Childhood stories are about friendships, laughter, bravado, tears and pain. Ask yourself a few questions to spark those memories. As a child: your favourite toy was ... your favourite book was ... your favourite sport was ... your best friend was ... your favourite sweets were ...
Your memories contain the sights, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells of your original experience. To step back in time, focus on just one sense. Which sense to begin with? Ask yourself ‘What do I remember first?’ Is it an image, sound, smell or texture? Describe this first moment in detail to begin your journey into [...]
You may be angry, you may be sad, you may be livid. It might be about something that happened yesterday, or ten years ago. Now, this can be tough, but ‘eat the cold’: look that moment in the face and plot it out as a series of events. In other words, instead of telling us [...]
You are the filter for what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell in this world. You must own your experience, every detail of it, to write well. Each experience builds into a bigger picture. When you report where you are, what you see, taste, touch, feel and smell, you also release what is inside [...]
We tend to revisit our prisons. And we always go back. This is not only true for reservation Indians, of course. I have white friends who grew up very comfortably, but who hate their families, and yet they go back everything Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every year, they’re ruined until February. I’m always telling them, “You [...]
The journal is mostly a means to free yourself of the misguided belief that writing should be Important and For a Lofty Purpose, and to remind yourself that writing is something that's always worth doing. It supplements and stimulates other writing. Never stop keeping one even when you are weighed under with other work.
We are haunted by our childhoods, by the important things we lost on the long walk to adulthood: the intensity of love and fear, the talismanic rituals and objects of affection, and the moments of certain comprehension of our place in the scheme of things.