It was great to see so many of you at the recent workshop:
Writing Memoir: Getting Started
The publicity for this workshop was centered on the concept of “priming the pump” – getting ideas for writing. This workshop was sponsored by the Pierce County Library System (PCLS) and presented via Zoom.
In my introductory remarks, I said that participating in a Zoom workshop is like sitting around a table. After all, we can see each other’s faces and learn each other’s names. Indeed, it felt like a dinner party and we had a rousing good time.
One of the exercises was what I call “Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank.” I read out-loud ten sentences that each had a missing element. Each participant had just seconds to jot down a few words to complete that sentence. After all ten sentences had been completed (in writing) by participants, I read each sentence, calling on participants, by name, to quickly share their “answer” for each sentence. This took full advantage of the Zoom format, and it was amazing to see the diversity in responses.
Here is the prompt we used:
- I was born in or near the city or town of ____________________
- As a child, I was __________________. (an adjective that describes your temperament)
- I loved to ________________________________
- I have happy memories of ______________________
- Sometimes I got in trouble by (or was stressed by) _________________
- Someone who made a difference in my life was _____________
- I was good at _____________________
- A challenge I faced was __________________
- One of my personal qualities is ___________________
- I want to be remembered as someone who ________________
Challenge: Try using these questions with a group that you’re in — whether it’s a coffee group, a book group, a family group, or whatever. It’s a great conversation starter and even among people who know each other well, it can elicit new revelations along with some laughs. And when it comes to memoir-writing, the last two questions provide a road map to the theme of your memoir.
This is an “open microphone” challenge. Please send in whatever you would like to share! Thank you!