A year ago I attended a Memoir Writing workshop at the local library. The author/facilitator had a lot of good advice on making a memoir manageable. One of her suggestions was to start with a list of something, like houses, and then pick a memory from the list and write a quick anecdote about it. Good advice.
Related somewhat to that is a motto that I try to live out daily, "Something is better than nothing."
Running for 15 minutes before the kids get up? Better than not running at all.
Writing in the kids' journal once every two months? Better than nothing at all.
Washing all the dishes but leaving the cutlery? Better than not washing any dishes ;) I hate washing cutlery.
What I also find happens in most cases is that if I give myself the grace to just do a little bit, I usually end up doing more. Getting started is always the hardest.
O.K. that's a long introduction to a journal I came across last year. It's called Listography by Lisa Nola. The concept is simple and genius. It's an autobiography written in lists. On each page the author gives a list prompt and you just fill it out. I wish I had been the one to think of it - imagine the money she has made by writing a book of 50 questions. Genius.
I love my Listography. We also have Love Listography that the tall one and I fill out together. It's great for us to do together and will be so fun to look back on in the years ahead.
The thing about this book is that it's crazy easy to create and customize yourself. Almost exactly a year ago I gave the English one a Pregnancy Listography that I made. I tried to think of all the random things I would have liked to remember about my pregnancy, especially the things that your regular Pregnancy scrapbook won't ask you. Like,
"List the people you wanted to punch in the face..."
"List the most insensitive things people said to you..."
"List the names your parents suggested for the baby..."
I also made my sister in law a customized Listography for Christmas last year. All you need to do is grab a cute little notebook...
and then write a question on each right hand page (it's too hard to write on the left side). And done.
I also have all the questions for a book for each of my children "Little Lists". Things like their favourite toys, their cute mispronunciations, their biggest acts of disobedience, their proudest moments, etc.
On a side note, when you're filling out your listography I suggest dating the entries so that you can keep adding to the lists and see how your life evolved and changed.
Here's a sneak peek at some of my lists :)
List the things you'd save if your house was on fire.
- Laptop with all of our pictures
- External Hard drive
- I'd pretty much chuck as much as I possibly could out of the window
List your guilty pleasures.
- Chips dipped in ice cream
- Mocha Cheesecake
- I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing night
- Desperate Housewives
What list would you find most interesting to write?