Do NOT Write It Down!

By Shlomo Maital  

Don’t Write It Down!

   This is advice I got from travel author Bill Bryson, an American, who wrote the best-selling travelogue book about England,  Notes from a Small Island (1973).  Bryson, a native of DeS Moines, Iowa, lived in England for 22 years, and just before he left, to return to the US, he travelled up and down England,  mostly by bus, train and foot, and wrote about his experiences.  His book has now sold more than 3 million copies and is regaded as the best book ever written about England.   

    Now,  I take pride in having written 1,777 blogs, and in the principle “write it down!”    I do this, when I get an idea for a blog – and rush, dash, race, speed, stumble, sprint…to write it down – before it disappears into cyberspace or into this jumble of chaos and disorganization called my brain – 86 billion brain cells, and I’m so grateful and appreciative for every one of them.

     However, on a BBC program, Book Club, which solicited questions to Bryson from readers,  he was asked about how he wrote – did he write down experiences as he had them, or did he write them up later?

     “I found that I was spending all my time writing notes,”  he answered. “So I stopped.  And only went back weeks later to write up my notes.  That way, I found that I remember only the really important things”. 

        I think he is right.  Let your brain process things.  It will brilliantly separate the wheat from the chaff,  like old-time farmers tossing the wheat grains into the air and letting the wind blow away the chaff, leaving only the kernels that you want.  I feel the same about phone cameras – except, here, Bryson has more advice.  Take photos.  Not notes. Photos.  He later reviewed the photos,  and recalled the most important impressions.

        Everybody has their own style.  But each of our styles should be reviewed, contemplated and examined, from time to time. I am doing this actively.

         Write it down?   Maybe not.  Or maybe so.  What is your own style? 

         Whatever works.