#SOL20 Day 15 “Becoming a Primary Source”

SOL20I’ve spent the 1st half of March slicing to memoir prompts from Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir , but we are in the midst of some historic times and I felt reflecting on my distant history was less relevant and imperative than documenting and slicing about my current time and experience in history. historianToday I am writing to a New Friend from Here and Now!  My nErDy buddy, Lesley Burgess posted and tagged me in this tweet from a historian that expressed exactly how I feel about this moment in time. I keep a journal every day; have ever since junior high. I am a part of the #100DaysofNotebooking group, and I’ve been saving news clips and writing micropoetry on them for the past 3 years. I am all about documenting and writing, but I want to be much more organized and deliberate during this consequential time. On Friday, I started a notebook specifically dedicated to documenting my experience with the Covid-19 Pandemic (as this was the day it was officially declared a pandemic). I’m not sure if I’ll share these all as slices, but my mental and physical energy is consumed in the moment and I want my writing to be connected to my heart and mind right now.  Here is a look at my first day (how ironic that it was Friday the 13th!)


How are you recording your experiences? How can you document these events through your own unique and personal lens-the way no one else could? Could you make it multimodal to include photos, links to videos and sites, or other related graphs, information, and images? You could become a primary source for your great-great-grandchildren. I know they would find it a gift. It could be a cathartic gift to yourself, too.

15 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 15 “Becoming a Primary Source”

  1. I was thinking about encouraging my family to journal their thinking/ experiences during this time, but alas, haven’t even begun myself really. ( I think I am in the avoidance phase) thanks for sharing your notebook!

  2. Paula, I must admit that I have not been recording day-to-day observations and thoughts about Covid-19, but I have been consumed by its effects. My Arcadia class has moved to Zoom meetings. This is my first experience in 21 years at Arcadia as an adjunct professor. All the courses I’ve facilitated have been face-to-face. I am struck by the term “social distancing” and read your bulleted list of all that has been postponed or canceled. My calendar for the rest of March and April has been cleared of events, including three major conferences where I was presenting. I think I may start a new journal to document this new normal. Also, I looked at the blogs you follow – many I will visit and start to follow. I realize that I must be better at blogging five times a week if I want to build a following for my own blog. Now I will have the time to do this through April and build a rhythm for posts so I can continue. Thanks for making me think hard, stretch, and grow!

    1. Just in your short reply you’ve documented how this pandemic has impacted life for you in a way that is YOUR story to tell. There are millions of people being impacted, I wonder how many will write their story?

  3. I need to do this! Things seem to change by the hour. It’s hard to keep up. Thanks for documenting and inspiring others to do so. I plan to get my kids to do this, too. They will remember.

  4. Paula – I saw that yesterday too. So true – I added it as an idea on my blog as well. I LOVE how you are actually doing it! This idea alone would support kids at-home learning. Thank you for this and your never-ending ability to see the opportunity in what is happening.

  5. I too saw this post and thought I should begin anew journaling these events. Probably won’t post these thoughts but I believe it will be a healthy way to cope. I like the thought of a new journal just for this.
    Thank you for this idea

  6. Like Lynn, I have felt consumed by this but have not written much down – yet. In fact, for my slices I’ve been hesitant to choose this subject. I feel a little overwhelmed by it all… But I have a brand new journal and love the idea of writing with a purpose. I think I might follow your lead. Thanks for the push.

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