A Foolproof Exercise

Apr 7, 2010 | 3 comments

Medora’s Olympia House Plan – 1912

My all-time favorite writing prompt goes like this:

  1.  Draw the floor plan of the first house you lived in that you can clearly remember.
  2. Choose a “favorite” room and sketch in the furniture and other important features.
  3. Write about a memory associated with that room.

In my experience this exercise works with writers of all ages – from first grade students who still need to dictate their ideas, to senior citizens taking writing workshops in an effort to get beyond “writer’s block.”  What’s more, it‘s a prompt with endless variations:  tell about someone you associate with the room; tell about your least favorite room and why you feel that way about it; compare that early house with places you’ve lived since; and on and on.

Try it!  If nothing else, you may find yourself on the way to writing your memoirs.


  1. Jim Sayce

    Pretty interesting, I can remember our OP house on Ridge and Monroe like it was yesterday (and that was 50 years ago).

  2. Sydney Stevens

    Well — you know what they say. As short-term memory goes, long-term memory kicks in! 🙂

  3. Jim Sayce

    Uh oh, that’s means we’re all getting younger..so to speak..


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