Writing as a Gift
Other than education and publication,
what other ways can you use writing?
Sometimes we become so caught up in writing as a project to complete for a “requirement” we forget that the best writing is the kind that moves us or leaves us breathless or in awe. Artists know something that many of us would benefit from knowing: when we create, we bless others by giving it away as a gift of ourselves.
Somehow it seems obvious to paint a picture and give it to your mother for her birthday. It seems less obvious (perhaps never even thought of) to write a memory and send that to your mother as her gift.
One of my girlfriends (who is naturally a very brave person) wrote a little freewrite with me and a few others. She focused on a summer vacation she took with her family when she was sixteen. Her memory circled back to include lots of precious moments with her brother.
As we discussed our memories (both of us grew up in southern California and have a surprising number of similarities in our up-bringings), she realized that the very next day would be her brother’s birthday. She then thought, “What if I sent this freewrite to my brother?” Suddenly, she got cold feet and wondered how he’d receive it. She even wrote, “Maybe this would be BRAVE for me.”
A few of us urged her to send it and to see what would happen. So she clicked the send button and waited…
Do you know that he called her the next day in tears? This is a grown man, in tears, recalling a childhood memory through his sister’s writing. Apparently, their mother sat in the background crying too. She got to hear the story of their special summer through her daughter’s eyes and it moved her too.
Don’t you love that?
You see, when we put our memories onto paper, we are cherishing ourselves, we are honoring our pasts.
We can give other kinds of writing too: fiction, metaphors and similes, poetry, remembered dialogs, freewrites, letters…
Writing is a gift of the soul. Share it with someone you love.
Keep reading! More on writing…
Writing is a gift of the soul. When we share it, we cherish ourselves, and we honor our past.
Tags: uses for writing, writing stories
This is funny…. I was just reading about this subject in “Bird by Bird.” I’ve wondered why I want to write, because I don’t really want to be published. But this *is* the reason. I love to tell stories. My husband was just telling me last night that storytelling is my gift.
I agree that writing is a gift of the soul. It is my comfort, that although I am not able to prepare my works for publishing in this season of my life, that I can at least share them with individuals. One of my favorite spurs for writing is to do a piece for a specific person, and to surprise the with it in the (snail) mail. I have done many birthday and thank-you pieces.
I also find writing is a way to comfort others. I have written much through my loss experiences, and the work I send to others conveys to them a sense of companionship and remembrance of their need that can be there when I cannot.
Even just journaling our family’s experiences affords me the opportunity to then email or print, and then send. A letter is one of the best gifts besides our presence with someone; much more lasting than a phone call, and so much fun to pull out of the mailbox! I would recommend The Gift of a Letter, by Alexandra Stoddard. It is a small, quick, and very inspiring read.
Sharing writing can truly be a source of joy, memory-making, and memory-keeping. Thanks, Julie, for reminding us of that!