannot remember a time when both weren’t with me in some way, whether writing short stories in elementary school, placing entries in a diary during my high school years, or outlining the table of contents for books that were ultimately published.
This love affair with writing is true for many people, and perhaps you’re part of the movement but haven’t recognized how this documentation is vitally important to your life. There is more to writing than grocery lists and figuring out what to clean on the weekend, right?
One year my daughter and I were on a flight enroute to Las Vegas. I was speaking at a tea convention and knew my daughter would have a good time exploring the sights while I took care of business.
Neither of us realized that our flight coincided with spring break. The plane was overrun with college students, and the atmosphere was rowdy from point A to point B.
In the row directly in front of us sat three females. A guy had recently dumped the one assigned at the window seat. During the flight she positioned herself towards her row buddies by placing her knees in the seat and began reading aloud a letter she composed to the guy. Her head was just above the seat, so her written serenade was audible to us, her captive audience.
“She gave me a headache,” said my daughter when we landed hours later.
My hope is that the jilted student didn’t send the love-lorn letter to her ex, but her choice wasn’t my decision or my business. She expressed her feelings in a way that was freeing for her. That’s what matters, and that’s what writing is meant to do.
Here are other reasons why pen, pencil, paper, and other writing instruments are your friend. It:
1. Clears your head
You cannot keep everything you need to know or want to remember top of mind. In business, we call this “clearing the decks.”
2. Organizes your life
As mentioned earlier, lists are necessary, especially when you’re a woman. We are in charge of a lot.
3. Expresses your current feelings
Whether physically elated or mentally anguished, it can be quite healthy to let your emotions run wild between the lines.
4. Lets you compare change and growth
Keeping a diary or something similar about daily life allows you to go back and read your state of mind the year before.
5. Focuses your energy positively
Many times you are your best cheerleader. Writing to confirm your inner strength can be very powerful.
6. Decreases forgetfulness
Ideas come and go quickly. If you don’t write down (or type on your smartphone) that brilliant thought, it may disappear forever.
7. Authenticates goodness
Use paper, the size of a square Post-It note, to write happy things that occur daily and place it in a jar to re-read when a down day occurs.
8. Reminds you about triumphs
For whatever reason, bad thoughts rise to the top. Stop them from floating on the surface by making No. 7 above a habit.
9. Documents the state of “you”
Thankfully, keeping a journal is wise at every age and any stage of life. It’s personal therapy to enjoy in your space.
10. Helps you dream big dreams
I have a notebook with the words “World Domination” embossed on the front. My big dreams are in it. How do you compile your future actions?
You know doubt notice that adult coloring books are super popular today. It’s another option that either complements or is a substitute for writing.
When did you recognize that pen and paper were your companions?