Recently, a prospective client shared four common concerns about life story writing. They are easily addressed with the services a personal historian provides. Here are the questions, along with my responses:
Where do I start? Let me guide you and put you at ease. Starting where your clearest memories begin is usually easiest. Just letting the story flow in conversation will enable you to feel progress. The beauty of speaking, recording and writing is that we can return to review, reorganize and revise later.
How will I stay organized? Again, my job! It is very difficult to think about your life as a story, because you are living it on so many levels at once—mental, emotional, logistical and physical. You will tell what is burning inside of you as important, and will jot notes between interviews of things you may want to discuss next time. The organization will fall into place as I begin writing.
What if there is too much to say? As we work together, we’ll discuss the priorities of your message: what is a “must” to tell—such as the story of your emotional and financial survival after the divorce—and what may be omitted without regret, such as your health issues and their many details. Again, telling more in the interviews is fine. We can always be selective in the final product.
How do I tell the sad or shocking truth? You will speak honestly from your own clear conscience and for the highest good of all concerned. Your perspective is the subject of the story, and saying what you believe is its purpose. If your goal while on earth is to promote healthy awareness, then we will find the words to communicate truth and allow you the peace of mind that it’s been shared.
Treat any fears as powerful messages that what you want to do is important! Beginning the process will diminish their strength and soon you will feel free. Finding your voice and telling your story will be worth the effort.