The Written Word Is A Special Legacy – Write Your Memoir & Tell Your Life Story
The written word is a special legacy. Captured in tangible form, a life story becomes a permanent, priceless memento of your family's heritage. It is a document that honors all your loved ones-both the storyteller and the story readers for generations to come.
A life story can be anything describing a period in your life. It can cover a space of time, as short as the few minutes it took to rope your first steer or it can describe your life in chronological order. It can also be a compilation of anecdotes, stories, experiences, journal entries, or captions on photo shoots.
A life story is an ongoing process that continues beyond your lifetime. When someone reads or glances at the written legacy in words, the writer comes to life again in their memory. Your words can warm, inspire, instruct or encourage the reader as he thinks of you and your experiences.
Many people have been prompted, both by their own spirit and the voices of others, to record high lights of their life. The spirit and body are willing and eager, but the mind is unsure of how, where, and when to begin.
In the next episodes of this ongoing series, I will assist you to capture your life story and write your memoir. So stay tuned and join us as we travel this exciting journey together. You will always be grateful you came along for the ride!
The most important step in compiling memoirs is that you do something NOW. Write down the story, joke, recipe, instructions or anecdotes that you have been meaning to for so long. Find the photos stuffed in drawers and boxes in the attic. Write who is who and where is where on the back. Then begin to tell the story of the people in the photo.
Most people can remember two generations back. Perhaps you lived close to your grandparents and heard them tell stories of their parents. This lesson in Ancestry is one that needs to be captured. Most young people today live in different parts of the country or world than their grandparents and so have not had the opportunity to learn from their elders.
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." Do not let those stories die with you. You have an obligation to share the history of who and what you are, so those who follow can more easily see where they fit into the family tree. While 23&me or Ancestory.com may give some information on where the ancestors came from, it does not tell the who and why of the story.
There is no right or wrong in this. There is no such thing as too little or too much. There is no good writing or bad writing. None of your experiences are "not important enough". What ever you choose to share will be treasured by those who read or listen or watch while you impart the wisdom gained from a life well lived.
WRITING PROMPTS AND MEMORY JOGGERS
1. Where did you grow up?
2. What relatives lived close to you?
3. Did you have holiday dinners with them?
4. What were some of your favorite foods?
5. Who was your favorite relative as a child, why?
6. Do you remember stories about your great grandparents?
7. What character traits, talents or shortcomings do you think you inherited from a relative?
8. Can you describe the neighborhood where you spent your childhood?
9. What was your house like? Describe the floor plan, the colors, the outbuildings or even the favorite "safe" place of your childhood. Why was it considered "safe"?
Don't worry about writing complete thoughts or sentences. Just jot down memories that flood into your head and heart. You can always flush out the writing as we go along.
(c) Judy Helm Wright–Author/Historian/IntuitiveWiseWoman