Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Monday, September 10, 2012

Memoir Journal Workshop: Day 6

I am always inspired when I read books by writer/poet Natalie Goldberg. My favorite book on writing is her Writing Down the Bones.

When I learned she was coming out with a memoir writing book I couldn't wait to read it. It didn't disappoint but I'm sorry to say I haven't worked my way completely through it. 

In the introduction of Old Friend from Far AWay: The Practice of Writing Memoir Natalie says the following:
     "Think of the word: memoir. It comes from the French memoire. It is the study of memory structured on the meandering way we remember. Esentially it is an examination of the zigzag nature of how our mind works."

In the first section she adds:
     "Begin to work those (writing) muscles. Just like you'd go to the gym every day, lr atleast three or four times a week, pick up the pen and do these ten-minute exercises..." "Now begin with 'I remember' for ten minutes and see where it takes you."

Natalie has the knack of getting down to the nitty-gritty of writing. We use a cheap notebook so if we make a mistake it doesn't seem as big a deal. We use fast comfortable pens. We don't accept excuses for not writing. We write.

Here are the next seven prompts:

Name a school you graduated from. What special memories do you have of that school? (You can do this more than once for your different levels of graduation.)

What is the furthest distance you have ever travelled. What was the destination and what special memories did you make?

Were you even affected by a natural disaster.

What was your favorite childhood song?

Write about a day in the snow.

Who was your favorite high school teacher? Why?

Describe something you found.

Keep on writing. Keep on remembering.


  1. Love, love, love Natalie Goldberg!! I've read all her books--have you seen her paintings? I have a book with her paintings in it--love them too.

    1. I saw some a few years ago. I didn't like the middle books so much but Writing Down the Bones never ceases to inspire me.

  2. Writing a memoir is almost like therapy, isn't it? We are encouraged to explore our pasts and sometimes there are clues to our current lives there! The more we change the more we stay the same. As a child I loved making snow men, and I still like to do it today....if I ever get the chance!

    1. Absolutely! There are so many plusses to doing this type of writing. I'm feeling lots of changes with this concerted effort.

  3. Just learned about this Memoir Journal. Will be starting my own

    1. Welcome! Enjoy the process and the memories.

  4. I'm doing your memoir journal workshop in my free time and have finished three of the day one prompts. Thank you for this fun experience. I look forward to sticking with you.

    1. Welcome. Glad you are enjoying the process.


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