Name those things that scare you. In that way, you will discover themes to magnify which will frighten the reader even more than yourself.
Time is the filter of memories. It transmutes painful memories into poetry. It purifies. Make your peace with the wounding and the lost years. You will find that the most important things are the hardest to write because words diminish their power. Every memory is a potential gain. It is just in the way you [...]
When have you lost or found something, someone or some opportunity? Start with either finding or losing, though losing always has the most memories and feelings attached.
Write about those moments you never forget. Don’t just react emotionally to old memories. Capture and interrogate them to find another layer of meaning.
As an exercise, recall the day. From the time you rise to now, use only concrete detail naming objects (bed, plates, food, biscuits, water) and events (walks, work, conversations) and people (friends and strangers). Don't tell us how you felt. Just show us what you noticed.
Write ‘Who Am I?’ on ten cards. Then write rapidly without censoring. Now, sort the cards in order of importance. Read these back. Imagine them written by someone else and ask : 1. What do these cards tell you about this person? 2. What things are most important? 3. What types of things would this [...]
"I kept long journals from the ages ten to twenty-two, chronicling events and describing emotional states, but again and again missing the physical immediacy of experience, the tiny hooks by which experience could have been caught and held. I failed to record how we looked, what we saw, and the minor eccentricities of circumstance which [...]