I noticed that March 14th is National Write Your Own Story Day, and it made me think of the report my father wrote to his three children about his service during WWII. My mother encouraged him to write it, and I am so glad she did because even though I knew he was in the Coast and Geodetic Survey and had some medals from his service, I didn’t know what he did except survey the coastlines of the US. I treasure that story from my father so very much, and I will make sure that his story is shared with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Before the day of instant information, our elders passed on culture, skills and knowledge to the younger generations. They were the esteemed and respected storytellers of the family and a valuable link between generations. The truth is, that as the elders of our families, we have something so valuable to give our kids – our stories.
There is a very informative article on the Psychology Today website that offers tips for starting a “life review project” for you or your family. It says that writing one’s life story can be very powerful, and the process of writing is “equally as important as the final product. Writing one’s story can serve to wrap up loose ends, pass on important lessons and capture a unique time in history.”
8 Tips for Writing Your Life Story
So, how does one get started? This article has some suggestions to help you begin the process. You can record your thoughts with pen and paper, computer, video or audio recorder or even through artwork. You can do it alone or discuss events and meaningful times in your life with friends and family. The most important thing to remember is that you are the recorder, so use whatever methods work for you!
There is also a suggestion to write about each decade as a chapter or maybe each location in your life as a chapter. The point is that by breaking it down into manageable chunks, you can concentrate on a smaller unit before moving on to the next chapter.
Be sure to take the time to tell the stories that are important to you. You might also want to reflect on the “spirit of the time” such as the economy, politics, culture and historical events. You can talk about “lessons learned”, reflections and gratitude for experiences and the people in your life.
Be sure to share your story in a way that is best for you whether that is by talking about it or making a copy for your family. They will be so grateful!
Most importantly, when you have finished writing your story, please know that you story does not end! Imagine the next chapter – your greatest chapter yet!
To read the full article, click here.
– Becky Lynn is a writer for EllisDownHome.com. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!