Posts tagged as:

Memoir Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt LogoPost #218 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler


Memoir and GrandparentsThis is Grandparents Month. I learned this interesting tidbit from the website of a friend, Diana Paul. [You'll hear from Diana next month when she answers my questions about her new book.] Diana hosted Jane Hanser who has such an interesting perspective on grandparents. That made me think about what a great topic this is for writing prompts.

I knew my two grandmothers much better than I did my grandfathers. I have a photo of me in the same room with both of my paternal grandparents when I was quite young. I don’t really remember the occasion. My grandfather, about a decade older than my grandmother, died not long after that. Because I was named for this grandmother (my first name Matilda comes from my paternal grandmother), I’ve always felt close to her even though we didn’t spend much time together. And my maternal grandparents? I knew my grandmother fairly well (my middle name, Lou, comes from my maternal grandmother, Lou LaVona) as she lived with my parents for many years.

Or I thought I knew my maternal grandmother.

I was shocked, when decades later, I read my grandfather’s obituary. I was going through a set of papers in my mother’s home and noticed an article clipped from an old newspaper. I don’t even know why I decided to read it. Almost immediately, I saw this was the obituary of my grandfather and that he was survived by his wife…a woman whose name I had never seen. I never knew that my grandparents were divorced. Talk about a shock. Even now, fifteen years later, I find it surprising. This was never mentioned by either of my parents nor my grandmother.

Now, as a grandparent to three, I find that I’m trying to become the kind of grandparent I wish I’d had and the kind that my children would have liked. I won’t succeed completely, but I’ll give it my best. By remembering, by looking back, I hope I can shape my future as a grandparent.

The memoir writing prompts below are designed to help you look backward at the grandparents you had and use that knowledge to look forward to become the kind of grandparent you want to be. Changing our future is one of the benefits of memoir writing.

Memoir Writing Prompts

1. Think about one of the grandparents you knew as a child. Describe what she (or he) looked like. Write about one specific occasion. What did you do with your grandparent? What did each of you say? Create a scene that is clear and evocative of the time and place.

2. Write for 10 minutes about your childhood experiences with grandparents. What names did you call them? Did they live near you? How often did you see them? Were they good role models to you for how to be a grandparent? If so, write about what they did in their role modeling. If not, write about an example of what you hope you never do as a grandparent.

3. What are the five characteristics you think a model grandparent would have?

4. If you could pass on one life lesson to your grandchildren, what would it be?

5. Whether you have grandchildren or not, imagine a perfect day with grandchildren. What would you do? Where would you go? What would you talk about? What would you wear? What would you eat? What would you want them to remember about that day when they are grandparents themselves?

Hope you enjoyed these writing prompts. We are all so busy that it is hard to allow time for the slowness of a relaxed grandparent/grandchild time. If you have the opportunity, set up some grandparent time for this week. Even if your grandchildren live far away, you can Skype them. I know one woman who reads a bedtime story to her grandchild each evening. Talk about sweet. Think of ways you can connect with your grandchildren or the grandchildren of friends. Think about passing on some stories from your childhood.

{ 4 comments }

Life Prompt; Memoir Writing Prompt

by Matilda ButlerApril 28, 2015
Life Prompt; Memoir Writing Prompt

Writing about our lives is not all a matter of looking backward. We can reflect and see how we can influence our futures as well. Today’s writing prompt is designed to help you think about how you can expand your sense of family.

Read the full article →

Blah, Blah, Blah and Your Memoir Writing

by Matilda ButlerApril 21, 2015
Blah, Blah, Blah and Your Memoir Writing

Three writing tips and three memoir writing prompts to ensure you don’t have a blah memoir.

Read the full article →

Memoir Writers: Remember Family Rules; Create New Rules

by Matilda ButlerMarch 17, 2015
Memoir Writers: Remember Family Rules; Create New Rules

Matilda Butler shares a new perspective on lists of rules — great as a writing prompt and just as good for planning your life.

Read the full article →

Memoir Planning: Getting Ready for 2015

by Matilda ButlerDecember 30, 2014
Memoir Planning: Getting Ready for 2015

The new year is almost here. Today’s article helps your plan for your 2015 writing accomplishments.

Read the full article →

Writing Prompt: An Example of the Importance of the Sense of Touch

by Matilda ButlerNovember 4, 2014
Writing Prompt: An Example of the Importance of the Sense of Touch

Here’s a writing prompt that will help you focus on using touch in your memoir writing. This is one of the five senses that is most frequently ignored.

Read the full article →

Overstory, Understory: Writing Prompt Worth Considering

by Matilda ButlerJune 24, 2014
Overstory, Understory: Writing Prompt Worth Considering

What’s your understory? Your overstory? Consider this new approach and then use the writing prompt to get you started.

Read the full article →
Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category News Category News Category News Category