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In the previous chapter, we have talked about writing from experience, paying attention to the world around and relying on the concrete, specific images you see, hear, feel, smell, or taste. I said at the outset that you might find this limiting if you feel you can only write about your campus, and though you can extend your world by going off campus, you may not be able to travel far enough, especially during the term. One place to go for inspiration, especially if you can’t travel far, is to the past. We begin our discussion of this in the most accessible place: your own memory. Consider for a moment your earliest childhood memories. What was your first house like? It may be the only house your family ever lived in, or you may have moved around. Still, the house as it was when you were four or five is likely very different from the house you live in today. As you think about the sofa you had in the living room (or was it a couch in a family room?) or the bedspread you lay across to read books from the library, you likely have a strong emotional response. There may be other things you remember that affect you more than these examples.
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