Never in the history of time have we had more access to putting forward and sharing the written word. Despite that, how many of us do? Sadly, very few. I am not talking about a tweet or a status update, the real written word.
Just look at some of the famous letters sent in the past, hand written and sent over slow mail systems. Father to son letters, friends and lovers, they were powerful. Have we lost that art? Do we no longer have the time to sit and reflect and truly write from the heart? With instant technology at our fingertips, we have come to take things for granted and lost the art of writing. We have become complacent, perhaps even lazy. It could also be that we are reluctant to expose ourselves too much online. If you write what you truly believe in, why would you be reluctant to put it out there?
Do not get me wrong, I am all for technology and I embrace social media. I can keep in touch with friends and colleagues all over the world, all the time. When we do meet, I still know them, I am relatively up to date with their lives and it is good. I haven made many a new and decent friend through online media, messages and interaction. I can express my feelings and beliefs, when I choose to, in short, powerful bursts. But is all of our correspondence superficial? Well, perhaps a lot is, but it does not have to be.
Men, in particular, are poor communicators. We always mean to write, to say hello, to catch up. We seldom do. Why? I might be a sentimental old fool by modern standards. I still have letters written to me when I was at school, in the military, in my early days. They are kept in a box in my office, gathering dust. But they are there… Now, I have a few select messages on a cloud in cyberspace that I will probably never look at again.
I think a hundred thoughts a minute, I will speak perhaps one. Writing, takes a bit more discipline. You have to gather your thoughts and literally spell them out. That helps to make them clearer, both to yourself and your audience. René Descartes said “I think therefore I am”. Thinking alone will only do so much; you need to communicate your thoughts. Write, communicate and reach out to people, it is so important.
To use another cliché, the pen is mightier thank the sword. Ok, it does not have to be a literal pen, these days, but write. Communicate. We all know that feeling of receiving a letter or a personal, heartfelt message. I know, when I send someone I care about a personal, meaningful message, I feel good. Writing is just as much for yourself as for the recipient. It is good for the soul. Many things are easier to communicate in writing than they are in conversation. No distractions or interruptions, you can be free to write what you feel. This is so important to relationships. Don’t hide behind your writing, use it as a catalyst for conversation or further interaction. It is not a one way street. Write and hopefully you get feedback and a response.
Yes, we do remember words, things people say. Well, not everything but most of it. With a written letter or message, we can go back, read it again and keep it forever. Don’t over analyze what was said, try and read it in perspective.
I love to write. I write whenever I get a chance. Those chances are becoming less and less, as we get busier, but I remind myself to write, whenever I can. It helps me to analyze my thoughts and feelings, it puts things in perspective. The written word was a huge part of our development as human beings, let’s never forget that.
As I write, it reminds me of a story I head a while back. A teacher asks a class of eight-year-olds, “who can sing?” Most, if not all, put up their hands. A trainer or lecturer asks a bunch of adults the same question… Perhaps one or two people shyly put up hands. What changed? Well, who can write? Clearly, if you are reading this, you can write. It is as simple as that. If you can read, you can write. So, take the time to write, you will not regret it.
We are all unique, individuals and we all have something to offer. Put it down in writing and share with the world. We want to hear from you.
Bottom line is, write! Write and write often.