Memoir Writing: A process of discovery

Love is the Thing

There are many underpinnings that lend support to the structure of my story. Every room in the house that I have been building through my storytelling is filled with love.

The Gift of Play

By the time I reached my mid-30s and gave birth as a surrogate mother I had forgotten much of what I knew about play. Thank goodness my dreams persisted and helped me to understand how important play is to my well-being.


I need look no further than my dreams to understand that in my lifetime I will only touch the surface of what is possible. There is so much more to experience.


My journals are a testament to the fact that I love to write story and create, making something from nothing. I write morning pages, haiku, and respond to writing prompts to get me going. I write down words that I want to look up later, my dreams and what I notice about the setting, characters, and actions that visit me as I sleep or during my waking hours as daydreams or visualizations. My journals are also visual and contain just about everything in my life–paintings, drawings, lists, projects, calendar, planning, my intentions, what I do, what I am most passionate about in this moment and the next.

I write everyday in my journals or if for some reason I am not carrying my journal with me, I will find a napkin, torn off bit of paper, even my hand, a fallen leaf, or a stone has acted as a blank slate for my writing.

Because I’ve kept my journals over many years I can explore my past dreams and experiences through the threads of my writing. The patterns that I see are notes that have consistently helped me to understand my life experiences in greater depth. These patterns come with an attitude that my life experiences are not done with me and will continue to inform my life for as long as I care to pay attention.

Archetypal Forces

Without conscious awareness there are energies that can be dangerous.


My life experience and reflections have led me to an understanding that I am happiest when I accept what life offers from one moment to the next. When I am faced with things I would rather not do, when fears arise, when challenges emerge, I remember that I have the tools I need to play and create something new from the muck of life and from the wellsprings. Choosing ways to play in the everyday moments of my life continues to be transformational as I continue my daily practice.

Patterns Broken

I can and did break old patterns no longer needed. I continue to make adjustments. Each time there is a deepening and integration that takes place.

The One Thing

Each of us carry our thing into life circumstances. Whatever our family deal is climbs on for a ride and comes along. So for me, what I carry into all of my relationships is ‘I have to have a voice and freedom to play with all of it.’


Staying with what I know and am comfortable with is not always the best choice.

Are You Ready to Deepen your Life Experience?

Mary Alice Long, PhD is a play-based, depth-oriented coach, writer, and artist who practices and teaches the ‘Art of Playing in the Everyday’.

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