a memory a day…

October 15, 2008 | 5 Comments

I’m working on my memoir.

Let me be clear…I have no grand ideas about publishing my life’s reflections. I’d much rather encode my soul in fiction rather than bare it for the likes of you. (No, not you…I mean that other person who is reading this right now.)

As a writing and growth exercise, I’ve been trying to write one personal memory a day. These have ranged from elementary all the way to adulthood. Scrivener is perfect for this, by the way, as it lets me place them chronologically. (Or at least try to…my memory seems to place every elementary story in fourth grade.)

The guidelines are simple: take the first memory that comes to mind and write about it. Some are good, some are bad. Sometimes, a few memories surface together, so I write about the one I have the most energy toward. I try to retell the story, but without fail I end up doing some interpretation as well.

It has been a great exercise for me. I’m learning about who I am as a writer, and who I am as a person at the same time. With each story, I gain more understanding of the voices and experiences that have shaped who I am. And with each story, I’m finding my own voice.

An apple a day might keep the doctor away. But a memory a day might begin a long journey toward a health you have not yet known. I’d recommend you try it, but know this…it won’t all be fun. You have to be willing to engage with the beautiful and the ugly moments of your life in the place where your voice and soul collide.

  • John,

    What a fantastic idea. I think I may try the same thing. Now if I could just add another 5 hours to each day.

    Davids last blog post..The SE/30 Workhorse

  • John

    Thanks David,
    I can’t exactly say that I am able to do this everyday, but I wish I could. Wouldn’t it be nice if OmniFocus came bundled with two extra hours per day?

  • Zac

    So lovely an idea and image. I think that is a fantastic exercise. How often do you find yourself returning to the same idea?

  • What if you can’t remember what you did this morning?

  • John

    Not often enough. I was consistent with it for a while, and now I’m just trying to get back in the habit.