These days it seems we wall want to know where we came from; just look at all the genealogy and DNA sites that are available to test your DNA.
DNA testing can be costly although it is a good idea since certain ethnic groups tend to have certain health problems. Knowing where you came from with DNA can alert you to potential health risks. The price of genealogy sites can also be costly. They can also be time consuming and some can be unreliable.
Now I am not saying you shouldn’t use any of these but they do not tell the whole story. The best way for your future generations to know you is to write your own, including any medical history you may know.
How to get started
Remember this is your life the story of you and your ancestors. This is for your future generations so they know who you were and where they came from.
Consider putting your thoughts, things that made history, and health issues that come up as well as those you are aware of from past generations in the story.
What are good questions to get you started?
Here are 7 questions to get you started on your memoirs.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of and this does not have to mean winning the championship game. Maybe you helped your parents save your home somehow. Maybe you helped rebuild a school or park after it was damaged somehow. This is your story you do not have to have done great things like land on the moon it is about you how you felt, what experiences changed you etc.
- In what way do you want to be remembered? As a caring person who worked hard to support their family or a business focused person who had no time or patience for humanity or a scoundrel who was in trouble with the law?
- Who or what happened that influenced your life and the direction your life took and when did it happen? An example would be when I was 15, a girl I went to school with died in a car accident in the middle of the night because she was getting high with older kids and the drive ran off the road into a tree head on, no one was wearing a seatbelt. I always wear my seat belt and never drive under the influence of anything.
- What advice would you give others due to success and failures or mistakes you have had in your life?
- When and what were some of the best days of your life? Example the summer I was 16 and working at the local drug store to buy my first car. I met your mother then and I did buy that first car. Your mother and I had a wonderful time dating that summer, we went to the park on picnics, the movies, and in the fall we went to school dances.
- If you could have done or been anything in your life what would it be?
- What effect do you think you have had on the world and how do you think things would be different if you had never been born?
For even more tips on writing your life story you can find them here.
Six ways to tell a powerful story
Here are some tips for you to tell a powerful story:
- Focus – narrow your focus to one particular theme or time
- Include history and what others were doing at the time you are focused on. This is your story but it is always nice to have a reference of what time it was. Example the time you are focused on is the 60s then talk about what was happening the Vietnam war, the war protest, what type of clothes were worn and how that affected you.
- Tell the truth, the truth always is best and certainly is more powerful than embellishing the story. You are not writing a best seller you are writing the story of you for your kids so they know who you were and are.
- Put the reader in your shoes, show them not tell them. This means you need to be descriptive with things that were happening and what you were doing. Instead of just saying the dresses of the 60s were short say the dresses were very short barely covering our behinds, most of the time you didn’t dare to bend over without everyone seeing what color your nickers were.
- Elements of fiction. No do not make up events like I stopped the biggest bank robbery of the time, instead focus on a few key characters yourself being one of them and maybe the two or three friends you were hanging around with at the time. Show the reader details not just describe them. You want to pull them into the story and have them see and feel it through your words.
- Create an emotional journey. The journey of your life, the things you survived and changed your life forever.
Things to consider when writing your life story
Think of small sections things that are still sharp in your memory. You do not have to ransack the past to find something of importance to write about.
Follow the memories you have and only choose 2 or 3. When you begin writing these memories, be descriptive bring them to life. Not just the memory itself or you but the other people in the memory. The better you are at being descriptive the more the reader will be pulled in and understand your life as well as seeing things that are close to their own lives.
If you have thought of writing your memoirs or life story for your kids, start with the tips we have listed here for you.
Keep your focus narrow and write an outline or a time line to help you stick to your points.
You can help your kids and future generations understand the struggles of your time which will no doubt be similar to their own struggles.
About the author: Elaina Meiser is a graduate student and an enthusiastic blogger. She started blogging over five years ago as a hobby and now her writing experience includes articles at Resumes Expert. Elaina loves creative arts, different tips and tricks guides, excursion and backpacking trips. You can follow her on Twitter .