I am very pleased to feature Creativity Coach and Author Nina Amir in her WOW Blog Tour for her latest book, Creativity for Writers. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Nina in person and have followed her online since I started my own writing journey in 2009. She provides a wealth of resources for writers with a generous and caring spirit and a wide range of knowledge and skill.
3 Creative Ways to Uncover Personal Stories for Your Memoir
Uncovering personal stories from the past can prove a big challenge for memoirists. Events and conversations that happened years ago may not come to mind quickly, easily or accurately. Yet, writers need those details to write a memoir.
To reawaken memories, some writers pour over old journals and photos. Others visit their home towns and the houses where they grew up. Or they contact people from their past.
However, you can use three creative tools to access your memories.
It’s amazing what information is stored in your mind. It’s like an enormous library, but you have to know where to find the books you need, which are filed on a high shelf in the furthest reaches of the building.
To access those mental volumes, bring them into your conscious awareness. Meditation assists in that process.
Many meditations ask you to empty your mind of thought. To access your memories, however, you want to give your mind something to chew on—like a dog with a bone—that sparks the memories and brings them into your conscious awareness. Most meditation practices quite the conscious mind with a mantra of some sort; that’s the bone. As you focus on something else consciously, subconscious thoughts begin to rise into your awareness.
Close your eyes to meditate. Then, tell your mind what you would like to “find” in your memory library. For example, you could say, “I want to discover memories from December 2008, when my husband left me.”
Then, begin to breathe deeply as you repeat the mantra “December 2008” over and over again. Just breath and repeat this phrase in your mind. Pay attention to any thoughts or mental pictures that arise in the process. Jot them down with your eyes closed (if possible).
When you complete your meditation, review your notes. Make them more legible and add detail as necessary.
Creative visualization provides another way to meditate on the past. This is an active form of meditation that involves your imagination.
If you’ve ever been asked to do a guided meditation, this tool works in a similar way.
Close your eyes. Visualize yourself back in December 2008, and lead yourself through the events of that month. As you do so, notice details, conversations, what people were wearing, how you felt, how others behaved, and anything else you see in your mind’s eye.
Think about all the television shows you’ve seen where a police officer asks an observer or victim of a crime to place themselves back in the event mentally. They close their eyes, and suddenly remember the missing detail the police need to solve the crime.
Creative visualization prompts you to do the same. By imagining yourself back in time or present at an important life event, your mind calls up information you forgot—including additional events, people, and details.
All your memories are filed away in your mind. Creative visualization helps you access them.
The two hemispheres of your brain work in different ways. You may use one side of the brain more than another. Thus, you are either right brained or left brained.
Writers tend to be left brained. They are good with words and communication. Yet creativity and imagination reside on the right side of the brain (as does visualization). Therefore, writers—especially novelists—tend to use both sides of the brain naturally.
New research shows that we can do things that make both sides of the brain work together more efficiently. With a whole brain approach, you can access information in new ways.
To foster more whole-brain thinking and activate your mind’s ability to solve problems—”What really happened back in December 2008?—stop working with words and work with pictures instead.
Take out a piece of paper and some crayons or colored pencils. Now, draw what happened in your past. Keep a notebook handy. Notice what details show up on the page and what thoughts float through your mind. Write them down.
Keep these three tools for accessing forgotten memories in your memoir toolkit. Pull them out when you need to loosen the nails keep your past locked away.
About the Author
Nina Amir is an Amazon bestselling author of such books as How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual and the recently released Creative Visualization for Writers (October 2016). She is known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach because she helps writers, bloggers and other creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and Achieve More Inspired Results. This helps them positively and meaningfully impact the world—with their words or other creations.
Nina is a hybrid author who has self-published 17 books and had as many as nine books on Amazon Top 100 lists and six on the same bestseller list (Authorship) at the same time.
As an Author Coach, Nina supports writers on the journey to successful authorship. Some of her clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the creator of a proprietary Author Training curriculum for writers and other coaches.
She is an international speaker and award-winning journalist and blogger as well as the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month www.writenonfictioninnovember.com and the Nonfiction Writers’ University www.nonfictionwritersuniversity.com.
Nina also is one of 300 elite Certified High Performance Coaches working around the world.
Creative Visualization for Writers: An Interactive Guide for Bringing Your Book Ideas – and Writing Career – to Life
To become a more creative, confident, and productive writer, you need to focus your attention, visualize your desires, set clearly defined goals, and take action toward your dreams. Let Creative Visualization for Writers be your guide on this journey of self-discovery. You’ll learn how to:
- Evaluate your beliefs and shed self-defeating behaviors.
- Determine your destination by visualizing your ideas and goals.
- Develop an Author Attitude that will help you write, achieve, earn, and produce more.
- Discover new ways to foster your creativity and productivity.
- Affirm that you have what it takes to succeed.
Featuring more than 100 exercises and prompts to spark new writing ideas and give you a creative boost, as well as coloring pages to encourage relaxation, Creative Visualization for Writers helps you transform your dreams into reality and find joy in the creative process.
Genre: Writing Craft
Paperback: 224 pages
Writer’s Digest Books: Oct. 18, 2016
More about the Author:
Nina Amir started as a journalist. She a BA in magazine journalism with a concentration in psychology. After working as an editor and writer for a variety of regional magazines, a national corporation in New York City, and a small consulting firm, she started my own freelance writing and design business.
Working on other writers’ manuscripts sparked her desire to write a book of on topics she felt passionate about: personal development and practical spirituality. More than publishing a book, she wanted to build a business around those books.
Setting out to learn all she could about the publishing industry she got involved with the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and started the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (now known as National Nonfiction Writing Month). In April 2012, her first book How to Blog a Book was published, became an Amazon bestseller almost immediately, and has remained one ever since. The Author Training Manual was published by Writer’s Digest Books just two years later and was a bestseller before any books passed through the register on Amazon. In addition she’s self-published several more ebooks, all of which have made it onto the Amazon Top 100 right away. In fact, she’s had as many as four books on one Amazon Top 100 list at the same time!
- How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time
- The Author Training Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Books that Sell
- Authorpreneur: How to Build a Business Around Your Book
- The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified: An Easy Schmeasy Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Your Book
- Blogging Basics for Authors: 30 Lessons to Help Writers Create Effective Blogs and Blog Content
- The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing and Publishing Articles
Find out more about Creative visualization for Writers by visiting online:
This book is available as a print book at Amazon
as well as at your local independent bookstore.
How about you? Do you have other tools that help you access your memories?
We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
“What To Do When You Hit a Wall with Your Writing”
“An Adoptee’s Search For Her Roots: An Interview with Memoir Author Gloria Oren.
Gloria is the author of Bonded at Birth: An Adoptee’s Search for Roots. Her guest interview is part of the Bonded at Birth blog tour during November 2016 which coincides with National Adoption Month.