I love remembering. Maybe a little too much. My family is always picking on the fact that my brain works like a calendar. They’re often asking me in what day, month and year that certain events and occasions took place.
Yes, I love to remember events by dates, but also by seasons—spiritual and physical seasons, so that I know where I came from and where I’m going. Who I was, who I am now, and allowing God to prepare me for who I’m going to be. And I think the teenage years are filled with many great opportunities to “capture”, especially if you love to write fiction. Very often I think of great ideas that can be used in my stories because of things that I do with my friends, or places I’ve visited. But it’s more of a challenge trying to remember everything, especially specific details, without "capturing" them in some way.There are many ways to do so, but there are five main ways that I recommended to capture moments and seasons in your life:
- Have a calendar to keep track of the “big events” in your life. For example: dance recitals, travels, snow days, etc.
- Keep a journal. I like to keep more than one – one as a "regular" to write in often, and another to summarize seasons in my life - capturing memories in more detail. Starting this year I’ve decided to keep a journal to write in at the end of each month to summarize what the month consisted of in general, the “big things” that happened each week, and the special memories that was created that month.
- Take pictures, but don’t let that distract you from enjoying the experience. The other night I had the opportunity to go to my first Hillsong United concert. During it, I realized how difficult it was for me to enjoy the concert while I was recording it on my camera. Because of that, I only captured snippets every now and then, knowing that would be enough for me to remember the concert. And if I wanted to, I could just search on Youtube to find plenty of concert videos uploaded by users. I don’t take as many pictures as I probably should, although I would love to. Usually it’s because I forget. Yes, I love photography, but I’m not as much of a “photographer” as I know many of you are. However, I love sunsets and such, so I enjoy taking pictures of beautiful scenes, along with a few pictures of myself, my friends and family. But that’s basically the extent of it. However, if there are certain things that I would like to remember visually, I capture it on camera.I can usually fill in the details through my memory or by journaling.
- Make scrapbooks or keep photo albums. I love to scrapbook, but because it is so time-consuming, I rarely do, unless it’s a gift. I would love to start, though, because I think it’s a creative and organized way to remember seasons and special occasions.
- Try to remember the bigger details—the “big picture”, and the special details that create the big picture will fall into place. For example, which moments in particular stood out to you in the month of February? Did you spend time with your loved ones and create special memories in honor of Valentine’s Day? Big details like those can help create the “big picture” to capture certain seasons of our lives.
Remember: It’s good to remember. But it’s not always good to look back in a way that causes you to wander off the course you’re on now.
Realize that God is transforming you and using your past as a way to create new strength within you. Your youth should be the time to explore who you are, mature physically and spiritually, and to grow into who God has called you to be. These years bring special memories and big changes—perfect opportunities to “capture”.
It’s exciting to look back at old pictures and journal entries from when we were in different seasons ofour lives and see how God has brought us from then to where we are now. It’s funny to remember what we were like, how different we’ve become, but also to see how we’re still the same person with the same God-given passions and personality. For example, I found a journal entry that I wrote when I was eight that says how much I would love to be a writer and an actress. The reason that I gave for wanting to write was because “it just shows really good stories. People like books because it just feels up that tiny whole inside of you that just wants you to read and read some more” and also because “I want to do this just to make people excited, for me to have fun and show my talents. That is the main dreams that I want to have come true.”
“Capturing the moment” and remembering is a great tool for fiction writer’s especially, so we can look back and come up with plenty of story or character ideas and emotions. Don’t just go with the flow, allowing life to just “happen”. Life is too special - too short to be wasted or to allow those special moments to be taken for granite and forgotten... especially our youth. Capture it. The “write” way.
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