Hope you had a great week and had lots of adventures! But even if you didn’t do anything big this week, I am sure all sorts of tiny moments happened along the way.
Maybe your baby broke their first (or 5th) tooth! Or perhaps your son rode a bike for the first time, or had his first sleepover at Grandma’s. Maybe you just enjoyed a really special conversation with your daughter. Or a really funny one!
Whatever has been happening, today, I have a great writing tip for capturing it all. And in such an easy and sustainable way!
Today I want to show you how to capture life moments using timelines, so we never miss another writing idea!
Perhaps this is something you already do. But for me, it was so obvious (and especially since I have taught this lesson in variations over the years), that I completely forgot to do it on a regular basis.
Timelines allow us to jot down small moments very quickly. All you do is create a section of your writer’s notebook dedicated to timelines. I used four pages to capture the past 5 years, and will start a new ongoing section for this year, as I hope to be more detailed going forward.
So watch me create a timeline to gather small moment ideas
…. I’ll start with January of this year:
- January –
- Norwalk Aquarium birthday present – fire drill!
- 5th Birthday Shark Party
- Continuing Classical Conversations (A.)
- Mystic Aquarium – sharks, dino dig, rainy penguin walk
- Playing outside – bikes and big wheels, dandelion rubs
- Astronaut for a Day
- Last Classical Conversation class!
- Wrote book about DC Trip
- Started karate
- Sounding out / reading first words (A.)
See how I did that? It’s so simple. I just thought of things we did each month. Some of them are more-or-less in the right order. That’s okay.
Listing out these ideas gives me at LEAST 20 new writing ideas! Some of them I already wrote about as you can see I linked them, but I wrote them as tips, or guides, etc. I didn’t necessarily write them as a narrative story or from my kids point of view, so I might go back and retell those stories from a different angle (or write a poem about the moment!).
Creating timelines allows us to gather small moment ideas on a daily basis. I suggest you keep your notebook handy, and at the end of each day or week (or month), jot down those important moments into your ongoing timeline!
Tips for gathering past timeline ideas
- Going through my folders of photos from each month – jogged my memory and kept my months sorted
- Looking at muy old blog posts – you may not have this privilege, but thought I’d put it out there. As I mentioned before, I’ve written about a lot but not always with a motherhood perspective, so I wrote those ideas down again – they’re still fair game!
- Look at your Facebook and Instagram feeds! What a rich idea spot because you probably already took a photo or jotted a memory down! And they’re already in order!
Your turn to gather ideas using a timeline
Now…you could start recent, like I did with the beginning of the year.
Or you might want to go back to the beginning… think of that very first moment you want to capture of your child (or whatever topic you’re writing about if it’s not parenting). Perhaps it’s the moment you found out you were pregnant. Maybe it’s the first ultrasound. Or you might just want to start with when your baby was put into your arms.
Now moving forward, jot down the next “memorable moment” – maybe a trip you made with baby, a milestone, a struggle you had breastfeeding, etc.
Leave spaces once in a while if you think there were more events… you’ll remember them later and can fit them in!
Great job! Now you’ll always have a huge list of ideas for writing. And, at the very least, you’ll have a record of important moments in your parenting (and child’s) life!
If you’re working on your writing with me, share a photo of your timeline on my Facebook fan page!! I’d love to see your work!