Unlocking Your Memories

I’m often asked how I can remember so many of the stories I’ve written about on this blog. My reply to that question has always been, “I’m not really sure.” However, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately, and I think I may have come up with an answer. Like everything else, the key to unlocking your memories is practice, practice, practice. Start with a fairly recent event, but make sure it’s one where you’re a little fuzzy on the details. Try to concentrate on the things you CAN remember from that day, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what happens. 

I stumbled across this concept while coming up with ideas for these stories. As I mentioned in The Creative Process, it seems like there is a vast warehouse of potential articles out there, and all I have to do is tap into it. That’s especially true when it comes to personal memories. It’s like walking down a hallway with many doors. Once you open the first door on the right, the door on the left swings open wide, revealing details of an event from many years ago. It’s really quite astounding.

For example, when I wrote Why I Don’t Camp, I had a vague recollection of what happened on that trip. However, the more I concentrated on retrieving the details, the more memories swam to the surface. When I got together with the subjects of that article for a couple of beers, I found there were additional parts of the story I didn’t recall at first. This may result in, Why I Don’t Camp 2: Rocky’s Revenge. We’ll see. 

One recalled event can trigger another. Forging the next link in the chain, as it were. I am constantly amazed at the flood of memories that continue to wash over me every day. Many lead to some rather humorous stories. So give it a try. Sit down in your favorite chair and close your eyes. Bring up a fuzzy memory in your mind’s eye, and try to zero in on the details. I think you’ll be very surprised by what you see!

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