Presented by Judy Helm Wright-Founding Member Association of Personal Historians & Montana StoryKeepers,
Not only is all of this possible, I’ve created the solution to help get you there 10x faster.
Your story is like a strand of pearls… you have endless possibilities. In this module, you will gain ideas about what your focus will be for writing your story.
As you reflect on your story, you will come to recognize the different crossroads through each phase of your life. In this module, you will focus on the physical, emotional, familial and social history of the time.
Sharing your story makes it more real, more substantial, and creates an opportunity for teachable moments. In this module, you are going to establish the who, what, where, when, how, and why.
If a lifestory merely recites names, dates, and facts verifiable in the written record, it loses the vitality and interest to the reader.
We want to know not only the how and who, but the why of the story. This is your story.
Share from your perspective, even about the skeletons in the closet!
Your readers want the stories and life lessons.
Most people can remember at least two generations back, either through personal experience or family stories. Reflect on those who have had an impact on your life. Who else has helped shape your character and determine your destiny?
Some people like to write their memories down, others like to record them on their phone or tape recorder.
There is no need for you to be intimidated, this is a great adventure and lots of fun.
Don’t worry whether your writing is interesting enough.
“I am probably the youngest person to ever take your class. When I was twelve my home burned to the ground and I want to be able to write about all the things I remember from that home. It is a way to build a written snapshot of what we lost.” – Amy G.
“The exercise you had us do of drawing our “safe place” growing up was wonderful. I realized that when my brother and I had our homes built thousands of miles apart, we both incorporated the style and architectural features of our grandmother’s home. We both spent many hours and days there when our own home life was chaotic and unsafe.” – Marge, a participant from a cancer center
“My therapist suggested I attend this class. I admit that writing down my story was very therapeutic. You were right, I can look at bad things that happened to me and reframe them in a way that tells me what I learned from having gone through them and survived.” – Matt, a Veteran with PTSD
For those of you who are on the fence, have been burned in the past or just dont really know me all that well yet, I want to give you every opportunity to put your life story into action and experience how easy it can be to create a memoir that will leave a lasting legacy. Fondly, Judy Helm Wright–Author/Historian/IntuitiveWiseWoman
Each of us has a story to tell-The story of some meaningful part of our life. The experiences, lessons, trials and triumphs we have encountered can enrich the lives of those we love and many who will never know us personally.
These additions to the narrative greatly enhance he readability, enjoyment, and value of the project. However, they also greatly enhance the time needed to do layout, scanning, sizing, etc. that will be reflected in the cost of the finished project. One method of saving money is to group all the photos in the center of the book.
It is best to think of life as a long strand of pearls or beads with each year or significant event as one pearl. You do not want to talk about every little thing that happens. It would not hold the interest of the reader and you would never finish! Pick out a small section (think of a bracelet or ring) and concentrate on that subject. You can still interject other facts and interesting tidbits but your focus will be one area of your life. For instance, you could choose your experiences during COVID, or your career, or your spirituality, or an overall defining moment in your life.
Dr. Phil MacGraw tells us that in each life are ten defining moments and seven critical choices. Only you will know when in what circumstances the defining moments of your life occurred. I encourage you to really spend some time thinking through the various stages of your life you have lived so far. The stories you are about to tell are important because they have had consequences in your life. Unlike defining moments, which may have been out of your control, the choices you made and continue to make are your responsibility. A choice my husband made was to join the military. Did he regret that choice or enjoy that life? Only he can be the one to tell his story.
Can you speak into a phone? On an IPhone there is a function called “record”. Just talk your stories and then send the MP3 to a place called www.Fivver.com where there are people who will transcribe your voice into words on a page. Then you can go through and decide what is important and what needs more description and which direction you want to take your story. They also have people who will layout, format, and do all sorts of things for you, starting at five dollars.
People’s feelings change and it may be easier now to talk about subjects that may have been taboo in an earlier time. Even though it may be nothing out of ordinary for a family member to have declared a gay relationship, do you have the right to pull them out of the closet? Writing a life story or memoir means dealing with the discomfort that past episodes and people may bring. Because this task requires us to face our own embarrassment and even the censure of the family, we need to be very thoughtful about sharing the private lives of others.
Now. Today. Time is precious. The Pandemic has been a brutal reminder of how quickly we can lose those we love and honor. There is an old African saying “Every time an elder dies without sharing his/her stories, it is as if a library has burned down..” Please, do not let your stories die deep inside you. There are those waiting to hear your message and wisdom. Now is the time and space to capture those memories. This will be a document that honors all your loved ones…both the story teller and the story readers for generations to come.
© 2023 Judy Helm Wright–Author/Historian/IntuitiveWiseWoman @ ArtichokePress.com