So we're using immediate moments in our writing this week.
I find that certain emotional topics lend themselves to moment-by-moment recall:
- Can you remember waiting in a line? Perhaps at the grocery store when there is a price check, then coupons, then something that needs to be voided or returned, and then you have to go to the bathroom...
- Can you recall being approved for something? Often, the hurtles and unexpected problems as you attempted to gain admission or achieve a goal will pop into your mind with startling detail.
- Is there a moment that you find yourself missing from your past? For instance, does smelling someone's cigar suddenly remind you of a specific moment with your grandfather? These nostalgia triggers, particularly smell triggers, can often bring back detailed memories.
- Is there a lesson that you continually try to impress to your children or grandchildren based on your experiences as a child? If so, try telling it the other way--as a child looking forward. You may be surprised at what you suddenly remember, particularly as it is brought into relief by your wisdom and experience now.
- Saying hello or goodbye
- You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Occasionally, our first impressions of something seemed burned on our brains. This would be a good time to take advantage of that detail.
- Often when I say goodbye, I am consciously soaking up every detail so that I will remember later when I predict I will miss the person or place I am leaving. These instances can provide a wealth of immediate moments.
- Have you ever been away from home and longed for your mother's home cooking? I bet you can recall the smell, texture, sight, taste, everything possible from that missed meal. This is the time to put that in writing.
- There is nothing to make you remember the benefits of the great outdoors like being stuck inside on a beautiful day. Use one of those moments of longing to pull out the details you need for this piece.
Other moments that crystallize for me are "Milestone" moments:
- Your wedding
- The first day of school
- Holding your child for the first time
- The first day of your first job
- Overcoming the neighborhood bully
- How to brush your teeth
- How to clean up your room super fast without your mom knowing you didn't really clean it.
- How to make breakfast
- How to get ready for bed
- How to get dressed up