Go back fifty years and look at our society, and you find a world in which most people wrote very little. Yes, children were taught to write at school and yes, lots of people sent out thank you letters after Christmas and birthdays, plus some comments on picture postcards, but not too much else. The notion of people sitting at home and writing every day was something to be marvelled at.
Now lots of people do write every day. From home, from work, on the train, while out with their partner for a meal… there is a tendency to write more reports (because it is so easy to circulate them) as well as to write about oneself and one’s life on Facebook, on blogs, on Twitter and so on.
The problem is that so much of this writing is of so little value.
Writing, when done with a bit of thought and analysis, has a huge impact on all of us. It helps us make sense of our world, our past, our present and even our future. It brings our worlds into focus.
Except that if we are writing trivia about this moment, the Indian meal we are having, who we are with and so on (which is to say simple reports rather than insights) it actually does nothing except use up another fraction of a gigabyte on a computer system somewhere in Google HQ.
Writing can bring us fully alive through consideration of the options, but today’s snapshot writing on Twitter reduces the world to 140 characters – and actually the world can’t be reduced to 140 characters.
Writing in the traditional sense – the sort of writing that considers the past and the future and one’s place within it – is hugely beneficial, and I think it is probably true to say that more people than ever before are doing this.
But sadly much of this writing is lost when a computer goes bang or is scrapped for an upgrade. And that’s why we are slowly seeing more typescripts of diaries being stored. Diaries that are full of meaningful insights of everyday life, preserved for one’s children and grandchildren – our only way of gaining immortality.
We are so easily side tracked by procrastination. However, when we stop and start to consider what it is that makes us procrastinate then we can start to get somewhere. This in turn allows us to identify a blockage in our lives. Then we can start writing again and see where we are going.
We follow the journey.
Writing when done properly gives us a chance to openly reflect on what we think and how we feel, and this writing does need to be preserved in a non-digital fashion so it stands a chance of being there for the future.
I am delighted that we are storing such writings in boxes marked “for my grandchildren”. At last we are seeing the benefits of computerisation. The computer helps us to write more readily, and then allows us to print out the results for those who follow us to read. It is an honour to be part of this process.
If you have documents you wish to store in the West Midlands, we can help.
You can find more information on our website or by calling us on 0800 810 1125.