Writing Hint #27: Use your memories
I went to a funeral last Monday. It was in my old home town of Loxton, South Australia. I grew up on a farm and went to a one teacher school about twenty miles from Loxton.
The funeral was for an dear old lady who ran a combined store, post office and telephone exchange in the small town where I grew up. She had reached the wonderful age of 102 and was very active until a few weeks ago. Her funeral was a celebration of a full and interesting life. Her daughter and I went through school together always in the same class. She now lives only a short distance away from us.
After the funeral most of the family and friends gathered in the church hall for lunch. It was a wonderful time of renewing friendships and acquaintances from fifty years ago. A group of us started reminiscing about our school days together. I had forgotten some of the stories of what we all got up to during those carefree days. The memories came flooding back. It was a special time.
Using your memories:
Memories can be a goldmine of resource materials for writing, whether that be in articles, stories or novels. Here are just a few hints for writing activities from memories:
- Write a series of articles about your school days. Compare your school experiences with school of today.
- Describe the community you lived in as a child.
- Interview an elderly person you first met when you were very young. Write down their memories of days when you were young.
- Write an account of how one person influenced your early life. (For example, one of my primary school teachers inspired me to become a teacher.)
- Make a list of the schoolyard games you played at primary (elementary) school.
- Describe what you liked (or disliked) about school days.
- Think about the home where you grew up. Write a story imagining you lived there all of your life.
- I grew up on a farm near a small country town. Write about growing up in a small town – or visits to a farm or small town when you were young.
- Write about someone from your childhood who scared you – or made you laugh.
- Think back to when you were young. Write about a person who took a special interest in you, looked after you, took you to special places or taught you special skills.
From this list I hope you can see that the scope for using memories from earlier days and childhood are a rich source of writing ideas. They are limited only by your own memory and imagination. If your memory is failing, get together with former classmates and reminisce. You never know what gem stones they will come up with!