Author Warren Adler attributes memory to be the key to novel writing. Many writers depend on their memory to help spark ideas, describe scenes, and add a sense of reality to their fictional writing. Especially as an author ages, memory becomes even more important. When a key component to your life’s work starts to slip, it’s a devastating reality you won’t be able to erase.
To combat the looming memory loss and to keep his memory active, Adler talks about his daily exercises in a post on The Huffington Post book blog. Most of his memory exercises take place in the morning. Before he even gets out of bed, Adler practices his recall. He tries to recall every detail he can remember, starting with his earliest memory. He remembers his earliest sights and feelings as a baby. He recalls close family relatives, such as grandparents who have long passed away. He remembers what they looked like, what they wore, their mannerisms, and their persona. Adler recalls their addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. He also vividly remembers their houses, all the small details- the smell, the sounds, the décor, even the layout to the rooms and furniture. He does the same for past girlfriends, old friends, and even recalls every teacher he ever had. Adler simply relives his life every morning with just his memory- sharpening it by the day.
Adler points out that this is an exercise that works for him, though not scientifically proven. It’s an interesting method and at any age, one worth trying. As Adler mentions in his post, the brain controls everything. We must exercise it as much as possible, especially when our work depends on it. Write on.