(This entry first appeared in October 2008. I sent it as an email blast for an internal communication project with the title, Writer’s Toolbox: Catch That Thought in Print.)
Perhaps the best Christmas gift I ever received from my godmother was a diary. Godmother was a practical woman. As a young girl, until I was about to hit my teens, my godmother almost always gave me books.
Then one Christmas she gave me a small package. It was a white-colored, hardbound diary. To be honest, I didn’t feel thrilled at all. I could still remember asking myself, “What will I do with a fancy notebook? What will I write in it? Look at all those pages I have to fill up! This is too much work!”
Suffice it to say, I never used the diary. At least, not until I was about to graduate from elementary school, when I was old enough to understand that I don’t always have to read someone else’s story. I could write my own! I have the liberty to make it as funny or sad, long or short as I want it to be!
I didn’t use my first-ever diary to build imaginary worlds, as many young people are inclined to do. However, I put in enough entries to build my vocabulary, improve my use of English, and develop my writing style. Doesn’t sound very exciting or revealing, but it’s true.
What does the whole sharing have to do with improving written communication? As you may have guessed . . .
There’s more than one way to develop our written communication skills. Attending classes definitely help. Reading textbooks may be useful. But keeping a diary, or blog* if you prefer, may yield the most benefits because it allows you to play with words, express yourself more freely, and develop your creativity. In short, keeping a diary or blog, whether it is personal or published online, builds writing confidence in a non-threatening manner.
All of us have a story to tell. What’s yours?
*blog – contraction of words web + log