1.     Make a list of your family's most well-known stories. Pick one and either write it down or dictate it into a tape recorder. Describe what you see, smell, touch taste, feel using many details as you can. Include dialog when appropriate. Continue through the list until you are finished. TIP: Imagine you’re viewing it through a movie camera lens.

2.     Make a list of significant people in your life.  For each person, make a list of stories or events that include that person.  Select a person and an event and write about it describing details and using dialog. Continue through the list until you're finished. TIP: To broaden your viewpoint, try writing about the event first from your perspective and then from the other person's perspective.

3.     Make a list of dates when significant events happened to you. Select a date and write about it. Continue on through the entire list.

4.     Sort through photographs and use them to trigger memories. Write about the people, places, events that come to mind when looking at the photographs.

5.     Write about mealtimes, bedtime rituals, holiday traditions, vacations, seasonal activities, etc.

6.     Visit neighborhoods, schools, and stores from your past. Take notes on what you see, using all five senses. Jot down feelings, reactions, memories evoked from these visits.

7.     Listen to music from your past.  Write down any memories that come up.  Be aware of how different music evokes different memories and feelings.

8.     Finish the following sentences: (Feel free to make up some of your own)

I used to love to…

I used to be afraid of…

I wonder what happened to…

I wish I had…

I still remember…

I used to believe…

I've never told anyone…

My favorite teacher taught me…

My best friend gave me…

My father always told me…

My mother never let me…