Monday, March 31, 2014

The Power of Words.

The Headlines:

Start writing.

If you're 7 or 77.

Here's why.



I started my first blog when I was 8 years old. At least,  the old fashioned version of one.  A diary.  You know pen & paper.  I still have it today.


Isn't it cute?  If you can't tell… it's a Norman Rockwell print of a pre-teen girl, looking at a picture of Greta Garbo and then painfully viewing herself.  The perfect cover for a diary wouldn't you say?  Oh the angst of those years…

But that book and the many others that followed (I'm seriously up to 30 something I'd say) helped me tremendously maneuver through the turmoil of being a teen a beyond.

Why did I embark upon such a serious writing journey at such a young age?  It came from a television show.  Don't most great ideas when you're 7?   Little House on the Prairie.  Remember that one?  With Michael Landon?  And of course the always tough and ever cute Laura Ingalls (played by Melissa Gilbert).   The family and what they went through, affected me greatly.  Every week I would sit on the couch and watch their trials and tribulations.  Most weeks I cried.  But oh the lessons I learned.  And Laura Ingalls was a writer.  Therefore, so would I!  At that age, writing for me was sporadic and random.  I was more looking for things to say than actually saying them…


but what it did was get me in the mind set of writing.  As I grew, when I had a bad day I would come home, tell my mom and then write about it in my diary.  Sometimes I wrote about my mom.  In BIG LETTERS!  It was almost as if I was my own "counselor."  Writing in a diary helped me sort stuff out.  I could talk about the boy I liked, the girl I hated or the subject I was questioning.  And more than that, I was also able to look back and remember.  I have a terrible memory so writing became my memory.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I block out bad stuff, unconsciously, as a self preservation.  It works.  I'm a very happy person!  ha.  But writing enabled me to refer back and learn from myself.  Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice….

Essentially writing became something I could rely on.  Not daily. I had no strict regimen.  I would just do it when the mood struck me.  Which, it struck often over the years.  I now have diaries coming out of my eyeballs!


I'm not sure I wrote anything poetic.  But that didn't matter.  The writing helped me discover something very valuable.  Myself.  I got to know who I was and what I stood for, very well and at a young age.  I learned what I wanted out of of my life and how I would go about getting it.  It focused me, humbled me, made me empathetic yet strong.  All of that from writing?  Yes.  Because I spent time understanding and evaluating me and my actions.  Maybe that's what more of us could use these days.  Rather than looking at each other so much… looking in the mirror.  Just like the girl in the Norman Rockwell picture above.  She doesn't like what she sees…  maybe she should start writing.

I am not saying I was a perfect child.  But I am saying I was better because of writing.  So, for those of you who think writing isn't for everyone - for those who think they have nothing to say - I challenge you.  Your voice is louder than you know.  Your words matter more on paper than in your head.  If not to you, than to your children who may not even be born yet or to your mom who's not dead yet.

Writing, also clearly led me in other directions.  It became my paid profession for many years.  It helped me compose important letters.  How many times do we forget to tell our parents that we love them - on paper?  What's left unsaid, is just unsaid.  Now, it's led me to this blog.  Words not just for me but the 10 others who choose to read them.  I have not given up my private, paper diary.  But the entires are fewer and farther between.  Perhaps as a grown woman I have less to hide.  More to share.

In closing, I make you a promise.  Write words down and things will happen.  Your load will become lighter, your heart will become fuller and your head will thank you.