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Writing Prompts

Happy Birthday, Kendra…and Memoir Writing Prompts

by Matilda Butler on June 11, 2017

Writing Prompt LogoPost #239 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler

Happy Birthday, Kendra

Kendra Bonnett's Birthday“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” said with a cake, said with photos, said with stories.

Today is Kendra’s birthday and we’ve had the fun of wishing each other special greetings on lots of years. And we both look forward to even more celebrations in person or long-distance.

A birthday is often a time of remembering…special gifts, special trips, special parties, special friends. When we are young, our birthdays include friends as well as our parents. Eventually, we find other ways to acknowledge the birthday. Some people like to be alone and use the day as a time to reflect on life. Others focus on a quiet time with family. And still others love a big party. (I have one friend who invited 60 people to help her celebrate her 60th birthday.)

We thought it might be fun to have a big family get together this year to celebrate everyone’s birthday on the same day. It’s a special year since one member is turning 80, another 75, and a third 50. All big years. But, it seems there are some periods of our lives when everyone is so busy that a single day can’t be found. So, we’re joyfully resorting to lots of celebratory days. Not a bad alternative.

And What About You and Your Birthday?: Memoir Writing Prompts

Here are a few prompts you might use to write for your family and for yourself:

Memoir Writing Prompt #1: Think back to a special (fun, unusual, unexpected, dramatic, etc.) birthday of one person in your family. Write about that occasion and give it to the person on her (or his) next birthday. This just might be the best present ever.

Memoir Writing Prompt #2: Do you have children? Write the story of the day each one was born. What was going on that day with you? What was going on in history that day? Who was with you that day? Was your child born in a hospital or at home? Did you already have a name picked out? Did you already know if the child would be a son or daughter? Fill the story with memories, with sights and sounds and colors. Be sure to include emotions. Turn this story (these stories) into a gift for each child.

Memoir Writing Prompt #3: Think back to your favorite birthday. Is it one when you were a child? Is it when you were in college and roommates celebrated with you? Is it the first birthday after you lived on your own or after you married? Is it your birthday this year — a birthday still to come? Then write all the details. Do you happen to have any photos of that party? If so, get them out as they will help you remember.

Memoir Writing Prompt #4a: This idea would be a big writing project so I have left it to last. But it could be lots of fun so I urge you to at least consider it. Write about your life through the perspective of your birthdays. They will let you tell about where you lived, what interested you, who your friends were/are, what was happening in the world on each of those dates. Research will be required and you may need to talk with other family members. But I can guarantee you that everyone in your family will love “watching” you grow up.

Memoir Writing Prompt #4b: As an alternative, you could write about each of the birthdays of your child or children. Yes, a big project, but oh so wonderful.

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Memoir Writing Prompt: Pick a Word, Any Word

by Matilda ButlerJune 6, 2017
Memoir Writing Prompt: Pick a Word, Any Word

A fun writing prompt to get you writing and thinking about your memoir.

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Memoir Writing Prompt: Writing About Home

by Matilda ButlerMay 23, 2017
Memoir Writing Prompt: Writing About Home

Matilda Butler brings you an evocative writing prompt…one she can’t believe she hasn’t delved into before. See if this gets you writing!

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Memoir Writing Tip: Motivational Technique

by Matilda ButlerMay 2, 2017
Memoir Writing Tip: Motivational Technique

Matilda Butler shares a tip for keeping your motivation while writing your memoir.

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Memoir Writing Prompt: A Running Start with Each Chapter

by Matilda ButlerApril 4, 2017
Memoir Writing Prompt: A Running Start with Each Chapter

Matilda Butler shows that openings are not times for the timid. Your book title, book chapter names, and chapter first paragraphs all need to have you off to a “running start”.

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Writing Prompt for Women’s History Month, Send Me What You Write

by Matilda ButlerMarch 7, 2017
Writing Prompt for Women’s History Month, Send Me What You Write

Matilda Butler provides writing prompts to get you writing about women who inspire you. It’s a great way to honor one or more women during Women’s History Month.

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Memoirists — Consider Your Story Structure, Plus Memoir Writing Prompts

by Matilda ButlerJanuary 24, 2017
Memoirists — Consider Your Story Structure, Plus Memoir Writing Prompts

Matilda Butler discusses story structure and provides memoir writing prompts to help you consider your story structure.

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