On January 10, 2020, I wrote in my Inspirations Notebook these seven words, “Write a poem about my guardian angel.” On February 6, 2020, I mailed a poem entitled “Warrior Angel” to Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas for their current monthly contest. Mission accomplished.
The Inspirations Notebook is a simple 5” x 7” unlined notebook. On the page beside my seven-word note are these two things:
1) The date I gave birth to my thought of writing about my angel.
2) The date I completed the written work.
Twenty-six days between the two dates is plenty of time to dismiss a fleeting flash in a moment of musing. However, I did not forget because I had written it down. Once I penned the words, the abstract idea came alive. It became a concrete goal that I planned to accomplish. Soon.
When I was a teenager, our church youth minister taught our group to write our prayer list down and use it every day. The written names stayed on my mind throughout the day even when the list was not open before me. This record of prayer requests became a record of prayers answered because I remembered to pray.
As a teacher, I noticed that students who made hand-written notes on my handouts scored higher on my tests. Writing down the lesson notes in their own words helped those students retain the facts better than students who relied on teacher notes alone.
Both the prayer lists and the classroom notes are examples of how writing down information leads to better use of that information. When I put “write about this” on paper, I become aware of what I want to communicate to others. Awareness motivates me. The plan is to fill my petite notebook with so many fresh ideas that I must rise and write. Often.
Donna Nelson has written poetry for more than 45 years and has published three poetry collections and eight children’s books.