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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I’m trying to come to grips with my love/hate relationship with paper. Generally I think I can say I quite like paper. Unfortunately, like many good things (fire, food) it can also be a problem.

I spent a good part of this recent holiday down time ridding my home of excess paper. Whew! How it can pile up—and every day a new load is delivered right to my door! Without good management it can be overwhelming. Certainly there are many good things in this great pile of paper; it isn’t all junk. But somehow I need to pluck out those good things soon or they get lost in the volume.

Given the amount of genuine communication that happens electronically in my life, it’s quite amazing just how much paper finds its way into my office, onto my desk and shelves! Occasionally CEM people ask us for a paper newsletter. There are several reasons this is not going to happen. If you are one of those folk I apologize, but resources just don’t make that possible. And there is the real benefit that we can actually say much more using this medium, and be more current.

There are definitely days I would say I hate all this paper!

And yet, I love paper! I love blank pads of paper and wonderful empty journals; hand-crafted paper is lovely as a post card or little message pad. Why I even love the scraps of paper I diligently tear into quarter sheets for copying notes or phone numbers.

I very much agree with the research that says we tap into a different and more creative part of our brains when we pick up a nice pen and slow ourselves down to handwrite something, anything really, on a piece of paper. Slow writing has a particular magic that a keyboard or a texting device does not. As I’ve had this time to slow down and to reflect on how I plan to go forward into the new year, (and beyond that into retirement) I’ve realized that much of my writing has been happening on my computer and not in my journals. I’ve been missing the good things that happen in my life when I take some time to do that regularly and often.

While I do enjoy the practice of producing these quick essays that become blog posts every day or so, it just isn’t the same. They are part of an ongoing conversation with you, our faithful readers. What I’m missing is the meditation practice, the deliberate stretching of that creative muscle that I experience when I’m handwriting.

Today I am resolving to restore some balance to my writing practices. There will still be plenty of quick marching at the keyboard, but also more slow dancing with real paper. I recommend it to everyone who needs to slow their pace a bit--and who doesn’t?

Posted by Marion


  1. I attempted once to keep all creative writing on paper and all "business" writing on keyboard. After massaging my hand due to the worst creative cramp I'd ever felt, I realized something: there isn't a fig of difference between creative and business writing (to me, anyway). One word turns to the next word. Whether it's work reports, family blogging, or fiction, it's all the same. What a wonderful realization. Words words words! They're the important things. The method of transcribing -- not so much.

    I will say I have developed a deep love of typing. Thank goodness. Imagine calling yourself a writer and hating to actually do the mechanical thing that makes the words in your head into real things.

    Type type type. Type type type.

    Love the blog, as usual, Auntie.

  2. Totally agree here Dave. The difference is not the words, not even the creative process. But, for me, there does need to be that balance, and it's turned out--again, for ME--that the actual handwriting on the paper does a different thing. So my journals are not lovely flowing narratives at all, more a jumble of ideas, lists, reminders, poems, recipes, sermon notes....
    Also realizing once more that it's important every so often to pay attention to one's process ;-)

  3. Very interesting. My notebooks are much different things from my writing, but they are creative spaces in a much different way. I almost never go back through them, but if I did, I'd see a lot of old doodles, cartoons, etc.

    Still love typing. ;)

  4. I go back a LOT!
    Whole chests full of treasure there.
    I highly recommend revisiting old notebooks.

  5. Dave, I am so glad to have you affirm writing on a keyboard. It is my preferred method too, and I’m glad not to be the only one!

    I often write to help clarify my thoughts. (No, it is this word, not that; or I thought it was about this idea, but now I see it is about something else.) During that refining process, it is so much easier and neater to change a word on a computer than it is on paper.


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