November 15 is I Love to Write Day and November is National Life Writing Month.
How do you celebrate I Love to Write Day? By writing, of course. It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter how much you write. Writing today is intended to be fun—to do something you love. If you’ve wanted to write but delayed getting started or if you used to write and have let it fall by the wayside, today can give you a jump start on getting started or starting again.
Write a letter, a blog post, or an article. Write a prayer or meditation, the beginning of a book, or a poem.
Or, since this is National Life Writing Month, you might start your memoir or family history. I have a free ebook that can help with that: Preserving Memories: How to Write a Family History. Although the title says “family history,” the information is just as helpful for writing memoirs.
I believe everyone should leave a legacy of his or her life. My mother hand wrote what she called her “little stories,” just random recollections from her life. They were in no particular order, written as they occurred to her over a period of several years. I typed them up, cleaning up grammatical errors, but maintaining her voice, and added photos. These “little stories” were compiled in loose-leaf binders for family members, and new stories were added each Christmas.
My mother-in-law dictated her life story from beginning to as far as she wanted to tell into a tape recorder. I transcribed her dictated words and created notebooks for family members as I did for my mother.
My husband didn’t write his own story, so I did it for him. After he died, I compiled anecdotes from I collected from family members and friends along with favorite stories that he often told about his life. I added some stories of my own, mostly from previous blog posts, and published Jack Stories: Favorite Memories of Jack Jordan Ammann Jr. It is for sale online, but I accomplished my purpose when I held a memorial eightieth birthday celebration for him and gave away signed copies of the book to friends and family. Jack was such a colorful character than even people who didn’t know him enjoy his stories, but I wrote it for his loved ones.
I’ve told my own story on this blog as well as in books. My first novel, Stroke of Luck, was fiction, but the main character experienced a stroke and recovery based on my own experience. The stories in my devotional book, Finding God in the Everyday, are stories of my life and faith.
I have clients who have written family history as fiction and one who created a cookbook of recipes from family members with short snippets about the person or the memories associated with the food.
You can write your story for loved ones only or publish a book to share your story with the world. You can tell your story in a memoir, family history, fact-based novel, cookbook, or collection of memories. Your story can be short or long, simple or elaborate, happy or sad (most likely, some of each). But it’s your story, and I encourage you to share it.