Note To Self

Note To Self: Take Notes

In the latest edition of Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks muses on the power of writing things down.

By Emily Brooks

Note To Self

In the latest edition of Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks muses on the power of writing things down.

By Emily Brooks

I live by many of Joan Didion’s words, but “see enough, and write it down” are some I revisit regularly. Joan Didion has never been very good at keeping a diary, but a notebook; well, that is an entirely different story. See, Didion likes to write in moments. She sees a man at the hat check or a girl in a silk plaid dress and it sparks something significant. So she writes it down. For a long time she thought her notebook was about other people, but as she wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem, “Of course it is not. I have no real business with what one stranger said to another. My stake is always, of course, in the unmentioned girl in the plaid silk dress. Remember what is was to be me: that is always the point.”

And that is also the point of this newsletter. To remember what it is to be you. That is always the point. And writing things down is now a scientifically proven method to help you sit better in your Very You. Journalling, or writing therapy, does some fun beneficial things such as boost your memory, your immune system, your communication skills, and your sleep quality. But it also does something crucial. It helps heal wounds faster. Now I am not telling you this. Dr. James W Pennebaker is. He is a social psychologist as the University of Texas in Austin, and therefore qualified to conclude journalling helps humans process traumatic events better. “There is no single magic moment, but it works,” Pennebaker says.

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