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Use Past Memories As Writing Prompts

Updated on January 29, 2014

A Familiar Refrain

“I have nothing to write about. I really haven’t lived a very interesting life.”

Sound familiar? I know for a fact I have had at least ten writers say those words to me, and no matter how many times I hear it I am amazed.

Are you kidding me? You haven’t lived a very interesting life?

I find people fascinating. I love meeting new people. I love making new friends online. No matter who I meet I discover something interesting about them, so it blows my mind that there are people who think they aren’t interesting.

Let me tell you a secret that just might put to rest the nonsense that you are not interesting. Are you ready? Here it is so pay attention…..we all share similarities. We are all so much more alike than we are different. People want to know that they are understood, that there are others who have shared their experiences and know what it is like to be them. For a writer, that fact is a gold mine. There are millions of readers out there who will be interested in your story if you can just get past the belief that you think you have led a dull life.

So we are going to do an exercise or two to shake you free of this crippling belief. Are you game? Then let us begin.

A life-changing event was meeting Bev.
A life-changing event was meeting Bev. | Source

Remember When?

Write down five life-changing events that have happened in your life. Please don’t tell me you haven’t had any because we all have. Every day, every week, every month we do something that will have an effect on our lives down the road; once we get older we can spot those special moments quite easily.

The time you turned down a date with the big stud athlete and instead went to the movies with the shy bookworm, who ended up being your husband for twenty years. The time you changed majors in college and met your best friend while doing volunteer work at the mission. How about the time you got pregnant during a wild weekend at the beach and gave birth nine months later to a beautiful child who is your pride and joy today?

I literally have had mothers tell me they haven’t done anything interesting. HELLO???? You gave birth. That is not only interesting but also the supreme act of love. Write about it! I have had blue collar workers who support their families tell me they don’t do anything interesting. HELLO???? You are a part of the working force that holds this nation together. Write about it!

Holding my son for the first time
Holding my son for the first time | Source

Happiest Moments

Now jot down the five happiest moments in your lifetime. What will it be? In all fairness I should share mine with you so you can get a feel for this exercise, so here goes.

  • Holding my son for the first time; is there anything cooler than that?
  • Having Bev tell me that she loved me; I repeat, is there anything cooler than that?
  • Publishing my first novel; goodness gracious, what a cool moment when I held my book in my hands…..my book…the culmination of two years….very cool!
  • My eighteen years of teaching all rolled up into one fantastic experience. Getting to know hundreds of children and helping them prepare for their futures.
  • Being told by my best friend, who is dying from Alzheimer’s Disease, that he couldn’t hope for a better friend than me.

Life is filled with special moments. I know, I know, some of you had horrible childhoods, or maybe you had wonderful childhoods but horrible adulthoods; but still, there were moments along your timeline that are worth writing about.

Holding my father when he died
Holding my father when he died | Source

Saddest Moments

This is not a pleasant topic but it is one filled with emotion and it is a topic that readers will instantly relate to. Think back to those sad moments that helped shape your life. The day your childhood dog died; the day your high school sweetheart and the father of your children had an affair and broke your heart; for me, holding my father as he died of a heart attack; is there a person out there who does not understand that kind of pain?

If you are a person of compassion and empathy then this topic will be easy for you. I am sad when a little child cries. Anybody else feel that way? I am sad when I see the faces of the homeless. Anyone else?

Sad moments helped to shape our lives. There can be no denying that fact. No, it may not be pleasant revisiting some of those moments, but writing is not always a pleasant gig. Dig deep and find the emotions associated with a particular event in your life. Write down what those emotions feel like, and then sit back and marvel at how others totally understand what you are feeling.

Teaching was the best gig I have ever had
Teaching was the best gig I have ever had | Source

The Lists Are Easy to Compile

How about five ex-boyfriends and how those boyfriends affected your life? Or how about five childhood friends and what impact they had on your childhood? I’m just warming up so stay with me. List the five best jobs you have had and why they are considered the five best. Now list the five worst jobs you have had and why you consider them so horrible.

Here’s one most can relate to: list five things you don’t like about yourself and why. Now list five things you love about yourself and why.

Are you starting to get the hang of it now?

A ten year old has lived enough of a life to find something interesting to write about. In fact, I would venture to guess they have a great deal to write about because they are still young enough to marvel at the very essence of life, whereas adults tend to miss the magic in everyday life as they get older.

Are you willing to try some of these exercises?

See results

How Can You Use This Information?

Really? You even have to ask this question?

Write a human interest piece about growing up, or handling loss, or the joy of a memorable Christmas.

“But I’m not a human interest sort of writer!”

Oh for the love of God, so what? Writers improve as writers by writing. Who cares if you are comfortable doing this exercise? I’m not here to make you comfortable; I’m here to kick you in the behind and make you wish you had never said you had nothing interesting to write about. LOL

Even if you never use these lists in an article or book, they will help you to improve your craft, and down the road they will give your writing more depth. I am right about this so please don’t argue with me. Just do the exercises and you can thank me later.

The bottom line is this: writers who are serious about writing want to improve. Writers want to plumb the depths of their talent and lay it all on the line. These exercises will help you to become the writer you were born to be. There is so much more in you that has not surfaced yet. Don’t allow it to hibernate one moment longer. Dredge up those memories and let them light the way as you continue on the path of a writer.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      That must be how these writers come up with such amazing stories! I would love to write fiction, but I just can't even think of something wild or exciting enough to beat my favorite authors! lol

      However, I do have some crazy stories of my own.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Victoria, one day you will have more stories than you know what to do with. My mind is overflowing with them; I'll loan some to you if you want them. LOL Thank you!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Sometimes the simplest snippet of life can be inspiring to others. I read a short post this morning written by a woman who lives with her children and grandchild. She wrote of how well they get along and how blessed she is to have such a wonderful family. It's so nice to read about loving relationships--it seems we always hear the opposite.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      I'm afraid I would be one of those people who says "Nothing interesting ever happened to me". Obviously, that is a cop out...I might never have been romanticly involved with a vampire or a werewolf, but that doesn't mean I can't draw from true-life romance with my husband. And everyone experiences loss, unless they have lived a VERY charmed life. So, I will definitely think twice before I ever try to give that lame excuse again! And I will be trying some of these exercises. Thanks!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Haha, ya know, I never did think my life was dull. ;)

      I hope you're having a wonderful day! Since my life isn't dull...well...as soon as I get into the groove of the semester, don't have course syllabi coming out my ears, and get into a routine, I should be able to write some more...right now, I'm trying my darndest to crank out a hub once a week, but...hehe...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you Lizzy. On Facebook, on the news, in magazines...negative, negative, negative....I love happy stories! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, you have a loving husband and children...you have tons to write about. :) Good luck and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, there ain't nothing dull about you....me neither. My only problem is time...not enough of it and it's running out on me. LOL Thanks lil Sis!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Great examples. Everyone is interesting, absolutely everyone. We need to look at our own traumas, secrets, battles, the underbelly of our own conflicts, and our triumphs for inspiration. For years, I had the pleasure of talking with people candidly, openly regarding their worst work moments as I investigated allegations of misconduct. As a condition of continued employment, they had to talk with me, had to answer my questions and give me the information I needed. I grew so much from learning about who people are behind their facades. These were folks who had been bullied, done the bullying or watched from the sidelines (!), people who had finally been reported for illegal harassment or theft, people who knew how to work the system because they helped construct it, and those who would let it destroy them. It was intense, both ugly and beautiful, and it's provided me with such a palette of complex characters and experiences from which to write. Your hub reminded me of many of the people who have blessed my life. Yep, the mean ones blessed it too in some ways. They'll show up somehow in my written work, if they haven't already.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, what a wealth of knowledge you have, and what great characters to draw from. All we need our characters to be is believable....something about them that our readers can relate to. What a great example of this hub you have given us. Thank you!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I think that sometimes I need to put some of this in the third person as readers think it is about me, but really it is about us and I am just an easy example of both cherished moments and disaster.

      I need to mull this over. Thanks for the wisdom.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good point, Eric. It's worth considering. Thank you my friend and have a great day!

    • profile image

      JustCrafty 3 years ago

      I just posted an article like this today,trying to motivate myself.

    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - another great hub! I've been struggling with some writers block recently and was away from hubpages over the (busy) holiday and these tips are a great help and well timed.

      Take care.

      Heather

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      JustCrafty, I'll stop by and take a look. Thanks for the visit.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for the kick in the behind, Bill. I needed that!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I'm giving this a go just for the fun of it. Who know maybe I'll get a recipe or craft idea from it and, as I type this, I think I have. Some of my recipes are based on memories. Cool Bill. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heather, if this helped you then I am a happy writer. Good luck with that writer's block and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lifegate, I hope the kick was a gentle one. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I love it....very cool process and I'm glad it worked for you. Good luck with that new article and thank you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Hey, Bill! I'm working on my next blog (a 2 day effort these days) so I'll keep this short, but wanted to check in.

      Even if someone doesn't think they are interesting, someone else more than likely does. We have to step outside of ourselves and be objective rather than subjective.

      I have written so many hubs about times in my life - both good and terribly ugly. Those hubs not only served other people in some way but they helped me rid myself of the ribbons of doubt. They also helped to throw the demons off my back.

      I actually find it hard not to write about myself or at least put a part of my being into my articles, stories, reviews - whatever. Shoot, I could write a book about my life. My life has been interesting as hell and I wouldn't trade a moment. Even the bad experiences helped me discover who I am, who I want to be and are a part of me whether I like it or not!

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      How true, how true. All of my desktop bibles are written by men who earned a living baring their asses to the faithful. I read them over and over again because it is so damn comforting to know you're not alone, no matter how screwed up you think you are.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, those who don't use their past experiences are missing out on a great resources. Thanks for taking the time to visit; I'm running quite late myself today.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you are so right. We are not alone unless we choose to be. Thanks for your reflections.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Is it alright for me to say "This is your best one yet?" ;-)

      Of course, I haven't read them all... but, this is so "right on."

      My only comment would be - it doesn't have to be the five most, best... etc.

      Just look at some photos you have kept. Those memories are great starting points.

      Anyway, a really useful and great hub! Thanks, again, for all of us! ;-)

    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Bill, I am a classic example of one who thinks that my life is not interesting to others. To me, maybe. To others, I don't think so. However, knowing that and feeling that way doesn't preclude me from "using" life events (mine and other people's) in other ways. I have managed to weave some of my FYI events into some of my hubs by using the events mingled with health hubs since the events I have shared mostly have to do with health. The trick is making the events interesting enough for others to read and, for me, that is hard. Hence, the health hubs.

      I also try my hand at flash fiction and short story fiction and while they are works of fiction, mostly all ideas come from some life event - either of my own or someone I know. I do not think I am unusual in where the germs of ideas come from. In fiction, I just choose to not own up which ones are part of my life history. LOL I think others can do the same in their writing, especially if they feel their life events are not interesting to others. Presented in the first person as their own story can sometimes be emotional, go long and lose the reader along the way, whereas presented in another voice (and weaved into a fictional story) can interest and hold a reader's attention.

      Once again, your hub provokes good thought processing, conversation and motivational ideas to improve the content and quality of a writer. Voted up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DrBill, you can most certainly say this is my best. :) I'll take that compliment any old day and twice on Sundays. Thank you Sir...and no, it does not have to be the five most...any old memory can serve as a catalyst. Thanks for your comment and compliment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, great observations. I am three-fourths of the way through my novel, and although it is fiction for sure, there is no doubt where the inspiration came from...my own life. I have sixty-five years of an extraordinary, ordinary life under my belt. I would be a fool not to use it.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi Bill, and then there's the earliest memory. If nothing else, your earliest memory can get the ball rolling in remembering all those other ones. As you know, on my blog, I wrote about my earliest. It certainly keeps the writer block monster away. I can imagine that if someone couldn't think of anything else to write on a given day, writing about a memory and then looking at it and trying to find a place to use that information either in a current work or a future project would be a great first step to scaring the writer block monster away.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think I bring a lot of myself, my past, all those feelings; into my writing and for me it has been such a cleansing therapy that if I never did anything big it has been so worthwhile just for that.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love to read personal stories, happy times or sad times, we've all had some of each. When i first started writing, i wrote about my troubled childhood and marriage, then after i got it all out of my system, i started to write poetry, which is my passion. Thank's again Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, you are right on as always. I marvel at your ability to remember very early memories. I can remember a handful from when I was four or five....maybe I haven't tried hard enough. I'll squeeze the brain tonight and see what I come up with. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I know you do....and I think it is easily beneficial in writing and in life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I love personal stories too; there is such richness to them, and there is always something that I can relate to.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, they do say there's a book in each of us. The human experience is diverse and fascinating, each unique, but we have so much in common. Sometimes the most apparently ordinary people are the ones who have lived the most extraordinary lives. I do write down my memories and experiences, often in poems some in stories. However; I tend to find it difficult sharing some things that are too personal, mostly because it's not just my story but so many others also. I'm writing it all as fiction, I'll simply change the names.

      Another very useful and informative article. I hope all is well with you, take care and my best as always.

    • boutiqueshops profile image

      Sylvia 3 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      What great advice! I'm glad I ran into this as I was beginning to feel a little ...blank. LOL Good stuff!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      So true! We each have a unique story and also our own way to see it. It may be the problem that some people can't see how different events of their life can be a source of inspiration for writing!

      May be some people don't see themselves as interesting because they were never encouraged to appreciate the little moments in life. Some people are just tired of running all the time even if it could be a great subject to write about.

      Who knows... you might wake up some potential writers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, your approach is the wise one, and it is one I use as well. No sense hurting feelings; I'm not sure we have that right as writers.

      Thank you my friend. I hope all is well in Bedfordshire.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      boutiqueshops, I'm glad you ran into this as well. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, I'm sure there are a variety of reasons why people don't find themselves interesting. I'm spreading the word that we are all fascinating.

      Thank you as always

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good evening Bill (from slightly warmer south Ontario.)

      You hold a secret to my question : Why this article could be read so effortlessly and fluently, unlike any other before ? As if seeing through my thinking, you have good time making me uncomfortable - comforting by hitting right target… And you are right. My problem with this "Michael isn't less troublesome than before. He bears the weight almost all those symptoms listed ,knowing that moment to says something good or important enough to justify effort readers time just didn't arrive yet…

      One thing thou can I do : before the moment " later" comes, I want to THANK YOU - now , just in case . . .

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      All the best , my friend be blessed.

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you Billy for these suggestions. I rarely ever write anything but poems and never think I have the skill to do so. I am willing however to perhaps try to do it more often after reading this!

      Teaching for almost twenty years and counting may be a place to start! Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theater girl, someone who has taught for twenty years....you have a wealth of inspiration there....and I hope you continue to write poetry...the world needs you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend....just in case...I accept your thank you and hope that "later" comes soon. :) Sending blessings to Ontario and a wish for continued prosperity to you.

      bill

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Another forceful gem here. Just carry on and make 'em 'ave it. Your efforts are appreciated by so many hubbers.

      Graham.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great ideas for writing and about past experiences sounds even better.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Now you're talking ... I mean writing! This is my kind of inspirational piece, especially to those who say such about their lives? Goodness gracious is right! I am sorry I am late for the party, but I did not get in until late last night and went straight to bed LOL. But I am here now, and truly enjoyed your suggestions as to making a list and looking back. Life itself is an inspiration and we have all experienced much, whether we believe we have or not, but if we are still here, then we have!

      Up and more and sharing.

      Blessings for a lovely day,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Music to my ears, Graham! Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Faith and thank you! Life is a picnic and I plan on eating my way through it with gusto. :) We only get one shot so might as well make it worthwhile.

      blessings

      bill

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      These exercises are necessary if we want to bulk up our writing skills. Thanks, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They are indeed, dragonflycolor...thank you for stopping by this Thursday morning.

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Great ideas as always, Bill.

      Thanks a million,

      DJ.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      Thanks Bill, you have given me an idea or two or three.

      I think often people, including myself, find it difficult to open up. Perhaps people will think, "Why didn't she see that coming" or "What kind of idiot would do that?".

      Maybe it could be titled, "learn from my mistakes".

      Now I am off to complete the exercises you have set, you may have created a monster! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DJ and have a great Thursday.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blond, so nice to see you. What kind of an idiot would do that? All of us! LOL I finally came to realize that I'm not that odd after all. We all have those moments that leave us shaking our heads, and we can all learn from each other. Good luck with those exercises and thank you!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Bill, do you know I never thought of it like that? lol! how dumb am I? I always say what the heck can I write about? you have definitely given me something to think about, so this is great!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, I'm glad to be of service and assistance. :) Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the writing.

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      Making a list is such a good idea... it can at least get you started when you have nothing to say.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It can indeed, Erin! Nice to see you again my new friend.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Been there, done that (had the blisters)... 'Ello, 'ello Bill. Memories and musings again? I took a trip down Memory Lane shortly after starting on Hub pages and wrote the piece I gave the title 'On The Beach' (after Chris Rea's song), it's in the 'STORYLINE' series, No.2. Care to visit Redcar? (the place will appear in one of the later books in the RAVENFEAST series as 'Redekarre', a single row fishing hamlet isolated by a marsh - in local language a 'carr' or 'karre'). See ya.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Alan, I'll have to stop by and read that. Thanks for the suggestion; anything that caused you blisters is a worthy read. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      I think the things we could write about are probably endless if you have lived a fair number of years especially. However, most of the most interesting things I can think of to write about happened when I was younger. I like your idea of making a list. Very useful hub.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      All wonderful ideas for getting a hold of something about which to write. Using different words, you gave the same advice my English professor gave our class - write about what you know. And what do we know better than ourselves and our experiences? I love when people write hubs based on their life experiences. It not only shows me they're "real" people, they may discuss something I'm going through and by seeing one person who successfully overcame something I know can too.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      All of our lives are just microcosms of the totality of the human experience, so of course they're interesting. I've got at least two or three mailman books taking shape in my head, but no time to write them. Great hub!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Always nice to follow your hubs. Getting to know you more and more with each hub.

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      You are way too kind Billy! But I appreciate the support!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by Pamela. I certainly had some interesting times when I was younger, but I appreciate life so much more now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, exactly. My favorite hubs are ones where people have shared a part of themselves...that way I start to understand who they really are. Thank you for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I would have twenty books out right now if I could figure out how to increase the hours of the day. Work on it my friend and let me know what you come up with. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I try to put a little part of me in most of my hubs. I want my readers to know me as a human being and not just a writer. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theater girl, I don't have much to give but support I have loads of. You are very welcome.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      So as long as we have memories, we have something to write about. Thank you Bill, for your practical illustrations, your personal list and an overall motivational presentation.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Very inspiring Bill. There was once a news program, I don't remember which one, with a segment that aimed to prove everyone has a story. The reporter would pick someone at random from the phone book, call, and then would be tasked with finding that person's story to profile for the news. Once, a five-year-old girl answered and the reporter thought it would be hopeless. But it turns out, the little girl had lost a loved one, I believe a grandparent, and she had a tradition of releasing a balloon in her family member's memory. No doubt it was one of the most touching stories ever profiled on that show.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Dora, and thank you for your loyalty.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, I have thought often about writing a book like that....everyday stories of everyday people...or a syndicated column. I firmly believe everyone has a story...maybe some day I'll tackle that idea and make it a reality. Thank you!

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      As always Bill, your hubs are a kick in the pants when I am sitting trying to think of a topic to write about. When in doubt just use your memories and own experiences. We always think our lives are boring compared to others, because we only hear about other people's exciting adventures. They don't talk about the run of the mill stuff that fills most of their days. We have all done interesting and noteworthy stuff, we just have to take the time to sit down and open up that treaure trove of memories we've been keeping locked. I did after reading this hub and wrote a poem about my eldest son as a little boy. thanks for the inspiration.

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      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      Seriously, how right you are. If everyone REALLY thought about their lives, they HAVE had life changing events, some sad, some not so sad. Like childbirth, death of a loved one, etc. These are things people are interested in and us oldies are even more privileged as the time passed has given us more material to work with. I love that your meeting Bev was one of your big ones!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I love it and I look forward to reading your poem. Well done my friend. Have a great weekend and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lesley, that's what I love about getting older too. Life is richer, the memories are richer, and it just keeps getting better. Life is good my friend, and I thank you.

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Great questions to ask ourselves! It's all there inside us, asking to get out, isn't it?

      I still have writing I did when I was 10 and some of it amazes me - did I really write that? Some of it is better than I do now; maybe I'll just put it straight into a hub! My handwriting was also much neater but then I was trying to impress my teacher. How simple life was in the 50s and 60s; innocent childhood.

      See how you've got me going down memory lane? So much to write about, my fingers will trip over my keys!

      Thanks for the reminders and pulling events out of my head. Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, that is exactly what this hub is all about. Once we start remembering then we have oodles of information on which to base hubs. I think we are all fascinating; I'm just trying to get the rest of you to realize that fact. :)

      Your Friday is winding down now isn't it? Well enjoy your evening and late afternoon.

      bill

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Yep, winding down into darkness now. Never mind, the days are getting longer and I do so love it when we have light at 10pm. Roll on the outdoor life again!

      Hope the rest of your day is good and that Minerva hasn't flown the coop too far! Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ann! It's funny, but I start feeling better once I know the days are getting longer daily...even by one stinking minute. At least I know we are moving in the right direction. LOL I'll send Minerva your love.

      bill

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      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Anything in your life can be a source of inspiration. Thanks for sharing, Bill!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you completely vkwok...thank you!

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      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Billy-your title just grabbed me and pulled me in. I love the prompts you give to help pull out the story inside of us. I relate very much to what Sha said about using the good and bad events in our lives, as we can touch others by telling our story. I had to hit every button here. Your article is informative, helpful and loaded with your classic humor to get our butts in gear. Thanks my friend :-)

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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is a wonderful hub, Billy. A moment in time, a brief encounter, or a poignant memory, all bear seeds that can inspire us to write. Voted up and sharing. :-)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, thank you my friend. Classic humor? Me? Funny? And I try so hard to be serious. LOL Have a wonderful Sunday and blessings to you always.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, we are surrounded by inspiration. All we have to do is be accepting and pay attention. Thank you so much for another visit and have a great day of rest.

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      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for the ideas, and the inspiration! Writing is not an easy profession, but it is indeed a worthwhile one! Without it, I wouldn't be an interesting person at all because I would still be troubled by all of those experiences rather than using them to help others! Keep up the good work!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, you said a mouthful there. Writing often times is therapy for me; much of my writing is autobiographical and I love it. :) Thank you.

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      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      There you go again giving us wonderful ideas! While I was reading this hub about twenty ideas popped into my head...ideas where there were none. Yes we let the old writer's block slide in and hang around but when we read hubs like this its like someone took a sledgehammer to that block! Thank you my friend.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, sledgehammer indeed. This is why I am always amazed when people say they have writer's block...my goodness, just open your eyes, or reflect, or listen to the sounds around you. Every single one of them is a memory, and memories end the block. Thank you my friend.

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      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      You provide not only the facts to improve on our writing, but also the means to set it in motion. Your practical exercises are always clear and interesting.

      I don't generally write about my own past as lifewriting but I do use the experiences of people I know, and my own past days in my fiction sometimes. Good advice, thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Anna! I appreciate your kind words, and if these help other writers then I am a happy writer. :)

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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I could fill volumes on past memories. I do believe each one has had its purpose. Great writing prompt and suggestions.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I like that...each memory has its purpose. I could write a hub on that line. :) Thank you!

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      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Using past life and memories as an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

      Somebody have to dig a lot, some less. In any case, there is always something to dig. I appreciate your work. Than you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you dis-cover; good to have you here.

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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Excellent ideas. If nothing else, do it for yourself, just to improve, and do it with PASSION!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb; as usual you are right on with your practical wisdom

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      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      I have started writing my memoir a few years ago, from being a shy and bullied child at school up to my marriage and living in Ireland. It was about finding myself who I was and how I become now. I did not continue writing my past memories because sometimes I was in the middle of crying. I was then thinking, my life story is very interesting, well maybe not for the reader but for my grandchildren and their children to come. At least they will know that they are of mixed blood.

      Thanks for sharing this awesome and inspirational hub. I´ll continue writing my memoir.Have a great weekend with your family.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thelma, that is great news. Yes your memoir is important, and it will be part of your legacy long after you are gone. Write it my friend.

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