Writing about your family or your childhood can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start. Having a theme like holidays and family vacations or writing chronologically are two ways to organize.
I use memoir threads to brainstorm themes. For summer I suggest favorite summer activities from childhood.
Write the theme in the circle. Then on each line brainstorm what you loved doing as a child during summer.
Going to the beach
Hide and seek
Vacations in Lake George
You can add more threads as once you open the jar of memories, they tend to overflow.
Then take each memory thread and write about it. Use all your sensory details like smell, sight, taste, feel, hear, plus who were you with, when, and what feelings did this memory leave you with?
Some memories can be painful, especially if you were forced to so something you didn’t like each summer. They can be just as powerful and may help to write about from an older perspective.
You may renew a love of something thst you stopped doing or want to visit old friends.
The threads are endless. Make copies of your thread sheet, fill it in, and you will always have topics for your journal.
In my last journaling workshop, we focused on summer fun. When my boys were little, as soon as school was out we wrote everything we wanted to do that summer on a big poster board.
Some staples were strawberry picking in June, going on vacation, swimming, picnics, bike rides, concerts, movies to see, family to visit, how many ice cream places we would visit and rate, etc.
I made sure there was downtime, but it gave them structure and lots to look forward to. I haven’t done that in a long time. As adults we can get caught up in our lives and forget to enjoy life no matter what season we are in.
The Northeast summers are so short, I want to be outside as much as possible.
So here is my list for the summer:
By putting it in my journal, it becomes real and I remember to look up when Shakespeare is in Congress Park or that I still need to see Guardians of the Galaxy (although not in the theater at this point!) I have much to do still!
As you check off your summer fun activities journal about them so you remember the details and the joy.
Then do it all again in the fall with apple picking, Halloween, and hay rides!
Create and decorate your summer fun list today. Put it in your journal or on your fridge as a reminder. Enjoy!