Since one of my passions is writing I began penning a monthly missive to our son.
I decided I would hold on to them and one day present him, and later on them when our second son joined us, with these letters at some point in the future.
I've missed a month here and there, but doing the math I have about 216 letters saved that range from a couple of pages to a few with 10 or more.
There is family history, funny things that were happening at the time, successes, challenges, deaths, lessons learned and a zillion other topics I hope will one day bring them smiles if nothing else.
A friend who is an atheist, or perhaps agnostic, said to me once he believed our resurrection or reincarnation was actually the legacy we leave behind for others after we are gone.
Be it a business you create, a body of work of movies or plays, inventions, notoriety or the written word, it makes sense that what we create now is what others will remember of us later.
For me, I suspect it will be my writing that tells others what I was about and gives them a measuring stick with which to judge me.
I understand not everyone is a writer, but I do believe we can all use writing to improve our lives from creating simple to do lists to writing the novel that dwells within us.
Here are five ways I've found that writing can have an impact on what you do each day: 1.
Daily To-Do Lists/Successes/Challenges: Something I work to do each morning before I get started, sometimes even the night before, is create a to-do list.
I write down all the tasks I need to get done so I can cross them off when completed.
Something else you might do is on the same sheet make note of the successes you have, the challenges you faced and maybe a funny incident or two.
Reviewing these at the end of each day gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps reinforce the positive.
Plus you can take the things you didn't complete and put them at the top of the next day's list.
Daily Journal: If you enjoy having a record of what happens in your life you might consider keeping a journal.
In fact, if you keep your to-do lists and successes in a notebook you can simply add notes to these at the end of each day and create a journal.
It doesn't have to be daily, but maybe you write a week in review at the end of each week.
You'll be amazed in looking back over these how patterns will appear and you can sometimes connect-the-dots to ways your career has progressed, how you've grown and changed and how some things that seemed so important at the time really weren't.
Blogging: The term comes from web log and are articles, or "posts," usually written by individuals about specific topics.
You're reading my blog and there are literally millions of them out there.
I don't write this blog for fortune or fame, but as a way to share my knowledge and things I've learned over the years with others.
This is one small way of paying it forward by giving away my experience.
If you find you like to write you might consider starting a blog yourself.
It doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, but something you can do when you have time.
It can be about your career or a hobby and there are many people much more knowledgeable about developing blogs than me.
All you need do is type the word blog or blogging into any search engine and away you go.
Writing Articles: I see this as a way of taking blog topics and turning them into something that reaches a niche audience in your area of expertise.
Industry trade magazines, niche magazines (i.
woodworking or stamp collecting), newsletters and many other publications are always looking for good content.
You may not always and usually don't get paid for these types of articles, but they are a good way to build your reputation and to build up a collection of articles you can rework and reuse over and over again.
The Big Kahuna: If you truly love to write and are crazy enough then you might try your hand at writing a novel, non-fiction or perhaps a screenplay.
I call this the Big Kahuna because writing one of these is pretty intense and puts you at the apex of writing.
It's not easy, it can be tedious and it will take 10 times longer than you ever thought it would.
But to complete something of this magnitude is fulfilling in and of itself and may also bring in revenue and possibly even a new, full-time career as a writer.
Most likely not, but if you've come this far you might as well shoot for the stars.
Writing is kind of like broccoli, either you love it or you don't.
It can be satisfying, rewarding and even exciting, but it can also be challenging, frustrating and annoying.
Writing is communicating and sometimes seeing that blank screen can make your palms sweat and heart beat faster.
Then an idea germinates and your hands fly over the keyboard working to get your thoughts down before you lose them and before you know it you have created something new and unique.
Steve Martin, who has written comedy, books and screenplays summed up writing for him when he said, "I handed in a script last year and the studio didn't change one word.
The one word they didn't change was on page 87!"