BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

Time Traveling With A Pen — memories and memoirs

life writingI’m not here right now. I’m over on Kathy Pooler’s fascinating blog Memoir Writer’s Journey posting about how to locate memories and use the techniques of creative writing to write about your own experiences.

I start with a quote from Proust that I like very much:

In the broad daylight of our habitual memory the images of the past turn gradually pale and fade out of sight, nothing remains of them, we shall never recapture it. Or rather we should never recapture it had not a few words been carefully locked away in oblivion, just as an author deposits in the National Library a copy of a book which might otherwise become unobtainable. ~ Marcel Proust French writer 1871-1922

And this is the opening paragraph:

The American philosopher Suzanne Langer argued that memory shouldn’t be thought of as a noun – a storehouse or recording machine – but as a verb, an activity. Revisiting our younger self and the world we once inhabited is not easy, but there are ways of unlocking the words that can trigger the past and bring it back, vivid, detailed and authentic. Sometimes a chance encounter will do it. A scent carried on a breeze can transport us to a specific afternoon in childhood or an overheard conversation can spark a flashback to an acne-dominated adolescence. But as a writer, you can’t trust to luck.

Please visit Kathy’s blog. I’ve included a writing exercise that is specifically for writers who want to look back at their own or their family’s life. While you are there do stay awhile and look around Memoir Writer’s Journey. I’ve been a follower for about eight months and I was first attracted to it because so many people said that they found it inspirational.  If you read the other posts I think you will see why.


photo credit: Colin-47 via photopin cc

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2 comments on “Time Traveling With A Pen — memories and memoirs

  1. krpooler
    January 20, 2014

    Bridget, It is such pleasure to feature you and your wonderful new ebook, BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL,on my blog this week. I appreciate your generous support and the link. You’ve already generated some enthusiastic responses. I hope people will continue to join in the conversation! Thank you.

    • bridget whelan
      January 21, 2014

      Thanks for the opportunity Kathy. Your blog is one that anyone interested in creative non fiction and life writing should follow. Glad to be part of it in a small way.

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