6 Steps to Writing a Memory Book

hi everyone good morning it's Margaret

Manning here and welcome to 60 and me

good morning and welcome to a new day I

hope you're doing great this morning I

have been up for a while this morning I

couldn't sleep so I was up really early

before the Sun came up and I actually

quite liked that time of the morning I

don't know about you but I find it just

really so peaceful and if I'm you're not

too tired but I've got no seven hours

sleep I'll just get up and make a cup of

tea and sit read a bit sometimes I'll

meditate or write but yeah I just find I

like the early morning are you a morning

person or a-- or a nighttime person that

they carry often one of each but anyway

I'm having my I think this is the third

cup of tea this morning but it's my

green tea and its really lovely it's um

it's one of my favorites as always but

um hope you've got a cup of tea or

coffee and you're feeling good just

settle down for a little bit and I just

wanted to take you on a little trip down

memory lane a little thinking a little

bit about you know our legacy and

documenting our lives and writing like I

mentioned I write sometimes in the

morning can be really cathartic you know

it can be a way to really put your life

in perspective and interest and uncover

things that you didn't where you didn't

make connections it's really a cool way

to you know just tell your story really

and I one of our bloggers Stephanie Roth

Locke wrote a really nice little article

about how to tell your story but not get

overwhelmed by trying to write a book

because I mean you know how many books

have you started to write in your life

it doesn't doesn't usually happen but

you know instead of writing a detailed

book just write a memory book and put

time in that book the things that have

been highlights in your life and you

know where you've had to make decisions

perhaps and how that decision took you

somewhere but it's based on really just

documenting memories and this is just

one way of writing a memoir writing a

book of memories but I think it just

shines a light on you know kind of where

we um you know where we've been with our

lives and where we're going so she gives

six really good steps for writing a

memory book

and the first one is to live like a

writer now some people like Stephanie

and and many others are they're just

born writers they just don't like life

without writing their current their

characters take them over in real life

and they just have to be writing all the

time I'm not one of those people but I

do love reading and jotting down you

know I like to write bit in a different

way but anyway she says live like a

writer and this means bring a notebook

with you everywhere you go a notebook

and a pen and just pop it in your bag

just a small one and everywhere you go

be an observer of the world so a writer

always is listening to conversation and

watching engagement in or watching how

people are interacting with one another

and just using their senses like 100

percent so for example if you go to a

cafe you're sitting down there listening

to the conversations around you what are

people really talking and you know sort

of trying to make it up in your own head

um but just just make a note of

observations for listening smelling you

can smell the baked goods being you know

just freshly out of the oven nice aroma

and you know that the panic was arisen

and the croissants and they just fit

taste you can smell them they just smell

delicious and then look around you you

know watch the world watch how people

are greeting each other you know the

hugs the kisses the shaking hands the

just the engagement so watch that into

that sense of vision and what children

playing you know watch them with their

parents I I love watching little kids I

think there's so inspirational they I

just loved looking at their little eyes

as they just like look at the world it's

just well everything is a well and I

like God I just I just smile with them I

almost kind of silly but you know get

your it your writing prompts though from

people and send your senses and of

course hearing hearing the siren as the

sounds that laughter the maybe the tears

just pay attention I'm finding them it's

a meditation technique that I just

sometimes use where I just close my eyes

and try to listen for what's close to me

and then go further and for

out so I can hear even the cars on the

street or maybe even someone took it

yelling or saying something anyway so

use your senses that's the first thing

second thing is to create a writing

space now you may have a desk or a table

that you write on anyway the place that

you feel cozy and maybe it's your a

chair in your living room

well you just like to bring up your

laptop and just work there I'm actually

by the way assuming here as I was

describing all of that I was writing

with a pen is it in a notebook but you

may like to just write on your on your

phone or on your computer

so just find a space add a favorite

chair and light a candle you know light

a candle or some incense and just let

this be a moment where you put what's

immediately in front of you out of your


and just go back to your memories missed

out is very powerful on lots of levels

not just for writing but for good brain

health and I could just sorting stuff

out it just sounds like a good time to

let those memories sink but you know

maybe you have a favorite cafe I have a

little cafe close to me actually I go to

almost every day now and maybe just for

half an hour I taped my phone and my

notepad and sometimes I write sometimes

I don't I get caught up in a visual but

anyway find a place a writing space

listen to music sometimes now this is of

course something that has been proven by

science as well that music is a huge

stimulator of memory and this has been

specifically the proven with Alzheimer's

patients if you should play them

nostalgic music they can remember words

to songs they can recognize people they

really start to come alive actually is a

really beautiful film called inside it's

got inside alive dr. bill Thomas was

involved with it and it basically went

through the story of how music brings

out this life that's still inside a

patient it's really really wonderful so

we listen to the songs maybe that you

listen to when you were younger you got

an old CD of oh I don't know blondie or

share or someone that or go back further

you know where you um have a memory

associated with the Beatles a memory

associated with those people or thought

that groove maybe had a crush on so

one in that group you know it's just

it's just a matter of just identifying

the music that touches an accord inside

of you now the other thing is to write

at the same time every day

now I know all the great artists and our

authors of the world say this you know

get up and write a thousand words before

you get out of bed just do it every day

and that's the way you write a book and

that's true I think of a memory book to

is just if you get into the routine like

I do at 3 o'clock every day I normally

go to my little cafe it's just done a

ritual it's a habit and they say habits

are powerful for your brain so I think

that's a nice way to write that book by

just going to the same place or maybe

not the same place but take the same

time every day another thing that that

Stephanie recommends is to use a book of

prompts now I always not always I often

pick up a book by Anne Lamott I like

Anne Lamott

as a writer she's crazy very wild in her

way she writes and she inspires me I

also like Al and Gilbert and I often

watch a TED talk that's another way that

I I sometimes job my memory but the

suggestion is to just find a writer or

an author that just joke sure you're

writing memory for example she talks

about one called old friend from far

away by nationally goldberg that

Stephanie's book that she uses and just

kind of she says it kind of inspires you

to start mining in your memories and I

kind of like that image but anyway

that's another thought to have a book

that's inspires you just keep go back to

it and pick it up and you know and start

to use as inspiration another thing is

to write one memory a day for a hundred

days this is an exercise I think that

was a project on this and Stephanie is

that she uses it and it's really

wonderful we know what if you would just

compile all of your stand-alone memory

pieces just one a day no rhyme or reason

no like sequence just everyday write

down a memory I would love us to do this

actually I think this could be super fun

but I'm course not stressing about it

it's not

homework it's just an idea that um you

know I think there's older women there

wouldn't that be fun to do a huh one

memory a day could write a book be

really cool but anyway that's another

suggestion that stephanie has and I I

think it's a good one I've actually

tried keeping a scrapbook and putting a

picture and a quote or like a thought

every day did that for about a year well

a while ago and it was very nice to look

back at I actually still do have it and

I look back on it and think wow those

things were important to me at that time

it's so cool to see I work them through

and you know I'm a new person and that's

that's kind of the power and then

finally you know with with these book of

memories think about events think about

events that have really been milestones

in your life and of course there's the

big ones of children having children

those were pretty amazing you know

moving to a new home changing countries

maybe losing a friend relocating to a

new city or country at that it's just

things about events maybe there's simple

things like a theatre production or more

concert just an event that stimulates a

memory and then write that in your

memory book so we hope this has been

helpful I mean are you looking to

thinking of writing a memory book does

it sound a lot easier than writing a

book I think it does and it also I think

sounds fun and that's kind of all that

we want to be doing this days we are

pleasure animals we should be having

pleasure in our lives this is important

so I would love you to tell me your

feedback on this have you have you ever

written a memory book or a journal that

you that you think would be interesting

to share and what events people or

places would you put in your memory book

just think about it well I know I would

put all you in my book as a group

because I'm so proud of this community I

love you all I'm so happy that we're

here together you know often and talking

about things are important to us I

really do hope that you have a fabulous


get out there and enjoy this beautiful

world that we live in despite all its


feels perfect let's make it amazing and

just take care of yourselves now just

tell me what events books what people

and events might be in your memory book

I look forward to seeing you all back

here again very very soon take good care

for now bye bye