Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who Writes Anymore?

The other day I came across a quote that went something like "If I knew where you lived, I'd send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils". I loved that mental image! Then what came to mind was, who writes anymore? If they do physically write, who writes with a pencil? And to go one step further, who writes with a pencil that has to be sharpened? I wonder how many people actually own a pencil sharpener these days.

It's the electronic world. People type on their computers. They might still journal, or write in a special notebook. Most use pens. Some might use pencils but even those are generally mechanical with rubberized exterior, or some kind of customized, innovative design. I can't remember the last time I saw an HB regular orange wood pencil on anyone's desk.

I still give my clients (yes, even the IT clients) journals. They're blank, no lines, which encourages creative writing, design or diagram drawing. The reason I give these small notebooks to them is to have a parking place for their thoughts and ideas, something small they can put in a briefcase or purse or keep on their bedside table, so when a thought occurs that they want to save or expand on, the notebook is right there. They don't have to wait until going back into their offices or to turn their desktop or laptop back on. Most of the time they wouldn't bother and the thought goes poof into thin air.

Writing by hand does something else. Because we have to slow down to the speed our hand can write, we also slow down to the speed of conscious thought, can take a moment or two and reflect and don't just pound out a letter or article and hit the send button before we gave it some real thought.

Oh I love to type like the best of them (and am right now), but you'll always see me with at least 3 small notebooks; one for writing ideas....well I do write 3 blogs and numerous articles a week and need to remember ideas, one for business ideas so when those light bulbs go off, I have a parking spot for them until I'm ready to explore possibilities and the last topic related. Each has a unique cover with a header so I know which one is which. They weigh nothing, always fit on my carry on for the plane (no matter how small the plane) and is ready to receive anything and everything I can think of.

Try writing again. You know the kind of writing with pen or pencil. Do a brain dump as I call it at the end of the day which is a great way to remember all those gems before they disappear, a way to get rid of any stressors or emotional baggage you don't want to take to sleep with you. If either weigh you down, you won't get a lot of sleep or even rest. Those thoughts or ideas will still be there in the morning if you want to be reminded of them. Most of the time, if it's stressors, they don't look so bad after a good night's sleep. Regardless, it's a special parking spot for all sorts of wonderful things and purposes. Don't worry about grammar. Write like yourself. Sound like yourself. Be yourself. It's freeing.

Sometimes doing things the old way is a better way. Sometimes, not always. You decide which works best for you. A time and place for everything...

Just a thought
Donna Karlin

*Note: D'you want to try out something really neat? A way to hone your writing skills (OK well these are on the computer but it'll give you a taste). Go to One Word, So Little Time oneword.com. You just might get hooked!

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