Messy, erratic, often contradictory and unreliable, memories are what make you you.
Memories are at the root of your identity and your sense of self. Your memories are the raw material for your story. Uncovering and collating your memories is the first step in any personal storytelling journey. Whether you want to write a memoir, to share your life and experiences with your family, or just make sense of your own memory, a memory journal is invaluable.
- A memory journal is a safe place to keep your memories as they emerge.
- It's a tool for making sense of and ordering chaos.
- It's a way to share your memories, if you choose to do so.
- And it's a reference tool, filled with material you can use when constructing and telling your story.
I'm so grateful to you for doing the work you're doing. It was a very moving experience.
I have to thank you. I lost a family member last night to the coronavirus. This morning, I sat down to do my daily journaling, and I was remembering some of the suggestions in the Kit. I tried to think about smells, textures - things I remembered about my aunt from my childhood.
I remembered seemingly strange things - like bringing crabs home in ice-cream tubs after fishing for them, woolly cardigans, her white poodle that had yellowing fur and crazy teeth.
I'm so grateful to you for doing the work you're doing. It was a very moving experience - and without your work, I would never have thought to try to dig in to those memories and I wouldn't have written in that kind of detail.
- CERRIES MOONEY
The Memory Journal Starter Kit helps you —
- Stimulate, capture & collate your memories, bring your story to life and make a real connection with your audience.
- Create a regular memory practice.
- Share the real you with the people you love.
- Reconnect with someone important through shared memories.
- Gather material to tell your own life story.
- Find your voice and tell your story.
Why I created the Starter Kit
My own early memories are minimal
—a few staccato moments without context.
Six years ago, I packed my life into boxes and moved from the eat-you-alive hustle of suburban London to the seaside stillness of the English south coast. But I never had the space to unpack my books, photos and much of what made me me.
I lost my already tenuous connection to my own memory. I lost myself. I didn’t even realise it was happening. I stopped writing.
I was living in a beautiful coastal location, but I stopped taking photographs of anything bar the dog.
Three years later, my partner gifted me a wall of bookshelves. And I spent days unpacking, sorting and filing my books and my memories—finding snippets of myself in every object, image and note.
I found my creative art school self in drawings and old sketchbooks, my academic post-graduate self scribbled in the margins of ecology text books, my independent young adult working self in old notebooks—and a mishmash of memories from pre-teen to young adult in a forgotten photo album.
I started to write again—short pieces inspired by my own photos and drawings. I started to take photos again—adding to my memory bank for the future. Gradually, I recovered insignificant days and small moments which collectively add up to me.
But more than that, I started to consciously examine my own memories.
To question some of what I had been told was me. I discovered that the me I’d been trained to be was no longer the me I either wanted or felt myself to be. Identifying the defining memories I shared with key people from my past gave me the tools to look again at those relationships—and at myself.
In time, I discovered a new version of me. One who, even before the move from city to seaside, before she packed herself into boxes, had been hidden under layers of expectation and guilt.
In opening those boxes after so long, I could see my memories, and myself, afresh.
I’ve now refined the tools and tricks I discovered on my personal memory journey. I’ve combined them with the tools and tricks I’ve used for twenty years in my professional life as a content and communications designer.
The exercises and prompts in the Memory Journal Starter Kit are the same ones I used to bring myself back to me, to unlock my own memories, find my own voice, and start to tell my own story.
You encouraged me to dig deeper and find the details that made the story jump off the page.
Thank you, Miranda, for helping me flesh out a story around a pivotal moment in my life. The outline of the event was there, but you encouraged me to dig deeper and find the details that made the story jump off the page. Forgotten elements came back to me, personalities were developed, and the intention of my story became stronger as a result.
Thanks for the prodding, the questions, the invitation to explore those memories even further—and for giving me the confidence to tell my story. It was a valuable exercise that I will be sure to draw on as I write more life stories in the future.
MARIANNE DE KLEER
I created the Memory Journal Starter Kit for myself.
It became a sort of bible of memory triggers I could call on when I needed a route into telling a story, when I needed to extract the specific details from my experience, or when I needed to re-examine a defining story from my own life.
Now, I’ve rewritten and revamped that content into the Memory Journal Starter Kit—just for you. It’s the only form of time travel that really works—a memory jogging super-kit that you can come back to time and again, whenever you need take a trip back in time.
In it, you’ll learn:
- The easy art of time travel—strategies to improve your recall of events from decades ago.
- How digging into the details helps you paint a vivid picture and “show not tell”.
- Ways to use your own memories to bring your story to life and make your audience love you for you.
- Simple ways to access the memories and details that will turn your story from bland to brilliant.
- How to use a journal to collate your memories and create a reference tool you can use for years to come.
Before I began to excavate my own stories, my long-term memory was appalling.
My short-term memory? That was great. I didn’t need a diary to remember appointments or present day commitments. Faces, people, places, all good.
But I could recall very little of my childhood or teenage and early adult years. These are our defining years. The years for which we are supposed to have our most potent memories.
I was particularly bothered by my lack of memories that connected me to my peers.
Music, for example, is a cultural and generational touchstone—something that ages, unites and defines us as belonging to one generation, one tribe or another. So when you’re missing those shared memories and points of reference, you miss those connections.
And I didn’t have those memories.
When friends compared first albums purchased and classic episodes from Top of the Pops, I pulled at the fragile strands of my memory and came up with zero. I nodded and laughed along, but couldn’t contribute to the conversation. I stayed silent.
As a writer, I felt like a fraud. Writers are meant to have easy access to their own stories. To be able to drop “that reminds me …” stories into every conversation.
But as a content designer—working with museums and organisations to uncover and tell the stories that paint a picture of human life and history, I realised I had the tools to access my own stories and create my own memory journal.
I just had to repurpose and apply them to myself.
What's in the Starter Kit?
The Memory Journal Starter Kit is a 36-page PDF that takes you through the process of unlocking and recording your memories so you can reconnect and share your own story with the people you love.
Capture your memories. Find your voice and tell your story.
Why is the Starter Kit "Pay What You Can"?
This isn’t a flash sale. It isn’t a time-limited special offer.
Pay-what-you-can is—for the foreseeable future—the Starter Kit's official price tag.
When I started this business, I made the decision to make everything I create accessible to those who need it. The suggested cost is £19. But often, the people who need this work aren’t in a position to spend £19 on it. Sometimes, every penny counts—and I completely get that.
It’s important to me that as many people as possible are able to experience working on their own story in this way.
If £1 is all you can afford right now, that’s totally fine.
If you can afford more than £19, it all balances out in the end—it’s a win-win for us all!
Pay what you can – and enjoy the Kit.