1. Write to remember your alibi. If you listened to the Serial podcast you can imagine the difficulty of trying to remember an ordinary Thursday 10 years ago. If you can’t remember where exactly you saw a dead body in the trunk of your buddy’s car, how are you supposed to remember the day your 8 year old yelled I. DON’T. LIKE. BEING. SOOTHED unless you document it somewhere. Also, it helps when your children grow up and want to hear about their childhoods, if you have some sweet details to share other than One of you used a pacifier and it was hell, and the other refused a pacifier and it was hell. When you write your memories, not only do you preserve them but you often remember details you’d entirely forgotten. Think of it as securing your alibi, plus.
2. Write to pay tribute. Think of the love letters you’ve written or received, the birthday cards with meaningful missives you keep in a special place, the hate mail your kids leave you in time-out. Words can make the best gift of all–the gift of a time machine transporting you back to relive characters and examine plot points of a life story, often gleaning new appreciation and perspectives in the process.
3. Write to release. Before I started blogging and LTYM, I walked around with a knot of unexpressed potential eating away at my insides. I thought maybe I needed to have another kid, but it turned out I needed to birth a whole mess of words and shows. Through this process of release I now feel calmer, much happier, and wholer (<– new word). Do you have a story in your heart that needs to come out? My friend’s young son was asked by a schoolfriend if he had “Jesus in his heart.” He responded “That sounds painful!” Laughter aside, it is painful carrying around the weight of words never said, or words said to you that still linger and need purging. As Maya Angelou famously said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
4. Write to entertain yourself and others. Life is hard, even if/when we have what we need and are living the life we want. Our world teems with injustice and tragedy. If you can give us a reprieve, transporting us through telling stories of your past, wake us up into action with the reality of your experience, or spin laughter from the sludge of daily life, please please do so.
5. Write to learn. Writing makes an effective tool for figuring out your head and heart and the world. Writing can show you your weaknesses and illuminate the path toward answers all at the same time. Writing is magic.
Coming next week… 5 Reasons to read your writing out loud in front of an audience.
LTYM:Madison announced auditions for our 6th annual 2015 Mother’s Day Sunday 5/10/15 show! Full details here.