Telling Our Life Stories.
What does that mean, and what does it consist of? How do you do it? Why does it matter?
These are the questions I have been churning over in my mind this week, as I prepare a workshop to present in a couple of weeks in Anaheim, CA.
As someone who has been writing and sharing stories all my life, I wonder how to pull apart the pieces, how to dissect common sense knowledge from expertise, how to teach interested people about this stuff I find so fascinating.
Mostly, I want to spark inspiration. I want to plant seeds of hope inside people, encourage them to pursue those projects that may have been nipping at the back of their minds for weeks or months or years. I want to awaken that voice that always says, Someday I want to … [write my family history. Explore the themes that have defined my life up to this point. Get the story of my small business in writing so I can share it with customers, family and friends. Insert your own goal here.]
Someday. It’s a big, all-encompassing, vague word. I am here to encourage people that the time is now. When, if not now, is that family history, small business history, or personal exploration going to take shape?
If the answer is someday, it may as well be never.
My workshop, “Telling Our Life Stories,” will be a springboard, I hope, into the how and why life stories are significant, who they can touch, the messages they can communicate to others. The workshop will be a chance for people to learn, to think more deeply about their projects and effective ways to begin them and tell them.
I want people to walk away feeling excited and confident about the story they have to tell. The pastor who has amassed tons of genealogical history tracing his family roots? I want to give him a map of how to put it all together in an effective way. The middle-aged woman whose father survived a Hawaii tsunami and tells her about it over the phone all the time? I want to give her resources and ideas for how to turn that story into a legacy that can be passed down to future generations of her family.
This workshop is broad and far-reaching, with plenty of chances for further conversation and questions about individual projects as we go along.
And in this space, I will offer myself as a resource, as well. As a writer and editor who can help others more effectively tell their stories, spread their messages, or define the audience they want to ultimately reach.
If you live in the Orange County area and want to attend this workshop, please come. It will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at Hephatha Lutheran Church (5900 East Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA). The workshop is free.
If you don’t live in the area but are interested in working with me, please get in touch.
Above all, if you have a project you have been wanting to pursue – a personal history, family history, or small business history – get serious about it. Choose a few hours a weekend, one weeknight per week, or even a small getaway to start working on it.
Make the time be now, not someday.
*If you are working on or want to work on a particular life stories project, what is one nagging question you have about the work involved?
*If you could start writing your life story today, what would be your opening sentence?