Too many writers resort to gimmicks to “get going.” At the workshops, people ask for a topic to write about. I tell them to write their Memory List. Some do, but others continue to want a gimmick. The gimmick of choice for many is the writing prompt.
Below are a number of posts that will help you to steer clear of dependency on writing prompts. Even if you are not a writing prompt person, the following articles will help you you in many ways.
As people are writing a memoir they will sometimes say, “I want to write my stories but I have forgotten so many details. Is there any way I can get them back? Should I use writing prompts or is there something instead of a writing prompt?”
There is one tool above all others that makes the experience of life writing successful. That tool is not a writing prompt: it is the Memory List. No other exercise opens up the process of life writing as quickly and as surely as the thoughtful and thorough compilation of such a list. It’s simple, and as a first step, it’s crucial.
Let me tell you about the Memory List (a general term for your list of memories).
Your Memory List is always a work in process because the more you remember and jot down, the more you’ll recall. You will return to and rework your list again and again as you write your life stories. In short, it will serve as an excellent writing prompt without being a writing prompt.
1. The Memory List consists of short memory notes (three to five words is sufficient) of people, events, relationships, thoughts, feelings, things—anything—from your past.
We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.
Already a Member?
Not a Member Yet?
A writing prompt in my estimation leads to nothing. I’m not a great fan of a writing prompt. Sure, they get you to writing something. And many people will insist writing something is better than writing nothing. Well, I’m not so sure of that.