Friday, October 21, 2011

If not you, who? Write your story now

While this generation is busy text messaging in techno speak to family and mostly friends, there are other stories to be told, stories begging to be captured.  Who is telling your story?  Who really knows your story?  No one but you.  Where can you begin?

When actress, Liv Ullman, wrote her memoir, Changes she didn’t write a chronological history, rather she chose events, or those moments of realization significant in her life journey.  This might be the least complicated way to write your own story.

The first step might be to get good equipment:  a smooth writing pen that glides across the page and a fresh notebook or journal.  Or if you prefer, use your computer.  Then choose a time of day when you are least likely to have interruptions. You might want to set a time limit, but no need to stay with it if you get on a roll.

Besides expressing your feelings about things that happen there are practical reasons for keeping a journal.  For example: when did you last see your Aunt Mary? Or what could you have possibly said at the bridal shower that upset off the mother of the bride?  There it is in black and white, in your journal.

The good thing about journaling is that you don’t need to worry about spelling or grammar as your write.  Just write whatever comes up.  It is probably better not to critique your thoughts.  No one else will read them.  Of course make sure to secure your journal in a safe place since it’s for your eyes only…for now.

Include the Times

As you write your journal include stories of your family and the times you are living in should they come to mind.  Somewhere down the road there will be someone who will wonder about things that took place in the 20th and 21st centuries.  For instance, if you lived through WWII you might remember the victory gardens in your neighborhood or the air raid warnings, or the food rationing books, or life before PCs.  Today, you are living in a time in history of momentous happenings that call for your opinion or reaction.  Presidential elections, wars, recession to name some.  How are you and your family affected ?  All this is part of your valuable life experience.     

Be creative.  Draw pictures, collages whatever comes to mind.  Your journal is yours, so have fun with it.  It might be helpful to think about family members and friends whose  stories you would have loved to have known from their point of view. If only they had written it down! Your journaling can prove to be a wonderful gift to those who someday will wish to read your story, in your words.


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