This week’s writing prompt comes from page seven of my book Bringing Your Ancestors to Life. In my book, I talk about various ways to recall the people you want to write about, focusing on appearance, actions, and other key memories you can draw upon to create on paper the image of the person you want your reader to get to know.

For our writing exercise, I want to look specifically at one element: profession/ interests. I define this characteristic as “life’s work, hobbies, interests, missed opportunities, odd jobs, talents, gifts.”

Think about the person who you want to write about in more detail. What jobs did they have when you knew them? What interests or other passions did they pursue? What did their activities tell you about them? What did they say about their job? If you didn’t know what they did for a living or studied in school, how did this lack of information influence your relationship?

There are so many ways to approach this exercise, and I know you can do it. As always, give yourself at least ten minutes to brainstorm and then write. Don’t worry about editing or crafting the perfect sentence—just let the memories flow.

We would love to hear from you and read your work. If you feel so inclined, please email your piece to patricia@writingyourlife.org so we can share your writing exercise with the rest of our readers. Feel free to also share what you learned from this experience.

Are you ready? Begin.

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