This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is writing.
I don't do much handwriting anymore, and lately I have noticed the quality of my handwriting is going down. My signature has become a hurried scribble, my notes to Paula's teachers look like Paula could have written them. In fact, Paula has better handwriting than I do.
I used to love writing checks, as recently as four years ago. Those times are long gone. The convenience of automatic drafts, ATMs and check cards has turned checks into an oddity, an anachronism. I am OK with that, but I do miss writing the occasional check.
At work I still take notes by hand, but they are almost laconic. The full summaries are fleshed out on my computer, usually as e-mails. My job has definitely changed the way I write. I illustrate trends, I make charts. I write bullet points. When you have to capture the attention of people who have little time to give you, you learn to be succint. When you have to boil down complex issues into a high-level executive synopsis, it's hard not to continue that approach outside of work.
Like thousands of people, most of my writing nowadays is done on the computer. IM, e-mail, blogging, private group boards, you name it. When I was pregnant with my second daughter I gravitated towards a baby website. Through that website, and the private groups that spun off it, I have connected with so many great women. My relationships with them, save for two or three with whom I have had actual face-to-face encounters, consist of written exchanges. We have great conversations, we have had drama too. I have come to appreciate some of them, even care for them, very much. And yet we have never talked on the phone or seen each other. Such is the power of the written word.
I always say I miss writing with a pen on paper; keeping a handwritten journal, maybe one of those beautiful ones you can buy at bookstores. Unfortunately I don't have the patience to do that. While it is tempting to blame the ubiquitous computer for my inability to keep a handwritten record of my thoughts, the truth is that over the years I started keeping journals at various times and was never able to continue beyond a few days' worth of entries.
My blog is the longest-running production I have ever kept. I am amazed at how long I have kept it going, 10 months now. Keeping a blog has allowed me to resume my pursuit of writing, and has connected me to a wonderful new community of friends. I know that the reason why I have kept it so long is because I have an audience to write to. When I started the blog my focus was very much into doing my own thing. Now I think about who reads my blog when I write, and await with enthusiasm the comments I receive.
There will always be writing in my life, whether it's by hand or computer or whatever medium comes in the future. I am looking forward to this evolution.