Your past

Delving into your past
By Justin O’Leary

When people say they don’t know what to write about, it makes me want to giggle. Everyone has many experiences they can fall back on as a basis for fiction. Delve into your past using the power of smell to jog your memory and you’ll have more than enough material to put into your writing. Try to concentrate on the smells that were around when you were say ten or younger. Try a rainy day at school when the girl next to you peeled an orange. What about in a butcher shop waiting for your parents to buy something for dinner? Can you remember making patterns in the sawdust? How about visiting an aunt’s house? Search your memory for the carpet or rug, get down on it and smell it. What about an expensive restaurant? Can you smell the food on the table? What about a glass of cold milk on a hot day? What about playing at a friend’s yard? Sniff the flowers, can you smell the grass? Smell is a powerful memory jogger. The smell of a particular brand of soap, for example, can often bring back a flood of memories. So if you ever get stuck for ideas when writing, delve into your past using the power of smell and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

© Justin O’Leary 1998-2011