Writing Your Memories

Writing your memories is a great way to practice writing skills and add dimension to your passages.   Describing scents, emotions and other sensory perceptions will help bring a story alive and add more flavor.  Though some days in life are sweeter than others, you will also want to journal the chapters in life that are met with problems, solutions, and other smelly things.  (Studies also show how tightly linked smells and memories are.  Use this to your advantage.)

Whether good or bad, writing experiences down as they happen gives you a chance to capture them while they are fresh.   You then have the choice to use them, save them for a later time, and edit as needed.

If you live in Ohio, like I used to, rainy days in Spring smell fragrant and sweet like flowers and wet grass.  If you live in Arizona… rainy days in Spring can smell pungent and earthy like mud.

Be sure to correctly align memories in a passage.  If you’re writing a book about the “Wild West,” then the smell of cherry blossoms isn’t typical, unless you use it in the story as a memory.  Different regions of the world has different aspects about them, and it’s good to capture them effectively.  It adds to the realism of your story.

What else do those memories evoke that you can write about? 

  • What do you hear? Can you hear the sound of birds singing, the slam of a screen door, or a motorcycle on the street? Do you hear your school fight song or Christmas carols on a snowy street?
  • What do you feel when remembering?  Is there a sweet, or melancholy, sensation in your body, or do you feel irritated or wiped out?
  • What kind of physical touch do your recall?  Is someone scolding you and holding your arm, or do you feel the touch of a leaf on your wrist?
  • What does a strawberry taste like on the day you went boating? What does vinegar taste like in your mouth?
  • What does the Grand Canyon look like from a mile up looking down?  What does it look like from the bottom of the Colorado River looking up?
  • What do you smell?  Do you smell a skunk on a country road, or cotton candy at the fair, or the smell of fresh clothes hung on a line flapping in the breeze?
  • Envision a chair you sat on in second grade.  How did it feel and what did you see?

Just like using writing prompts, or brain dumping exercises,  writing memories may help trigger other sensations that you hadn’t thought about for a long time.

Use this practice as another means to add texture and to keep your story moving forward.

And, whatever you do, continue writing your memories.  You will be glad to have these memories on hand even if it is only to share them with your family.

Have a good day!

Sincerely, BG


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  1. Cathy S. | 6th Jan 18

    Great questions and thoughts to make my writing more interesting. Now I need to write and put some of these questions in practice!
    Cathy S. recently posted…SaturdayMy Profile

    • admin | 6th Jan 18

      Hi Cathy, Thank you. I really appreciate that. It is hard to implement things at times, and
      we just have to keep working at it. Like I know you’ve been working on your art. It’s a lot
      easier when it’s something you really enjoy! Then it’s fun. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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