Tell your stories: writing prompts to help you share your best memories

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Memories shared with family and friends are one of the best ways to reflect on and appreciate a life well-lived – sharing your stories with the younger generation is a great way to help them get to know you and preserve your most precious memories to enjoy later in life.

As we age it’s natural that memory fades as more life experiences accumulate; details that once felt fresh in your mind can be more difficult to recall. Putting pen to paper is an excellent way to conjure up important events and special moments we often forget to think about and share – taking the time to write them down with intent helps to keep your memory sharp, share your experiences with others and create a legacy as you age.

But where to start? If you’re not a natural born writer the thought of writing a memoir or writing in a journal may feel daunting at first. Start slow with a few easy writing prompts to help you share your best memories.

  • Little details, big events
    Your children and grandchildren have probably heard stories about some of the biggest moments in your life, for example your wedding day or the birth of a child. Though your family can look up photos and details of the event itself, the best way to get a sense of what happened is through the little details. Take some time to write down small details from the biggest milestones in your life. Can you remember what you were wearing or the weather on the day? What about any small mishaps, advice given, arguments had or laughs shared? Try making a list of little details before writing down an account of the big event.
  • Your first job
    Write down the details of your first job as a teenager or adult. Where did you work and how did you get the job? What were your responsibilities there? Did you have any co-workers? How much were you paid? How did you feel about the job?
  • Meeting your husband or wife
    Stories of how you met your husband, wife or partner are fun and exciting for family members to listen to retrospectively. Do you remember when you first met your husband or wife? What were your first impressions? Where did you go on your first date?
  • Going to school
    Think back to your school days – do you remember your favourite subject? What was school like for you, did you enjoy your classes or were you desperate for the day to end? Try writing down details of any teachers you remember or other memorable moments over the course of your studies. How did you get to school? Did you wear a uniform? What about your classmates? Try and think about your earliest school memories – how far back do they go?
  • Gaining independence
    Entering adulthood and gaining independence is an exciting time in any person’s life – many of us longed for the days as teenagers when we could leave our parents’ homes and start a life on our own terms. Can you remember how those first days of freedom and independence felt? What were your plans for yourself as a teenager? Did things go to plan? What was the first moment you felt truly grown up and independent?

Have any of these prompts inspired you to write some of your memories down? Share some moments with us in the comments below!

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Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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Julian Mather
16th Jun 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Rachel,
I'm right in the middle of tug of war between writing my thoughts and ideas and recording my spoken words. I've been writing for a long time and love it but in the past few years I've gotten into podcasting (for work purposes). I've seen the light - or heard the bells - sort of. I'm able to put thoughts down so much faster and easier (for me that's easier as I tend to over-edit my writing). I like these list of prompts. I'm going to pass them onto my friends Peter G. who is just starting a podcast called 'Roy' where he is interviewing his 95 year old father Roy to get his stories down before he goes. Swiping your words now 🙂
SailorTony
13th Jun 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Rachel, I'm all for leaving messages and words of wisdom for the grand kids and have seen a site called Opheilia where you leave video messages to your loved ones which I thought was a charming idea. I'm intending to make a few for my grand kids, point them in the right direction if I can.....
Jacqueline Moore
8th Dec 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Rachel, I recently joined Silversurfers and enjoyed your article. I think it's important to create a written legacy, as you suggest. In my experience, the act of remembering and writing - especially by hand - can bring you all sorts of benefits. And the journal you produce will be highly valued by your family.
tillergirl
11th Jul 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I was born in the 40's and have fond memories of the 50's when the sun always seemed to be shining. Since retiring, I have been able to enjoy my hobby ... writing. I am currently writing the third novel in the Bridie McMahon trilogy and also continuing to enjoy writing poetry. I would like to share with you a poem I wrote a few years ago ...

I REMEMBER IT WELL

By Marion Fellows



I’M THINKING NOW OF DAYS GONE BY

FOND MEMORIES, THEY’LL NEVER DIE.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.

SMOKE POURING FROM A TRAIN,

CAKES MADE FROM POWDERED EGGS,

WALKING DOWN LEAFY LANES,

GYPSIES SELLING PEGS.

THE VILLAGE BOBY ON HIS BIKE,

THE CASTOR OIL I DIDN’T LIKE.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


THE MAN ON THREE WEELED BIKE

WHO SHARPENED ALL OUR KNIVES.

OUR PICNICS BY THE DIKE.

AND PLAYING GAMES OF FIVES.

THE PEA SOUP FOG, FIRST CIGARETTE

OUR FLEA RID DOG, I CANT FORGET.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


MY FIRST RIDE IN A CAR,

AND WEARING PLATFORM SHOES.

STANDING AT A BAR,

MY FIRST TASTE OF BOOZE.


BATH BY THE FIRE ON SUNDAY NIGHT,

MAM DARNING SOCKS BY CANDLE -LIGHT.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


THE FREEZING OUT SIDE LOO,

NEWS PAPER ON A STRING,

RAG MATS ON THE FLOOR,

THE HOKEY POKEY’S RING.

THE ID CARDS, THE RATION BOOK,

OUR SMALL BACK YARD, THE BABBLING BROOK.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


SUGAR IN BLUE BAGS,

NEWSPAPER ROUND YOUR CHIPS,

AMAMI FRIDAY NIGHT,

SHARING SHERBERT DIPS.

THE CHILDRENS FLICKS ON SATURDAY,

DANCING DOWN THE OLD PALAIS.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


OUTINGS TO THE SEA,

THE FERRIS WHEEL, SO GRAND.

JELLIED EELS AND TRIPE,

BARE FOOT IN THE SAND.

KISS ME QUICK HATS, THE CANDY FLOSS.

COMING HOME LATE, MY DAD SO CROSS.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL.


BREAD TOASTED ON THE FIRE,

PERCHED ON A FORK SO LONG.

CHASING STICK AND TYRE,

BURSTING INTO SONG.

THESE ARE THE DAYS I CAN’T FORGET,

THE LOVELY PEOPLE THAT I’VE MET.

AH YES, I REMEMBER THEM WELL.

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