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Scrapbooking and Your History


Make a list of people and pets and objects you remember from your childhood and make entries from time to time in the form of ten- to twenty-minute free writes(where you keep writing without editing or stopping yourself) about a person, pet or object on this list.

Sometimes unloading professional worries and goals into a journal clears space for the writing self as well as relieving unconscious stress! Allow at least one day a week or a month for this kind of entry. Choose something you have already written in your journal. Begin to revise it, imagining an editor has asked you for a specific kind of piece -- a memory piece, a poem, an essay on bus riding -- and you have gone to your journal inventory to find something to develop further. Don't worry about perfection. Instead, try to make the revision into something that will interest the editor. Meet with someone who shares your interest in something --gardening, fishing, knitting, reading, baking -- and then write about your meeting with the person and the person's knowledge of the topic.

Become sensitive to the weather and try describing the weather in your journal entries. Put your eyes and ears – as well as your fingers -- to work to describe how the weather affects the landscape, sky, people, animals, buildings, and vehicles. Write it so that when you reread that entry, you feel as if you are really there. Write entries that describe where you are as you write. Even if you write from the same place every day, describe it as it seems to you at the moment. Things change -- what is on the desk, what you see outside the window, under your feet -- and you will become a more keen observer.

Challenge yourself to write using a prompt. For example:

  • The last thing I ate before I sat down to write this entry was _______ and the next thing I might eat is______. This is because _______.
  • When I look up from the page, the first thing I see is_____. I like/don't like this because_________.
  • If I could describe the place I am sitting to a set designer for a movie or play, here is what I would say: ___________.
  • Here are five things I should not have put in the trash and why.
  • Here are five things I ought to put in the trash and why.
  • When I go to the White House for dinner, I always wear my __________ and take along my _________. That way _________.
  • When the nightly news director put words under the shot of me to identify me to the people, the words were ________. This is what had happened: _________.

Scrapbooking ideas