Tattered Past

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Journal Prompts: Mining Tools

In the September issue of Writer's Digest magazine writer Elizabeth Sims suggests memories are "buried treasure" for fiction writers. ("Ten Fast Hacks for Fiction Writers") To mine these treasures she suggests finding an object associated with a memory and study it, smell it, "experience it." She says that if you write about memories others will come. Again smell, taste, hear what is/was going on.

These are all important things for memoir writers, too. Whatever you can find or see or use to bring back a memory is a tool to writing your life.
Photo taken at Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Seven more journal prompts:

Which historical figure do you most admire?
Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket?
Write about a wedding other than your own.
Where did you and your family generally sit to watch television?
Write about spiders.
Write about receiving an unwelcome surprise.
Write about being lost.


  1. It's nice to relive childhood memories. It gives us a chance to find resolution with our adult emotional intelligence.

    1. There are so many advantages. I mostly want to fill in the holes. Thank you for your comments.

  2. I forget who, but Southern writer said that the only material you will ever need to be a writer is to have had a childhood... Flannery O'Connor maybe? Eudora Welty? I will look this up..

    Also, thanks for inspiring me to journal. Writing fiction all the time, I somethimes forget how important journaling is!


    1. Thank you Jewell.
      Perhaps you could help me spread the word?
      I'd love to have hundreds of people working on their memories.

  3. That's why I enjoy old family photos so much. Really helps trigger memories!

  4. Rita, I'm glad my piece sparked some thought and creativity. Thanks for the mention. Best wishes to you and your writing!

  5. LOVE these prompts - will be using them in my journaling tomorrow morning! Thanks!!

  6. your prompts have my mind spinning! i want to grab a journal, a cup of tea, and just start writing. thanks for the inspiration.

    and thanks so much for stopping by my blog! i hope we get to see a lot more of each other.


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