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Many of us feel overwhelmed by the prospect of telling our stories never mind authoring a memoir. One. More. Thing. To do. And, "How do I even get started?”
Companies exist that will send you daily and weekly prompts to help; some will even call you. You answer a question at a time until you get to some state of "done." This is a solid, time-tested strategy for any of life’s larger tasks, breaking it down into something smaller.
Those question-by-question approaches are not for everyone. You may feel pestered as well as stressed if you “get behind.” And not all of us are great with open-ended questions that lack true personalization.
Another option is to work with a professional writer. No, not someone you meet for 30 or 60 minutes and with their notes they write or record your life story. Really? That’s a neat trick. If only life were so simple.
We’re talking about the professionals like with LifeBook Memoirs, whose work is a true art, a physical family heirloom, and a gift. The level of care, privacy, and personalization to your needs, coupled with the product they print makes anyone a believer in the power of a memoir.
But what if you want are not yet ready to plunge into the time and cost of a memoir and still want to privately make progress on your own? That's what we're talking about here today.
The Artifcts Approach to Writing Your Story, Your Memoir
I’ve been telling my story through travel mementos, collections, books, photos and more, slowly but surely through my Artifcts. No outline. No grand scheme. As I come across or receive something that inspires me, I Artifct it.
I'll use one of my most recent Artifcts as a simple example. I took my 13-year-old daughter to see the Broadway show Six. She loves choir and drama, and yet she couldn’t have been less excited in the days leading up to the show. I stayed quiet (which if you know me is quite a feat) and waited. The lights dimmed, the six wives and the all-female band took the stage. And ... magic!
My daughter was enthralled, smiling, and shooting looks at me that said, “Wow!” After the show she told me it was even better than Hamilton. Never could I ever have imagined anything would outshine Hamilton in her eyes.
When we got home, I Artifcted the physical playbill, the digital one with the six wives’ signatures, and a pic of my daughter at the theatre. Why? I’m not going to keep that playbill, but I am going to keep the memory of that day for always, for her, for me.
The Best of Social Media, Meets the Best of Artifcts
I always tell people that when we built Artifcts, all the social media giants were on Capitol Hill defending themselves and their policies. We had the opportunity to build something better. So, I’ve been privately Artifcting the big little moments in my life through the objects I collect without the pressure of view counts and follows.
Then one day about two years into Artifcts, a genealogist challenged me to show how Artifcts could easily help someone to tell their life story. Apparently this is the holy grail of the genealogy world. I eagerly accepted that challenge and gave myself 10 minutes to complete it.
How? Like Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I began at the beginning, using the Artifcts I had already created to tell my story in full color (and with audio, video, and supporting documentation, too).
- Created a new Artifct
- Titled it. I was literal, “My Life Story.”
- Picked a category. I used “Life Moments: Other Life Moments.”
- Filled in the story. Within the 10 minutes, I wrote an 1,100-word story that included approximately 40 Artifcts via @ mentions and wove in each of my family members, key friends and other loved ones with @ mentions, too, giving them instant ‘View’ access to my story.
- Added documentation. Totally optional, but in this case I chose to privately attach my birth and marriage certificates.
- Tagged it. #LifeStory and #Genealogy made sense to me for single-click sorting to see other Artifcts with the same tags in the future.
Imagine the surprise of the genealogist who challenged me when I privately shared the Artifct with her and it was not just a story, but a multi-media surprise of layered stories about myself, my loved ones, the places of been, and the experiences I have accumulated, aka life!
How Will You Write and Share Your Life Story?
Artifcts is a gift. The reality is that if I were no longer here tomorrow, my family would know me and remember me with support from my Artifcts. No life story required.
The life story Artifct I created is simple to create and a powerful, one-stop opportunity to hear the story from my perspective. And, best yet I can go in and edit and add to it any time I want. My story is not done. My perspective may yet shift, even on the way I see the past changes. And, who knows, one day my Artifcts may be the perfect fodder for LifeBook Memoirs to help me write my memoir.
No matter how you choose to tell your stories, we beg you:
- Create a digital backup. And make sure your loved ones know your story exists and how to get to it and ALL the supporting materials (photos, documents etc.) that went into it.
- Do not let perfection or some idea that your stories don’t matter stand in your way. There’s no one “youer” than you!
We promise you it’s the big little details in life that everyone loves you for and wants to remember you for, too.
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