Reflecting on moments and memories

ABOUT THIS PROMPT: This page compiles together a variety of prompts I’ve used in previous classes, most of which fall under the category of “moments” or “memories.”Many of the sample student projects from my Storytelling Through New Media class were inspired by these prompts.


Pick one of the prompts below and brainstorm a response in your private journal. Use whatever approach to brainstorming works best for you: free writing, making lists, sketching ideas, etc.


In our lives, there are moments, decisive moments, when the direction of our lives was pointed in a given direction, and because of the events of this moment, we are going in another direction. Poet Robert Frost shared this concept simply as The Road Not Taken. The date of a major achievement, the time there was a particularly bad setback, meeting a special person, the birth of a child, the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one are all examples of these fork-in-the-road experiences.

Right now, at this second, write about a decisive moment in your life.

— Joe Lambert, Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community

A DECISION: A small decision that turned out to make a big impact in some area of your life.
What led up to the decision? What made you choose the option you did? How has that decision made a big impact in your life?

AN EPIPHANY: A moment when you had an epiphany (a sudden understanding of something previously murky to you).
What led up to the epiphany? What did you finally understand? How has that understanding influenced you?

A FRUSTRATION: A time in your life that you felt really frustrated about something (a relationship, an activity, etc.).
What led up to that frustration? How did the frustration impact you and those around you? How did you resolve it?

More Moment Prompts

  • A time when things in your life were not going so well and you felt really scared.
  • A time in your life when things worked out much differently than you expected.
  • A moment in time when you knew you would never be the same again.
  • A choice you made in the past that set you on the path to who you are now
  • A moment in your past you wish you had the chance to do over, in light of what you know now
  • A lesson you learned the hard way
  • A moment when you felt different from everyone around you
  • A turning point moment when your beliefs about some aspect of your identity started to change


OBJECT: An object in your living space that has personal significance to you.

Why is the object significant? What does it reveal about who you are and the story of your life thus far?

OBSTACLE: An obstacle you’ve overcome on your path towards a goal.

What led up to the obstacle? How did it interfere with your goal? How did you overcome the obstacle?

FIRSTS: A first love, first day on a job, first time trying something really difficult, the first time you read a favorite book, heard a favorite song, saw a favorite movie, etc.

What did you feel going into your “first,” and did the experience meet your expectations? What did you learn from the experience?


For more prompts that fit into the moments and memories cateogry, take a look at these memoir prompts from the daily writing challenge blog as well as this collection of prompts from the Center for Digital Storytelling.


Look through the moments and memories you came up with and take a moment to journal about: Which might work better for a story conveyed primarily through words? Which might work better for a story conveyed on the screen, using cinematic strategies? Would any of them be well-suited to the graphic memoir format?

Source: Digital Writing 101


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