Thursday, July 24, 2014

Series: How to Begin Recording Your Life Story Part 5, Summary and Bibliography

Welcome to the fifth and final blog post on How to Begin Recording Your Life Story by J.Q. Rose. Today I want to summarize the salient points in this presentation to remind you of how important your life story is. Your experiences should be shared whether they are light-hearted, serious, instructive, or just down-right delightful reading. Click on part to link you back to the complete blog post on that subject.

At the end of this post, I included a Bibliography of books I think that will help you and inspire you to write your story. Readers are writers and these examples are great reading. Please suggest a book on writing or a memoir to add to the list. I'm always looking for new books to share with friends and family, and especially life story writers!

A Summary of the How to Begin Recording Your Life Story Series

Part 1 What is memoir/life story, why record it, spark your memories
~A memoir or life story fleshes out your story revealing your memories, but also emotions
Don't try to tell it all from the very beginning. Write in vignettes or snapshots of your life. 
A memoir can be recorded by writing your life story or by telling your story using an audio file e.g. mP3 or video format.

~A memoir can be recorded by writing your life story or by telling your story using an audio file e.g. mP3 or video format.
Can you guess
what car sported these tail lights?
Image courtesy of Matt Banks
~Your memoir can comfort and assure someone else knowing how you faced and defeated problems in your life, demonstrated grace in situations, and found joy in living an ordinary life.
~Seeing your life through the lens of time, people’s actions, emotions, and words become more clear to you than when you actually lived the moments.
~You will preserve the family history as well as telling the “real” story of historical events and how they affected your ordinary life.
~You will discover revisiting your life is a lot of fun!
~To help you spark memories and track notes on stories you remember, make a Memory Bank.
~Spark your memory by using a time line, life stages, photos, and writing prompts.

Part 2 Opening up your memories and organizing your story
~Use free writing to open up your memories.
~After writing several stories, organize them using themes you will discover in those stories, arrange in chronological order, or relate your present life to past experiences.
Vintage Typewriter
Image courtesy of koratmember
~Always include the five w’s in your writing-- who, what, where, when, why, and how.
~Show, don’t tell your stories.
~Use the five senses and your feelings to add interest and to draw the reader into the scene..

Part 3 Editing and publishing
~After writing your story, go back and make it better by tightening up the story and checking for grammar and spelling errors.
~When writing a memoir/life story, the writer must tell the truth at all times. For if the truth is not told, what is the point in writing the story?
~If you decide to publish your memoir, I listed some places for you to submit. Find more by searching online or by visiting your library.

Part 4 Using writing, audio, and video to record your story 
~There’s more than one way to record your story. Writing, making a video, recording an audio file are all ways to tell your story. Choose one or try all of them to see what fits you.

Thanks so much for visiting. Has this series inspired you to begin recording your story? I hope you will take a few ideas with you so some day you will sit down to record your life to share with others.

I am always ready to help you get started. Email me with questions at jqrose02 at gmail dot com or leave a comment below.
# # # # 


Albert, Susan Wittig.  Writing from Life:  Telling Your Soul’s Story
Baldwin, Christina.  Life’s Companion:  Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
Corey, Judy. Storysharing:  A Bridge Between Generations
Daniel, Lois.  How to Write Your Own Life Story
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Heilbrun, Carolyn.  Writing a Woman’s Life
Strunk, William and E.B.White.  The Elements of Style
Zinsser, William.  Inventing the Truth:  the Art and Craft of Memoir

Sarton, May.  Journal of a Solitude

Baker, Russell. Growing Up
Bush, Barbara.  Barbara Bush:  A Memoir
Buck, Frank All in a Lifetime
Chaplin, Charles. My Autobiography
Dillard, Annie.  An American Childhood
Downing, Christine.  Journeying through Menopause
Frank, Anne.  The Diary of a Young Girl
Gilbert, Elizabeth. eat, pray, love
Goldberg, Natalie.  Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America
Gordon, Ruth. Myself Among Others
Grogan, John.  Marley and Me
Hayes, Helen. On Reflection
Keller, Helen. Story of My Life
King, Coretta Scott.  My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Marshall, Catherine. Beyond Ourselves
Moses, Anna Mary. Grandma Moses, My Life’s Story
Norris, Kathleen. Family Gathering
O’Reilly, Bill. A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity
Roosevelt, Eleanor. On My Own
TenBoom, Corey.  The Hiding Place
Weisel, Elie.  Night


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

This is so helpful. I always wondered how others did theirs, having noted that the bios weren't in chronological order. But that makes sense. It's not about starting at day one and moving forward from there.

Anonymous said...

Hi, J Q! Thanks for sharing all of these posts about recording one's life story. It has been helpful.

J.Q. Rose said...

Joylene, I have an author friend whose memoir is just one year in her life with the theme being the year she was 16 and lived in Samoa. Excellent story!! Using a theme is an interesting way to organize the stories into a book. Thanks for stopping by.

J.Q. Rose said...

Susanne, so happy to know the blog posts have been helpful. Now get to writing those stories! LOL..Thank you.

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