Minimum length: a paragraph
Write down at least twenty highlights of your life (forty – eighty would be better). Create categories or headings under which to cluster them. From this list choose the ten most crucial events, relationships, and decisions—this is your extended life list. Include this as an attached page to the following writing:
From this list, select the one that interests you the most and write about a family or personal memory that it calls to mind. Watch out for the internal censor—that instinct we all have to put our best foot forward. It makes us avoid those aspects of ourselves that are less flattering but sometimes the most interesting to others. You don’t have to air the dirty laundry before the class, but don’t hesitate to take some risks with your writing. Look at your life as objectively as possible—you just might find you are much more interesting than you ever thought you were!