#SOL20 Day 14 “Driving”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.


What memories do you have about driving? When you start writing them down, where do they take you? Are they funny? Scary? Somewhere in between? Does this prompt transport you back to 16 the way it did for me?

17 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 14 “Driving”

  1. The Writing University podcast has one called Eleventh Hour Podcast dropped on yesterday about memoir that was really good – it made me think of you. It is episode 126.
    I listened to it twice yesterday!

  2. It is funny where memories will take you! I was struck by the longhand…it is a brave thing to show your unfiltered thoughts and writing, no editing or revision. Just the naked raw of your writing. Brave.

    1. It really changes the way I think and what I choose to put to paper when I write by hand. Wanted to slice that way for the month. I never thought of it as ‘naked raw’ – I like that!

  3. Learning to drive… well, that was quite a combination of tension and exhilaration. And the way our thoughts don’t just go where we thought we were headed when we start to write. Mine took a very big detour when I started thinking about my dad helping me learn to drive, and I recalled how he was the one who til me shopping for my first pair of “high heels.”

  4. I love that you’re photographing your handwriting and posting that… never thought of that! Each day I write in my notebook, then type it. Love the way you bring this small moment story to life. And we have so much in common! I, too, learned partly how to drive on long gravel roads with my grandmother. I also learned how to maneuver a vehicle in my high school parking lot. And my grandparents also owned at LTD! Thanks for the trip back through time!

    1. It is just those details (who taught you, what you learned in, where you went) that can be so insightful about that point in time in our lives: revealing the people, places, and things that were central to our lives.

  5. Paula, I also like how you move from notebook to screenshot to blog.There is fluidity in your writing as it engages the reader. My first driving experiences were with my uncle’s car. I, like your sister, made a big bloop. Woe is me!

  6. I ordered this book when you talked about it during the TeachWrite workshop….and I’m thinking this might be a good time to start experimenting with some of the prompts now that I have some unexpected time off. I love the image of you and your siblings spying from the window!

  7. I am so enjoying these prompts and your responses that I have decided to order this book (even though I haven’t finished using all the prompts *your* book from last year). Your memories have, again, sparked my memories: I learned to drive in an extended econoline van. It was… an experience. Oh, man – I’m grinning just thinking about it.

  8. This made me chuckle today! I’m going to have to think about learning to drive…because right now it is escaping me!

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