Writing is an excellent way to build community with other Residents. Simply called a memoir or autobiography, biography, testimony, personal essay or even digital format known as a blog. When should you start life writing? Why not now? Benefits of writing in a structured class include the guidance of a writing prompt, the coaching of a trained facilitator, the enjoyment of hearing the stories of others, and the power of writing and sharing one’s own story to a listening audience. Think of it as an opportunity to pass on your wisdom and the strategies you used to conquer any hurdles. When you finish writing your story you’ll have a permanent memoir and reminder of what you’ve accomplished in your life. So, what could you write about?
You may choose to start with tiny vignettes of a few sentences in regards to genealogical and family life stories—circumstances of birth, favorite toys, stories about siblings and grandparents or you may wish to use some thought provoking questions to get you started with topics such as:
- Where you were on important days in history
- Accomplishments in which you are the most proud
- Children and the things they say
- Brief encounters
The thought of writing a life retrospective can daunt even the most experienced writer; however, writing in groups decrease isolation, reawaken dormant interests, offer purposeful activity, and hone cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are not fixed, and can be improved with lifestyle and targeted practice. Writing your story not only increases your mental sharpness but will open creative outlets in your mind. Start with one story and see where it leads you. You may end up with several chapters and the start of a book. With all the great benefits of life writing, what are you waiting for? Get started today!