Post #234 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler
Memoir Writing Advice
Two of my close friends send me fantastic greeting cards from time to time. A quick email is great. A text is perfect for sending a photo or video. But paper cards are the cat’s meow. I thought I’d share the message from a recent one I received. It offers advice that I’ve reshaped for memoir writers.
Advice from the Moon
Live life to the fullest
Be someone to look up to
Don’t be phased by difficulties
Take time to reflect
Enjoy a little space
Honor the cycles of nature
Light up the night!
–In Llan Shamir’s Advice from Nature series published by Leanin’ Tree
There are many expressions about the sun:
1. You are my sunshine.
2. “Sunshine is a welcome thing. It brings a lot of brightness.” — American songwriter Jimmie Davis
3. “Live in the sunshine” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. “Sunshine is delicious” — John Ruskin
But what about the moon? Sure there are quotes, but we tend to think and talk much more about light than darkness. But what about light in the darkness? That’s a good definition of the moon — light in the darkness.
Use the poem above and these writing prompts to get you thinking about the advice from the moon.
Memoir Writing Prompts
1. In what ways do you live life to the fullest? Is it when you are around family? Is it when you are surrounded by art? Is it when you are being creative with your cooking? Is it when you are writing your memoir? Make a list and write about one of the items. Explain how the activity makes you feel like you are living life to the fullest — that you are at the phase of full moon.
2. Are you someone that others can look up to? In what ways do you try to be a role model for others? Write a paragraph or two about this aspect of yourself. This is a great exercise since we rarely cover a topic like this in a memoir. (Although if you do that is also great.)
3. Don’t be phased by difficulties. Boy is that a hard one. We know there will be difficulties in life, but they often do concern us and we don’t always react in the best way. Think about one specific difficulty you have encountered in your life. Write a paragraph about the difficulty. Write a second paragraph about how you reacted to it.
4. Take time to reflect. This is a great one for a memoir writer. Creating a memoir is more than writing. You will spend time simply reflecting…thinking about your life…deciding what aspects of it you want to share with others…understanding how you got from “there” to “here.”
5. Enjoy a little space. You may want some space in your life. Writers perhaps feel this need more than other people. How do you create a little space in your life? Is it the space where you write? Is it a place where you like to walk? Think about the various ways that space is important to you and then write for a page. Space is a concept that just begs for details, details, details. Describe the space. Describe why this space is important to you.
6. Honor the cycles of nature. Nature’s cycles are concerned with how the earth renews itself. How do you renew yourself. What do you do when you are tired? What do you do when you find your writing is blocked? What are your personal ways to honor the cycles of nature? Write a few paragraphs about each way that you honor the cycles in your life.
7. Light up the night. This is the last line of the poem and is especially strong. How do you create light when darkness surrounds you or those you love? Write a paragraph and give yourself the pleasure of seeing how you bring light to darkness.