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