Sunday, April 21, 2013

Writing From The Past

I just finished reading Ray Bradbury's "Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You," a collection of insightful essays that will surely inspire most writers to, well, write.

One of the lessons I relearned -- no apology because I'm always learning or relearning things -- is to tap into your past  to energize (or re-energize) oneself for story ideas.

For me,  looking at old photographs back to the days of my childhood is something I enjoy. Those images bring back a flood of memories from times with my parents, siblings, relatives, friends, special events, and everyday occasions.

Another way is to visit friends  from your distant past and start reminiscing about those times that have slowly begun fade. No doubt they'll say things that will rekindle your memory.

Revisiting old haunts, neighborhoods, schools, and special places can open the mind's eye to things almost forgotten. 

They key, of course, is to write those things down before they begin to fade away into the deep, dark recesses of the brain.

Writers of fiction such as such as Mark Twain, John Grisham, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and Bradbury (among countless authors) reached into their past to craft their wonderful stories. I did the same when I wrote my young-adult novel, "Shooting Star." 

It's also a valuable resource for creative nonfiction writers. One of my author friends, Georgia Green Stamper, brought back vivid memories in her "Butter in the Morning," a collection of remembrances that I'm sure her family will treasure for many years to come. It brought back some memories for me as well.

Until the next time...


  1. Thanks for your wonderful writing tips. Of course, I am not a writer, but I like to learn how authors come up with their stories.
    I just read the preview on Amazon for "Butter in the Morning". Georgia Green Stamper sounds like a wonderful storyteller. I may just have to invest in a book with "real" pages! I have been buying only Ebooks for a few years now.

  2. Georgia Green Stamper is about our age so some of the things she shares we can relate to. She's a wonderful lady as well with a great sense of humor.