When you decide to tell the story of your life, the task ahead can seem overwhelming. Knowing that by attempting it you will be providing a unique historic document and legacy for your family and wider community can, in some ways, make it even more daunting. It might seem too difficult and time-consuming to embark upon – particularly if you have little experience of writing yourself.
Writing about a life full of experience and adventure, which will contain the inevitable trials and tribulations, laughter and tears, personal failures, regrets as well as victories, will take some deep consideration for it to be told in a way that properly conveys the special journey that makes everyone’s life unique.
So, to begin telling your life story you need to prepare what you want to say and how.
Here, we’ve given you 7 questions you could answer to help you with telling your life story and get the ball moving in the right direction. These are just starting points, and they should help you think of other things you’d like to include or jog your memory on things you had forgotten about.
At My Story Told we capture your story in a beautiful book with the help of a professional writer, so all you need to do is provide us with the details of your unique life and we do the rest!
To start you off, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Who are you?
Who are you as a person? What are your beliefs? What are your likes and dislikes? What are some of the things that make you who you are?
What are your passions?
What are you passionate about? What do you love, what passions have led you to where you are now and what you’ve achieved?
What struggles have you experienced?
Everyone has gone through struggles within their lives, what have your struggles been? How did you overcome them, there may be some great advice within this that you’d want to share!
What have been some of your greatest moments?
It’s quite natural for people to focus on negative memories, so this should prompt you to look at the positives too. Of course, it’s okay to talk about negatives such as the struggles you may have endured but remember to talk about the positives in your life too and how you have overcome those adversities.
What experiences have defined you?
There may have been one or many experiences that changed you as a person and defined who you are today. What are they? Talk about the experiences that have made you who you are now. Some soul-searching could reveal a lot about yourself you hadn’t even considered.
What do you want your family or friends to know about you?
You may have things you’d like your family or friends to know, maybe you’ve never told them this before, creating a life story that will be there forever for whoever you want to read it.
What’s your honest story?
Keep your story as direct and honest as you can, to make it authentically you. You may want to portray an image that paints you in the best light – that’s OK we all want that – but the best stories are usually the most truthful ones, so bear this in mind.
When thinking of creating a lasting legacy in printed form, the famous – and infamous – usually spring to mind, however, it isn’t just the reserve of the rich and famous, everyone can create this kind of legacy.
Your life has so much meaning to those around you, so why not create a unique way for them to remember you – a personal memoir that can be passed down and enjoyed for generations to come?
Your legacy doesn’t have to just be for your children or grandchildren but for many more generations. Just as you may be interested in your ancestors, future generations would be interested in you too.
We all know you can leave material possessions to your heirs, but here are 4 more interesting ways to create a legacy that leaves more of your personality behind than any amount of material wealth and trinkets ever could:
- Stories about you
You know yourself best, your legacy is best created when you talk about your life story and your life experiences. Your stories could help to impart some wisdom to your family that you may not have given – yet.
- Introduce family traditions
Consider introducing and documenting family traditions so that they can endure throughout the generations to come. By making a note of the traditions you and your family keep, will give lots of information about you and your family to future generations, and hopefully, it’ll keep those traditions alive. These can be things you have only introduced in recent years or traditions you used to do as a child.
Provide photos, they’ll hold so many stories. As the saying goes: a picture says a thousand words. They can be photos of you, your family and friends. They can show where you’ve been and what you’ve done!
- Family tree
Doing the research for a family tree can be challenging but very interesting and hugely rewarding. Creating a family tree will show your extended family how everyone is connected to each other. It could help in the future when younger generations are looking at their ancestors and tracing different branches of the family that they may have lost touch with.
At My Story Told, we can help you create a lasting legacy as all these aspects can be included within the book we help you to write and produce. The copies of your book can be given to those close to you, and then handed down through the generations.
What do you really know about your mother???
This Mother’s Day why not show her you care by taking a complete interest in her. Your mother is more than just a parent, after all. She had a full and unique life well before you came along and will have many interests and memories you likely know nothing about.
That because you never asked…
So here are 23 interesting questions that you may never thought of asking before!
Try these and see what you discover.
- What was your favourite place to go as a child?
- What do you miss about being a kid?
- Tell me about your most memorable day.
- What’s the best memory we’ve shared together?
- Tell me your life story in 5 minutes with as much detail as possible.
- What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
- Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
- What would be your dream job?
- If you could do life over what would you keep the same?
- What was the moment you were most proud of yourself?
- What would your perfect day be?
- Would you have ever wanted to be famous? What would you have wanted to be famous for?
- If you could have dinner with 3 people who would it be and why?
- If you could start up any business with unlimited money what would it be and why?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
- If you could use a time machine, where would you go and why?
- What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
- Give me your top 3 places you’d love to travel to and why?
- Do you have a hero? If so, who and why?
- What’s your biggest fear?
- What makes you laugh the most?
- Have you ever had a nickname? If so, what was it and how did you get it?
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 every year. For those open (for it is celebrated globally and not every country is in lockdown) it is a good excuse to raise a pint of Guinness and celebrate all things Irish – as well as the Irish heritage that so many of us are proud of.
For individuals with Irish heritage, they may wish to find out more about it. Others may simply have wondered if they have Irish heritage. Either way, here are some top tips to help you find out more – just maybe you can drink that pint of the black stuff with an even bigger smile than before.
Talk to your relatives
Before you begin online research, you should talk to your relatives they may have lots of information about your possible Irish heritage that you never knew about. If you believe you have found any Irish relatives, here’s a list of things you should try to gather in order to help with your research. You don’t need all the information but the more you can gather the easier the process will be!
Name: The full name of your ancestors this could include maiden names and birth names! Surnames would definitely help determine whether any of your ancestors are Irish.
Date of birth: Try to find out their date of birth, this would be helpful when trying to look through records.
Birthplace: Discover where they were born, maybe even the name of a hospital would narrow down your search.
Religion: This could be Catholic or Protestant or even something else – but this would help when finding baptism certificates.
Immigration/ emigration records: Try to establish where and when your Irish relatives left Ireland. There might be records about their departure from the Emerald Isle.
Other important events: This could be deaths or marriages; this would help you when you look at marriage or death certificates.
There are many free online resources that will help you to find your Irish heritage as there are many Irish sites. The whole of Ireland prior to 1922 was part of the United Kingdom so it would also be useful to check UK public records too.
With the information you’ve gathered, you can then begin to look into the huge number of online websites that look specifically at Irish heritage. You can look into names, deaths, marriages and birth records.
Information was lost in the Public Records Office fire of 1922 but here are some of the records that you could look at from the information you received from relatives.
- Military records
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Christening or Baptism records
DNA testing or professional genealogist
Maybe you’ve hit a brick wall or you’ve simply found all you possibly can. You may decide you want to invest in DNA testing or getting a professional genealogist. They could help you to find even more relatives or help you to create your family tree.