The book is An Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg.
This book has writing prompts and exercises to help you think about memory and writing.
Normally I write children's stories but I'm trying to stretch myself in other areas.
I love reading memoirs but whenever I think of writing my own memoir I immediately brush aside the idea because 1) I've never written for Spin or been a contributor on NPR. 2) I am not famous and I'm not connected with anyone famous.
I occasionally title my memoirs.
I wrote a story for Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul that is being released this summer. When I read magazines with personal essays in them it occurs to me that I could do that. So I use my journal for this practice of memoir type writing.
This book has helped my writing practice. I look forward to working on the writing exercises. Writing about a memory of swimming or the end of something. The exercises usually say to write for ten minutes but I seem to lose track of time and I realize I've written for twenty minutes.
I've even been finding time to write on the weekends. I usually consider myself too busy to write on the weekends and I don't even try it but maybe it is because the book gives me permission to write for ten minutes. It doesn't ask for a word or page count. Just ten minutes. Surely I can devote ten minutes on a Saturday to writing about my beloved childhood pet.
If this book isn't on your writer bookshelf I recommend it.