If you’re here to write your life, you may have the big picture in mind. You want to write your life, tell the whole story, capture the big picture, the totality of your life. That’s a big job. Where to begin? Where to focus? Look at this very busy, very detailed Breugal painting.
You have to wonder, how did he get started on that painting–with which figure or figures, involved in which small activity? Each figure is part of the bigger story, the busy populous village life that’s captured in the painting. But, wow, so much to portray, so much to tell. That’s a problem you may have solve–where and how to focus.
Two of the best bits of advice about writing that I was given: 1) think small, and 2) start in the middle. Here’s Breugal thinking small:
When I wrote my most recent book (currently being prepared for publication), I focused on topics. I used those topics to tell stories from my life, to get at people and places I remember as important.
In these exercises I will invite you to think small, working on the granular level. Remember stories, vignettes and scenes, people, places, and times, Bring the culture you were embedded in (music, tv, movies, clothing, technology, fads, fashion, historical events) into the writing. I provide try this examples. You can imitate those examples if you want to.
Next, click on the topics link above to take a look. Accept the first invitation to write a little bit.