“Well, I don’t have as much to write as I used to, but in my life, writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are, that there’s- that the process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions.”
Barack Obama, Time Magazine
It’s like the president picked those words right out of my brain to describe why I think writing is important. When I teach college composition to freshmen, I spend the first few classes trying to convince them why writing is important and why they should hone their skills. So many people automatically say they hate writing, and that makes me so sad!
However, people don’t realize how much they write in their every day lives. When you put up your Facebook status, you’re writing. When you write an e-mail to your teacher or to your boss, you’re writing. When you send a text to that guy you like, you’re writing. Don’t you want to be able to get your point across well?
Besides from all the academic and professional reasons to write, there are so many personal reasons to put your pen to paper. People don’t write enough for themselves. Like Obama said, it really can help you clarify your thoughts, see what you truly believe, and assist you in figuring out a problem or situation. I know when I have a problem, writing about it helps me decipher a solution. I do it now, and I did it when I was younger.
In fact, I’ve found some old diaries that I used to keep in middle school. And boy oh boy are they amusing to read now! But, at the time, I was really trying to think things through and just record my feelings. So now, for your entertainment, I’ll share a few segments of entries. No making fun though!
“I went to the movies with Amy to see Spice World. We saw the boys from John’s birthday party and talked to them!”
“Today was our school dance. Scott asked me to dance with him. I don’t like him, but I danced with him anyway. But he stepped on my toes a lot! Ouch! Scott also wanted me to get my picture made with him (Wow. I was a southern child getting my picture “made”, huh?), but I didn’t.”
Do you notice a theme that I mostly wrote about boys? Haha. And I also discovered the first time I had a friendship with Chinese people.
“We have 3 new people in our school, and they are from China. Bin, Ling, and Xiu. They are so cool, and they are my friends!”
And here’s what the ol’ diary looks like.
I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I did. Now go write something!