If you, like Santa, are making a list and checking it twice, here’s a gift idea for adult relatives: stick a copy of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing in their stocking.
This gift is a way of urging them to record their stories for you and the future. While you’re at it, order a copy for yourself. While you may not be able to crank out the story of your entire life in the next six weeks, you can begin now with a single story or two. If you write two pages a week, you’ll have six hundred pages in two years.
Amazon has dozens of books explaining how to write lifestories, and all have merit. In fact, I encourage anyone who is serious about writing lifestory, autobiography or memoir to read several. I also encourage them to begin with mine, which is the most comprehensive I’ve found.
In addition to the usual guidelines for writing stories, here’s a list of features that set The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing apart:
- Start-to-finish instructions on planning writing projects, whether you want to write a simple story about a single incident or a complete history of your life.
- Guidelines for finding your personal writing style, whether you are a spontaneous binge writer, or someone who likes an orderly, little-bit-at-a-time process.
- Simple explanations of elements that bring stories to life like description, strong beginnings and endings, including personal reflection, and more.
- Concise overview of grammar and punctuation. Everything the average writer needs is covered in a one place.
- Layout guidelines with step-by-step instructions for using your computer to prepare attractive printed pages.
- Self-publishing overview explains the basics of preparing finished volumes of stories or memoir for uploading to free Print-on-Demand (POD) publishing sites like Amazon’s CreateSpace.
- Extensive list of writing prompts to trigger memories about any stage of life.
Please understand: this book is not intended to be read cover-to-cover, non-stop. It’s a user manual for the writing process. Read some, then write. Then read more. Repeat until your project is finished. Then read again and start another volume. It’s addictive!
Write now: click here and enter ordering information for several copies of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing! Then write notes for each recipient explaining that you’ll never be able to remember or tell their stories the way they do, and you hope they’ll write them down as a legacy of family history. Explain that it’s okay if they write these stories as a series of letters. The book will show them how to get started.