Seniors have a rich story to tell. They’ve played so many roles throughout the course of their lives. If they don’t find a way to tell that story, it’s history that may be lost forever. That history can have important implications for family, and the community at large.
November is National Life Writing Month. It’s a time where we can remind and encourage our seniors to write down this history, and share it with the loved ones who surround them. November is a time where we can get out the notebooks, put on some creative, recharging music, and encourage our older population to share their story as it’s unfolded to this point.
The stories, memories, traditions, significant events and anything else that can be remembered may be of benefit to adult children, grandchildren, and future generations. Writing your story can feel daunting. But if the task is approached in manageable chunks, it can be doable and rewarding.
Below are a few tips on how to approach National Life Writing Month for seniors who choose to share their stories.
- Go through old photographs, videos, or journals. Find previous documentation of the story to help recharge your memory and construct a narrative.
- If writing isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry about things like spelling and grammar. What matters most in a first draft is that the idea sees the light of day.
- If it helps, you can outline your story. Determine whether you want to tell it chronologically, or through any other means.
- It doesn’t have to be an isolating act. Do some research and find out if there is a local writer’s group that can provide encouragement for the task.
- Don’t think too hard. Just let your memories of the events unfold and write them down in the same type of language you’d use to tell a friend. Keep it simple, and remember to have fun while you do it!
The Rewards Last for Generations
Writing your life story can feel daunting and overwhelming. But when approached in manageable chunks, such as a few pages a day, the task becomes more doable. Once it is written, you have options for how you want to pass on the material. You can simply hand the notebooks over to loved ones. You could do a limited self-publication for family members. You could also do a wider release, for a story with more universal appeal.
Whatever choice you make, National Life Writing Month is a time to feel the pride that comes with passing your story on!