#MemoirFest Day 1: Write about a House That Is Significant In Some Way

#MemoirFest Day 1 Prompt: Write about a House

For now, don’t overanalyze this prompt, but just think about one specific house from your past–or even your current house–and free-write about it. The house could be your childhood home or your grandmother’s house or your Great Aunt Ada’s house. Just think about a house that you have known well, and write about it. Don’t write something vague or cli·ché — like “Home is where the heart is.” That says NOTHING about that one specific house that has some meaning to you. You might begin by simply writing a description of that one specific house. Allow your mind’s eye to look at the house. and simply write. Write at least one paragraph about your house. For tomorrow’s prompt, I’ll help you narrow down your thoughts about your house, but for today, simply free-write, and don’t pause to edit your grammar, your spelling, or anything else as your write. Keep in mind that you are probably writing the first draft, and don’t let the perfect be the enemy for the good–at least not for now.


There is a Time to Write and a Time to Edit – Don’t Try to Mix the Two.

Especially for the creative writer, I advocate freewriting as the first step in the writing process. Regardless of my writing project, however, I always begin with freewriting. When I decide what my topic will be, I simply begin to write, and I don’t even title the piece before I write it. In most cases, I will become more clear about the title, AS I write it.  When I free write, the piece almost writes itself.

This will probably sound odd to many, but throughout my writing process, I often close my eyes and simply type  Especially when I am trying to describe something. I literally look at that something inside my mind’s eye, and I merely describe what I see.  This is one of the ways that I hush my vicious Self-Editor.


During the first stages of writing, simply write. Save the editing for later.

Just keep going like crazy and look back when it’s over. Otherwise you just get confused. – Cliff Burton-

Don’t get me wrong. There IS a time for editing. In my opinion, editing is not a pleasant experience, and that is one reason why I never mix my editing with my writing. If I edit as I write, I squelch the flow of what I am trying to say.

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.” ― Tiffany Madison

When you write, you should allow your mind and your spirit to flow freely.

During the first step of my writing process, I allow myself to reach as far as I can reach, and I explore. If I begin editing too soon in my process, I prevent myself from soaring, and I slam my creative brakes too soon, thus starving my mind to death.

After I have finished writing, it is time to put on my work gloves and to begin editing. For me, editing is much more difficult than writing. In fact, I KNOW that I have Editor’s Block. I’ll do just about anything to keep from editing my work, but even the most creative of us CAN edit as well as we can write. The two processes are simply different. But for today, we aren’t editing at all, we are simply writing.

Be sure to come back tomorrow, and we’ll take a deeper diver into this house.

If you are still itching to do some more with your #MemoirFest journey today, begin the process of creating for yourself a magical place to be alone and a place to write.

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