In writing these and future posts about how to share your story, I’m making some assumptions which I’m listing here, because it’s good to make assumptions known:
- You’re writing for a reader, in other words, you want to deliver not a droning reminiscence, but a story which will interest a reader;
- You want to finish this project–therefore I’m going to show you how to write and publish a short book or booklet, not an encyclopedia. After you finish the first one and guide it into the hands of readers, can write another one. Don’t make the project too big, or you’ll never finish it (mostly because you probably won’t start it);
- You’re humbly realistic. You don’t believe writing and publishing your story will make you famous.
To get started, all you need is the willingness to simply and truthfully pass on your experience and wisdom, to the people who will naturally be interested.
Who are those interested people? If you build your memories into readable stories, your family and your friends will be interested. Let’s assume you’re a person who has shown kindness to, and respect for, the people in your life. Let’s assume they love you. They’ll like your stories for two reasons:
- everyone likes a story;
- these people love you–they want more of you.
And anyone who has a historical, geographical, professional or hobbyist’s interest in the times, places, and topics of your experience, will also likely be interested in your story. Foodies and cooks like to read about food; knitters like to read about sheep and wool; coin collectors like to read about others who share their passion; historians like to read about the 1950’s (or whatever era you lived in); people who have lived in Wisconsin like to read stories set in Wisconsin (lots of people have lived where you’ve lived, at the time you’ve lived). So, you’re interesting enough.
To help you along with your project, I will be addressing, in my future blogs:
- honest-to-goodness motivation and inspiration, which should get you going;
- the craft of story-making, which will keep you working on your book;
- the truth about printing/publishing, which will get your writing into the hands of readers.
And I’m not asking you to pay me because
- I’m not sharing anything that isn’t readily available at your public library and I’d feel like a heel selling that information; because
- I believe in the democratic ideal that common information should be free and accessible for everyone; and
- I also believe that if we’ve been given help, we ought to pass it along; and
- you’re still going to have to supply the effort, and apply what you’ve learned, so I’m not giving you very much at all.
I’ll remind you why it’s important that you share/write your story. I’ll supply some ideas and prompts that generate memories and words. I’ll share techniques (think of them as design plans) that will enable you to build a story.
If I do this, I’m hoping you will invest the time and effort into writing your story. I’m sure it’s all worth it. The first exercise is coming on January 1st, of course, because it’s a great day to start something new. And now is a great time to make the resolution to share your story in 2013.
Will you do it? And I’m curious–which era of your life do you think would be the most interesting or fun to write about?