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JUN
19

I want to talk about me.

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Stay with me.

Tonight I gave some brief remarks at an event geared toward journal and personal history writing. It's a topic I feel strongly about, because the things we don't write down, we forget. And as if you need any additional motivation, think of your kids. If you have a child, he only knows you from the standpoint of your parenting years. He knows nothing that happened before that unless you tell him, or unless you write it down for him to read when he is older. 

If you're like me and have no children, write about your life anyway. Writing is, at its heart, for the writer. There are all kinds of sappy quotes out there—about memories being the June roses in the Decembers of our lives, or, my favorite, how we write to taste life twice—and you can take them or leave them, but I choose to take them. I find so much value in writing about my own life, however insignificant my stories. 

To this day, my maternal grandmother* will occasionally send out excerpts from her journals, and I learn something about her every time she does this. I am moved every time she does this. I feel more connected every time she does this--not just to her, but to her parents and grandparents as well, people I never met but wouldn't exist without. Just think about that the next time you wonder if a certain memory or experience is worth writing down. Trust me, it is.

*I must have been smoking crack cocaine when I let Jeweled go to press with a reference to my maternal grandmother's funeral. My maternal grandmother is alive and well. It's my paternal grandmother whose funeral and wedding ring I meant to reference at the end of Jeweled. My (total and completely embarrassing) bad.


FEB
02

Don't Want to Forget Come Daylight

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This week I found myself digging into my journal/personal history archives in preparation for a book chapter I was getting ready to write. I had planned to start writing that night after verifying a few details, but once I started reading, I just kept going. And going. Bottom line: I got no writing done this week. Because I spent all my writing time reading through my journals. I'd initially meant to look up something in the year 2004, but ended up reading almost everything I had written between the years 1998 and 2005. And when it comes to my life, I write a lot.

Much of this I hadn't read through in many, many years, and what I was amazed about as I read it this week was 1) how much detail I had included...sometimes much more than I really want to remember about certain events, and 2) how much of it I would never have remembered had I not written it down. I'm telling you, readers. So many of those pages, those events, those conversations I could not even remember happening. Or at least not in those ways, not in those sequences, not in those words. How important it is then to write down the things that happen to us. Not someday, but now. Now, people. You may attempt it some years from now, and that admittedly will be better than nothing, but it will not be as full and crisp and detailed as it would be if you wrote it down today. It's like that line from that song that I can't even name, nor its author, but it goes like this: "Every word you say I think I should write down. Don't want to forget come daylight."

I think it's appropriate to note here that I recently finished the last chapter of my third book. It's the only chapter of book three that I've written yet, and I usually prefer to write from beginning to end, but the events that inspired the last chapter happened very recently in my life, and I felt the need to get them written down while the version I could write was still at its most full and crisp. Didn't want to forget come daylight.

So write something down today. You won't regret it.

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