Jeannine Atkins used this line in a blog post: "Recently I spoke with a friend about journals we had as girls, and how often first diaries are gifts from older women: that precious belief that we had something to say, before we knew that ourselves." Jeannine was talking about another topic altogether (charm strings), but that sentence made me stop and ponder.
made me think of how powerful an act it is when people give other
people the tools for writing and say: "Here. I think you have stories to
On June 12, 1942, a girl named Anne Frank received a
diary as a birthday gift. A few days later, she wrote, "It's an odd idea
for someone like me to keep a diary, not only because I have never done
so before, but because it seems to me that neither I--nor for that
matter anyone else--will be interested in the unbosomings of a
thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to
write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that
lie buried deep in my heart."
She could not know then that her
diary would become a world-famous document, part of the historical
record of the persecution of millions of innocent people. Or that its
appeal would also lie in the details of a young girl dealing with family
conflict, ambitions, growing up, and a crush--ordinary experiences in
extraordinary circumstances. Even if her diary had never been seen by
anyone else, it would have served its original purpose: to provide an
outlet for her to write and examine her own heart.
As Jeannine said, when we encourage others to write, we express "the precious belief that [they have] something to say."
So, write on.