Capture Your Memories One Story at a Time

yourlifestorymatters Jul 14, 2022

Writing about your childhood memories and family stories is one of the best ways to preserve them and pass them on to your family. Unless you do, they will definitely fade from memory or the details will get fuzzy.

But how do you capture those memories, especially if you're not an experienced writer?

To get started and keep yourself encouraged, aim for capturing a single memory at a time, not writing a book. Even for experienced writers, a book feels like a huge project that's going to take a long time to complete and causes many to procrastinate from ever getting started. Writing about a single memory feels doable. 

To stay encouraged, begin writing stories focused on one specific memory at a time, like your favorite vacation or your family's favorite recipe with a brief bio about the creator and ways it's been modified. A collection of  single experiences, memories, and adventures can grow into quite a collection over time.  

Follow these tips to help you get started.

1. Avoid thinking you need to write your memories chronologically. 

2. Keep a journal or notepad to jot down a memory when it pops up. You can expand on it later when you make time to do it. Usually, just a few words or sentences will enable you to recall the whole memory later.

3. Indicate the date or approximate date it occurred, but please don't think you have to write them in the order in which they occurred. It's easy to put the finished stories in order later. 

4. Write the first draft by hand or typewritten, whichever is comfortable for you.

5. Later when you've made corrections and are pleased with the final version, type or dictate it into your computer, or have someone else do it for you.

6. Create a place to keep your collection of single stories. A file on your computer is an easy place to start.

7. Give your collection of stories a title, even though you can change it later if you wish. 

8. Add a copy of a photo relevant to the memory if you have one available. 

My friend and colleague, Lynette M. Smith, began writing about her various memories years ago. As she recalls events and experiences, she writes about each memory in detail and includes a photo if available. 

Then she types each story, puts each inside a plastic pocket and keeps them in a binder. She named her collection Lynette's Vignettes. She even has created a Table of Contents. At the time I'm writing this she has completed 27 stories. She has written about the day her son was born, her fascination with arrowheads, a special vacation, making her wedding dress, her reflections on 9/11, and other memories that are special to her.

okayThe account of how Lynette prepared her life stories is the first of seven in the upcoming mini-class, "7 Ways to Share Your Life Story for Your Family to Treasure" at

okayHave you started capturing your memories? Need help getting started?
Download  free " Tips to Kickstart Writing Your Life Story" at

 okayWant to chat with me about getting started with your life story? Book a complimentary 30 minute booking at


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