Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing Your First Memory

Up to now, I have covered various elements of the writing process and will continue do so, but mixed with topics which may be of interest to those who are writing their childhood memories and family stories. The topics either appear in my current booklet or will appear in my second volume. They will be selected at random and will not be in any chonrological order. Most people accomplish more by writing what motivates them at the time rather than starting at the beginning of their lives and continuing to the present.

These topics are based on the idea that you are keeping a Timeline of your life and make reference to it periodically. There will be other reminders, as well.

I will not be posting a vast amount of my booklet, but only samples. Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing my booklet, please email me at:

“Memoing” My Memories Topic 1:

Writing Your First Memory

A bit of a double entendre here! Yes, this is your first writing piece and it will (for now) be your very first memory. Who knows how much more you will recall as we push forward!

Think back to your earliest days. You must honestly choose your earliest memory. YOUR memory…not an event your parents described to you or you recall from an old photo...unless you REALLY REMEMBER being there. In your mind, you have to seek the memory of actually being present. This may only be a fleeting memory…not long, but you can write about the circumstances around it.

Don't be alarmed that your first conscious memory may be later than others. I know some VERY intelligent people whose memories go back to age five or six only. There are a few who can remember back to age three, but, seemingly, not the majority.

You will get a chance to write about earlier events that your parents, friends or relatives have helped you remember all these years, but for now...the oldest memory YOU can recall.

Return to your Timeline and write this memory in the appropriate year. You may have to base the year on the location, who was present with you, what you wore, the season, the approximate age of the people around you, etc. Get as detailed as you can, but if you haven't the time, make notes in your file first...add as you recall the incident.

©aulicino, 6 Feb 2009


Genealogy Blogger said...

Thanks for the good advice Emily. I have kept a journal for many years, but they were journals of what was going on in my life at the time of writing.

I am just beginning my "memoirs" and did start with my earliest memory. Once I got going it became easier, but I was having trouble staying chronological or remembering what I wrote about!

A timeline is a wonderful way to get organized and I'm going to start one tonight.

allisondna said...

Do you recommend a software program or online site that will help me develop a timeline, Emily? It sounds like a perfect way to "get organized" as I begin my memoir-writing.

Genealem said...

Genealogy Blogger,

So pleased to hear you are enjoying the blog. I discourage anyone to write chronologically as it bores both the writer and the reader! LOL

Thank you for writing.
Happy memories to you!

Genealem said...


Please see the archived post entitled: Gathering Information for Writing Your Memories for the 10th of September 2008. This includes information on keeping a Timeline. I just use Word and list the years from birth to the present. This post gives you more detail.

Sweet memories,