Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Making things official

A whole lot of different things can happen in a person's life. Some things occur with a huge dose of bravado and formality. Others occur with nothing in the way of making it "official," even if it may be something really big on a personal level.

And when we don't have anything going on to make something really important "official," we decide to take this matter into our own hands. We celebrate it, memorialize it with a photo or buy a souvenir.

Writing about things has a way of making things official, too.

That's what's happened with me recently. I was without a computer for a while and just played "touch and go" with my Internet activity for a while there. I would be online for 10 minutes at one time, or 30 minutes to a whole hour at another time, but I wasn't "officially" back on a computer. For this reason, I wasn't writing with a computer; I'd resorted to being a "kitchen table writer," literally sitting myself down at the kitchen table every day to write with pen and paper. (Heh, even when I couldn't move one time in a hospital was I still writing; I asked a nurse to dictate a poem I had in my head.) I wasn't used to writing with pen and paper all over again, but I still wrote.

One of the things I wrote came out automatically: Something that commonly happens every time I sit down to dinner with my daughter. This particular piece, an essay, pretty much centered on who exactly sits at my dinner table. And for the first time in my writings involving family life, my daughter's dad, now my ex-husband, wasn't there.

In some way, that itself made this new chapter of my life official. We'd been on our own for a few weeks by the time I sat down to write that essay, but writing something "family" related that had this "changed family" sort of really made the fact that life is different now "hit home."

Writing has that kind of effect. It's not exactly writing set in stone, but when you write about life when life is new, that in itself sets things in stone. It sort of "implants" in your heart that this is life as it is, right here, right now. This is the way things are, and writing about it, no matter how small or how big it is, gives that important part of your life more power.


  • At 9:55 AM , Blogger Andrew McAllister said...

    Wow, that's true, isn't it? You put it down on paper (or for me, on my laptop) and then it's "real." Sometimes I use this effect to write down positive self encouragement, other times it just helps me get through my 1000 words a day. Thanks for the insight.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

  • At 12:25 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Hey thanks for commenting. :) And, yes, it's really interesting how just WRITING something can have that effect. And just the writing itself makes "official" that you wrote today! :)


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