Her desk drawers, lined in green felt, spilled over with card decks, cocktail napkins, and golf tees. Every door in the house was fitted with wobbly crystal doorknobs.
Get in the right mindset. The problem with this advice is that the first thoughts and memories that come to mind often match your mood. Save that section for a day when you wake up on the right side of the bed. Seriously—undergraduates almost fall out of their chairs when I recommend that, should they ever happen to study for an exam while intoxicated, they should take the exam intoxicated, as well.
This is essentially the same principle as described above, but applied to writing about memories external context of the memory. If you attend lectures in a particular classroom for an entire semester, your test performance should be better if your final exam is held in the same classroom, rather than a lecture hall across campus.
What does this mean for memoirists? Revisiting the scenes of certain memories may be advantageous to your work—the experience will likely uncover details that would have otherwise remained buried.
Autobiographical memory is special. It comprises both episodic memory memory for events and semantic memory general knowledgebut it is unique in that all of the memories are relevant to YOU.
Unlike other systems of memory, autobiographical memory contributes to the formation of your sense of self. It is not simply a log of your daily activities—the memories form the story of your life.
This organization is beneficial to writers, because narrative arc is an essential component of a memoir. Finally, take notes on what you remember from each period, staying completely within one sphere at a time. Some of our memories are hazy, fragmentary, confusing, or seemingly trivial.
You might find that the idiosyncrasies of what you remember are useful illustrations of your personal quirks. Leave out memories from the childhood amnesia period. Be a critical thinker.
Question yourself as you write: Does it align with things you know for sure—facts about where you lived, who you knew, and what your day-to-day routine was like at the time? When in doubt, discuss the memory with friends and family members who were there. Invite your readers into your experiences by including sensory details in your memoir.
This is good practice with any type of creative writing, but memoirs are special because the perspective is uniquely yours—one grounded in flesh and blood, rather than the imagined world of a character.
The writing and revision process can last months or years—and who says that nothing interesting will happen to you during that period? Make things easier on your future self by writing down all the details of important events now, in case you want to include them in your memoir later.
Strive for truth, but accept honesty. No one cares if Chuckles was really the name of the clown whose presence traumatized you at your fifth birthday party. This can hold for elements less trivial than names—such as date, location, dialogue, etc.
An honest memoir is an unforgettable memoir.Writing from Memory.
By Stacey Mickelbart. Memories aren’t the same as facts, of course, because assigning meaning to what we experience is a tricky job.
Even as adults, we’ve all. Writing by hand can also lend itself to verbatim note-taking too, though—especially if educators couple their lectures with wordy PowerPoint presentations or dense textbook readings.
22 writing prompts that jog childhood memories My childhood memories are rich and varied. I loved visiting my grandma’s apartment, with its fringed window shades and faint smell of eucalyptus. the writing process and make authenticity your ultimate goal.
An honest memoir is an unforgettable memoir. My thanks to Stacey for such a thoughtful post on memory and memoir. How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature.
From drawing a map of a remembered neighborhood to signing a form releasing yourself to take risks in your work, Roorbach offers innovative techniques that will trigger ideas for all writers/5(71).
Writing seems to act as a kind of mini-rehearsal for doing.
I’ve written before about how visualizing doing something can “trick” the brain into thinking it’s actually doing it, and writing something down seems to use enough of the brain to trigger this effect.