Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Journal or to Tweet

I love to write. I have loved to write since my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Koch, insisted we keep a weekly journal (corny, yes). I remember writing about California landscapes and foggy ocean days, nothing too complex. But the thrill of conceptualizing the landscapes and the brilliant days, inspired me. I have continued to keep journals for decades: during junior year abroad at Freiburg University, describing many beer fests and wine fests and the international students and our travels. Throughout the years I emoted on paper, trying to problem solve. Stories of boyfriends, women friends and husband and family. I especially took time to write about the angst with my parents, and brothers. Writing about relationships can be rich and deep. There are endless entanglements and writing, hopefully, helps unentangle them.

My work has always included writing: reports, grants, analyses, evaluations and training development. It means lots of rewrites and edits/. Writing means endless emails, to groups and individuals – creating communication. It can be the most fulfilling part of my work.

But writing is so much more. Remember Oprah’s grateful Journals, turning us on to valuing the positive in our lives. Writing can also mean learning to write collaboratively. Collaborative writing can make you soar when you draft and edit the right words together. Sometimes, you may find you are writing by committee, which means having the patience to slog through and write by committee. But by developing a cooperative committee, it is possible to develop creative cooperative work.

Writing is not just 140 characters on twitter, though there can be an art to refining those 140 characters into a well-crafted tweet. Writing is not commenting on your nieces’s 100th picture of her new baby. However, social media has a place in our current communications and will continue to do so in many formats for years to come.

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