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Monday Mom challenge: Write it down

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Record your life

How many times has something happened and you have thought to yourself, “I should write that down?” But you didn’t -- and you lost it. Whether it was a particularly cute trip of language by your four-year-old or a feeling you wanted to remember, it’s gone now. As great as Facebook and other social media sites are for encouraging you to put moments like this out there, sometimes you need to write them down in a more permanent, deliberate way.

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Don't lose any more of those moments. Starting now, make the time and take the time to write things down: what you feel, what the kids do, stuff you're trying to process… all of it. It's not hard to start writing, but it can feel hard to keep at it until it's a habit.

Keep pen and paper handy

No matter where you go, keep a pen and paper handy to jot down things as you think of them: funny things the kids say, absurd signage you see in the community or the gorgeous red of the Japanese maple tree on the town green. In your purse, in the car, in the kitchen, by the bed -- everywhere. Write it down before you forget! It's those seemingly unconnected moments that add the real richness to life and make it more than just eating, sleeping and breathing.

Use technology

You can use the computer to write down the snippets -- or organize the snippets into longer writings. You can keep the writings for yourself, or share them with the wider world. Blogs can be as public as you want them to be -- or if you just want to share a few things with select close friends, you can password protect them, too. And if you don't want to share? Password protect your files from prying eyes if it's on the family computer. Don't forget regular system backups!

The good -- and the not so good

Writing is a terrific way of processing your emotions -- the wonderful ones and the not so wonderful ones. When you are struggling to deal with a parenting situation, the simple act of writing it out can help you see a path through the issue or even a solution. And continuing to write through the challenge can help you see the progress you have made. So don't just write the good stuff -- write all the stuff.

Put it on your to-do list

Put writing on your to-do list. Set aside daily time, whether it's five minutes or fifteen, to get some words down. It doesn't have to be perfect or organized, it just has to be written. Like many things, writing takes practice, and the more regular practice you do, the easier the writing will be and the better it will feel.

More on writing

Crafty letter-writing tips for kids
Setting the foundation for good writing skills
Monday mom challenge: Boost your writing skills

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