A few years ago, I started the tradition of a memory jar as a way to capture the positive things that happen from day to day that have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle. It was an idea I first saw on a blog about happiness and thought sounded interesting.
The idea is simple. All it takes is a jar (I re-purposed an old mason jar), some slips of paper (I have a pad of mini-colored Post-Its that I use), and a pen. When something positive happens, you write it on a slip of paper and drop it in the jar.
By the time the end of the year rolls around, you have a jar full of memories that you can pull out and enjoy all over again. It is a nice way to remind yourself of the happy little moments that can be so easily forgotten when life’s not-so-happy moments occur.
I have a memory jar that is specifically for my current book. The writing process can often be frustrating, a kind of two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of dance. It’s easy to be disappointed by lack of progress or the need to cut a favorite scene after hours of work, so having a jar full of positive little memories can help balance things out a bit.
Saturday, I got a wonderful new memory to add to the jar. It was a call from the Northwest Houston RWA coordinator for the Lone Star Writing Competition telling me that I was a finalist in the historical category of this year’s contest. Definitely a memory to keep. Months from now, when I pull out the slips of paper and read through them, I’ll be reminded all over again of just how nice it was to get that call.
I added a few more slips to the jar after reading the comments from my first-round judges. This was my favorite:
“Brilliant opening! My attention was caught right from the start. Crisp, clean writing, lovely touch of humor.”
Just the kind of pick-me-up for those days when I’m wondering if I’ll ever finish this book or why I thought I could actually write.
So, do you have a special way of capturing your own happy memories?