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After reading Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, I was reminded of the power of keeping a journal. Diane’s mother wrote about her life and those she loved and it provided great perspective and solace for Diane as she reviewed and reflected on her own choices and decisions.
As we enter the New Year, we find ourselves with another opportunity to start a journal or continue writing in one. Writing, even if it is a paragraph or a single sentence a day forces us to be present and pay attention to our lives. Our reflections and memories can be a source of comfort and clarity for ourselves and even those we love.
If you have a hard time getting started, consider picking up a copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird – a great guide to entering the world of words. Here’s what she said:
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They depen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life