I started my first blog post with an exhortation to use writing as a tool for sparking creativity, cleaning out mental clutter and making a record for assessing progress. A friend of mine, who is very tech savvy, shrugged off my suggestions about writing in longhand as a daily practice for creativity and mental clarity. She said that writing something on paper meant she “never needed to look at it again.” I was stunned that even a digital dynamo would feel that wedded to the electronic record.
A very old boyfriend whom I had not heard from in many years returned the letters I had written to him decades before. His wife found he had kept them, and demanded he throw them out. He wrote to me, apologizing that he could not keep them and asked me if I would take them so he could know they were safe. There was no longer anything between us- but the power of those words as a record of a moment in time was formidable. I am not sure an archive of old emails in the cloud would have the same spiritual weight for a spouse.
Type your plans and appointments, cross off lists, or take notes– but please use your hand to write, or draw, or just jot quick thoughts here and there. It is different and it is better than typing. And please, write your love notes and your condolence notes and sincerely held feelings to friends and colleagues in pen, on nice paper, in your own unique hand. It is almost guaranteed that those are the writings that will be read over and over again, maybe long after you are gone.