#Define your Dash

3 Tips to Writing Life Stories

January 25, 2017

Our minds are wired for stories.

Write what should not be forgotten.

This time you are really going to do it!
No more excuses.  
Yay for you! 


1.  When are you going to write?  Yes, there needs to be a plan even if it's just jotting down on a piece of paper a memory or event you want to write about later.  I used a calendar once with just a few words to jog my memory when I had more time to sit down.  Don't wait longer than a week, though. This is your project and you know what works best for you . . . daily or weekly?  Sunday just might be a perfect time.

2.  What tool will you use?  Are you going to write on paper, create a computer document, or use an online journal?  I've done all three.

Paper and pen:  
+ There is something so intimate and nostalgic about reading a handwritten entry giving another clue to the writer's personality.  Of course, your penmanship should be legible - a soon-to-be lost art.
- There's no going back and editing what you wrote.

Computer document: 
+ Life gets messy sometimes and it's great to be able to make changes, to add or delete.  It's easy to print pages for a hard copy.  After all if you are spending precious time to write, you want it to last.  Consider also putting it on a flashdrive.
- No personal handwriting.  Suggestion:  you can compose a "preface" to your life stories so readers can have a sample of your penmanship.   

Suggestion:  On a computer create a folder "Life Stories".  Within the folder set up individual documents, such as:
  • Personal (a general snapshot of who you are)
  • Family (memories of family and loved ones)
  • Growing Up (when you thought you knew it all)
  • Relationships (memories of marriage and spouse)
  • Parenthood (the scariest hood you'll ever go through)
  • Spiritual (faith, testimony and service)
  • Education (school experiences and higher learning)
  • The World Around Me (important events and discoveries)
  • Accomplishments (proud moments and achievements)
  • Challenges (coping with hardship and adversity)
Include the question and then your story.  It's an easy way to organize your writing prompts - just decide which category fits it best.  The entries can be added in a chronological order or not.  This also makes it possible to take the next step - down the road (for the ambitious soul) - to compile the stories for a book.  Imagine that! 

< Sign up for weekly writing prompts >

Online Journal:  I use Penzu.  Private, secure, and customizable.  With the app you can write from anywhere and create several different kinds of journals.  Give it a whirl!

3. Who are you writing for?  
  • Is it for your eyes only?  Choose the online journal that has the option of locked entries.
  • Is it for therapy?  Consider a notebook.  Write your heart out - get all the nastiness out on paper in great detail . . . then destroy it and never look back.
  • Is it for yourself and maybe your future family?  Write honestly, but tactfully, realizing that time can change people and perspectives.  My journals can be opened to any page, read by anyone without embarrassment. 

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in the retrospect."  ~ Anais Nin

Congratulations on being a writer!  Like anything - the more you do it, the better you become. 

Thanks for stopping by!  We enjoy good company.  


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