As we contemplate our actions from the past year,
most of us will encounter blank spots. It’s hard enough to remember our deeds
and shortcomings from the prior week, let alone all of last year. Memoirists
and even those who keep a regular diary have an advantage: By putting words
down on paper, they cement the memories in their minds, often processing the
life experience as they write.
“Those three years that I was writing a daily journal
methodically, in detail, with a passion for recording everything accurately and
as truthfully as I could, are the only ones I remember well,” says Sarah, who
wrote about her life as a young mother in her first book, Growing With My
Children. For a long time
after she finished the memoir, she missed how her life was enhanced when she
was keeping that diary every day with devotion. “Once I stopped, it was more
hit and miss if I’d remember something.