LIMITED TIME OFFER: 25% discount for Armed Forces Day

Did your grandparents serve in the war? Why not give them a gift that will last a lifetime – a chance to document their life for future generations?  

As part of the Armed Forces Day celebrations this year, we are offering 25% off for those who have served in the Armed Forces who choose us to share their story and applies to every package in our range, so take advantage of this offer while you can (*T&Cs apply).

Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually and is a chance to show support for the men and women who are a part of the Armed Forces community. Events like this are a great way to provide a much-valued morale boost for the troops and their families. There are both physical and virtual events being held across the country to mark this year’s celebration. You can find your local event here.  

Share your story  

People choose to share their personal stories for a variety of reasons including preserving their legacy or sharing expertise. Whatever your reasoning, we will help you tell your story, your way, and we’re there at every step of your storytelling journey.  

The book also includes images to accompany your story. Choose from personal documents such as:  

  • Photographs 
  • Letters, postcards, invitations  
  • Travel tickets, documents or passports   
  • Ration cards, green stamps  
  • Newspaper clippings  
  • Certificates  
  • Diary entries or other handwriting samples 

The use of imagery in your autobiography is to help paint the picture of a particular period of your life as well as aid with preparation and memory recall. Read our advice on why images are important in your autobiography here.  

At My Story Told, we care about sharing your memories and ensuring that future generations, family members and friends can remember your life how you saw it. The struggles, the achievements, the journey.  

We hope you choose us as your storytelling companion. Contact us to start your storytelling journey today. 

*T&Cs

  • The offer is valid until Armed Forces Day (25th June). Orders confirmed after this date will not be included in the discount.  
  • The discount can only be applied ONCE.  
  • The discount applies to every package, but does not apply if packages are upgraded. 

The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon whereby a group of people believe that their distorted or misremembered memories are in fact reality. Here, we take a look at the origin of the phenomenon, the possible causes and some real-life examples of it.  

Examples of the Mandela effect have been identified since the term was coined in 2009 by author and researcher, Fiona Broome. Broome detailed her recollection of former South African President Nelson Mandela passing away in prison during the 1980s. In fact, this was not the case as Mandela left prison alive and well and was released after 27 years before going on to become South African President between 1994 and 1999.  

The phenomenon came to be when Broome found that many people had the same perception of events as she did, even recounting international news coverage of the death that included a speech from his spouse. This was false, and sparked her interest in this theory which was termed ‘The Mandela Effect’ as her first encounter and documented example.  

The Mandela Effect, as outlined in Medical News Today, can include: 

  • The distortion of memories in which some aspects are partially or entirely inaccurate; 
  • clearly remembering certain events that did not happen in reality;  
  • several unrelated people sharing similar distorted or inaccurate memories. 

Possible causes 

There are several theories regarding the Mandela Effect and its causes which will be outlined in more detail below.  

False Memories 

The idea that we can misremember, or create false memories in our minds is not always a negative notion. A false memory can be described as a recollection that in your perception seems like reality but is in fact fabricated in part or in whole.  

According to healthline.com, false memories are not intentionally malicious or hurtful, but are actually shifts or reconstructions of memory. An example of this could be you believing that you had put your washing machine to run before leaving the house, and specifically remember doing it, only to return and find out this was not the case. This typically happens with actions that we are accustomed to, or have repeated numerous times as the memory is ingrained in our brain, so is more likely to confirm the false memory.  

Internet hoaxes or misinformation 

The internet’s impact on creating false memories cannot be underestimated and is a good indication as to why the Mandela Effect has only gained traction within the digital age.  

Information can be spread via the internet through social media platforms and blogging websites among other channels. The internet, in its usual fashion, jumps on hoaxes and incorrect information and runs with it, creating a new narrative and an alternative story to what is in reality.  

According to verywellmind.co.uk, on Twitter, a hoax is believed over the truth up to 70% of the time. This is because as more people spread and share the incorrect information, it shapes the way others see the same topic or story and accelerates the Mandela Effect, becoming incorporated into people’s memories as facts and strengthening their conviction that they were correct.  

Alternate realities 

The Mandela Effect, as described by Broome, is a clear memory of an event that never occurred in this reality. The notion that a large group of people are in the same mindset has meant that other more unconventional theories have emerged, suggesting that the phenomenon occurs when our reality interacts with another alternate reality or parallel universe.  

The idea of a parallel universe or multiverse theory has emerged in recent years following the proven mathematical foundation of string theory. It is a controversial topic and polarises much of society. The fact that so many believed that Nelson Mandela passed away in the 1980s could be evidence of alternative realities, but there is no real evidence that is the case. Definitely a fun notion to explore.  

Examples of the Mandela Effect  

There are many real-life examples of the Mandela Effect in action, that range from music and movies to company slogans and logos. We all have an idea of reality in our minds, but it seems as though we are not always correct. Here are some Mandela Effect examples to put the phenomenon into perspective.  

Luke, I am your father 

Arguably one of the most iconic reveals and quotable lines in movie history, Darth Vader’s famous line, “Luke, I am your father” has been spoofed, re-enacted and copied a multitude of times in other TV programs or films. But that line is actually incorrect! The actual line, from Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is “No. I am your father”, but is falsely remembered by a huge proportion of the population.  

KitKat vs Kit-Kat 

You can find many examples of logos and images being misremembered by a large percentage of the population. It became a trend on social media, with many pointing out that they remember a completely different image.  

In 2016 one Twitter user engaged with KitKat via Twitter, to ask if the brand had ever changed its logo from “Kit-Kat” to “KitKat”. KitKat then responded that the name has never been hyphenated, and many users were shocked to find that out, responding that they specifically remember there being a hyphen at one point. KitKat even referenced the phenomenon by hashtagging #MandelaEffect in its response.  

Monopoly: monocle or no monocle?  

Another famous example that has caused controversy in the past. Large percentages of the population believe wholeheartedly that the “Monopoly guy” wears a monocle, but this is incorrect. No iteration of the Monopoly logo has ever shown its mascot with a monocle!  

This is very similar to the Pringles logo, where people swear they remember seeing the face on the Pringles logo to have glasses or a monocle too, but again, not the case.  

This phenomenon has sparked interest from media outlets such as BuzzFeed, which wrote about 20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe, including some mentioned above.  

The one question that still remains is: why does this happen? It is still a mystery. Memory is a complex part of how the brain works and how we perceive the world around us, and can be influenced by many stimuli from our environment including certain sounds and smells. The Mandela Effect shows how we can conjure our own realities in our minds, but also how delicate memories can be.  

At My Story Told, we care about sharing your memories and ensuring that future generations, family members and friends can remember your life how you saw it. Our storytelling team will ensure that you can give a gift that lasts a lifetime, and tell your story, your way.  

Contact us to start your storytelling journey today.  

The use of images is an important aspect of autobiographies, helping to paint the picture of particular periods of your life as well as aiding with preparation and memory recall. Our previous blog outlines the main starting points when preparing an autobiography, two of which are to identify a clear core concept and to pinpoint significant memories.  

Photographs can help with both aspects, as many of the pictures that have been kept over time are likely to signify important milestone in your life. Generationally, before smartphones, that was the way to share memories and the best way to display your life in highlights. Events like weddings, graduations, family holidays, new births and new homes are all great examples of photographs that are widely displayed and act as visual cues for important memories.  

According to Psychology Today, photographs can strengthen memories and relationships, but in some cases can replace memories, as the image of the photograph dominates over the actual experience.  

We also touched on this in another previous blog, delving into memory itself and how memory works. Just as certain tastes and smells can immediately recall memories from your childhood, for example, and visual cues can do the same.  

Preparing to tell your story 

Gathering as many photographs as possible is a great way to display your story in chronological order and piece together those significant core memories that will be the basis for your autobiography. This process will allow for a deeper understanding of that period of your life and the feelings you experienced, making for an accurate account of what happened.  

Physical documents can also be used to accompany your story. Scanning things like letters, postcards etc. is commonly used in autobiography and something we would definitely recommend. 

Tips on choosing images  

Our storytelling team will ensure that the images you choose help paint the picture of your life while going through the preparation stages of this process. Here are some things to consider when choosing images to accompany your story:  

Does this image match the scope of my book?

Think about how the significance of that highlight in regards to the chronology of your story. You may find ten or more childhood photographs, but if that only comprises a small percentage of what is being written, it’s better to choose one or two.  

Similarly, you may find old concert tickets that have been kept as keepsakes. Choose the concert that had the most significance and include that one.  

Does the image show personality?

Choose images that display people’s personalities and quirks. This adds to the reality of the story and images that can be looked back on fondly. Things like people pulling funny faces, or proudly showcasing their favourite team’s kit, or holding a treasured stuffed toy, are ideal examples of how an image can provide personality to your story.  

Don’t be deterred by a low-quality photo

If the image perfectly portrays a moment, but is damaged or low-quality, don’t be deterred by this. It’s more about what’s in the photo that matters.  

Low-quality scanned images can be improved upon using correction tools on your scanner or photo-editing tools like Photoshop. Severely damaged photographs can also be digitally restored for a small fee.  

We will recommend the best images from your collection, ensuring that your finished book is written to the highest quality and looks the part.  

Don’t forget about historical documents – postcards, letters etc.

Utilising various documents can add context for the readers and immerses them in the world being portrayed by your story, adding visual interest and emotional impact.  

Documents you could consider include:  

  • Letters, postcards, invitations 
  • Tickets from special events or concerts 
  • Travel tickets, documents or passports  
  • Handwritten recipes, ration cards, green stamps 
  • Newspaper clippings 
  • Report cards or childhood drawings 
  • Certificates 
  • Diary entries or other handwriting samples 

All of the above will have a story attached to them, so use your imagination! 

Our storytelling process not only focuses on what happened, but how that had an impact on your life and the significance of it. Our team will be on hand to guide you through the whole process, including choosing images and where to place them within the book.  

Start your storytelling journey by getting in touch today: https://www.mystorytold.co.uk/contact/  

Self-reflection is a form of personal analysis utilised to further grow your understanding of who you are, your values and why you act, think, and feel the way you do. Self-reflection helps you become more conscious of yourself. 

At My Story Told, self-reflection is at the core of what we do. In order to tell your story, you have to delve into what important and pivotal factors in your life contributed to making you, you. We are with you every step of the way through this process, helping you tell your story, your way. 

“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant, Spiritual Teacher

Why is self-reflection important?  

Self-reflection fosters analysis and perspective, allowing you to acknowledge issues, achievements and solutions. It allows you to take a step back and pause, helping you to make better decisions, pursue goals, and meet your interests and needs.  

In our case, the process means that your autobiography is candid and honest, and something you can feel is a true testament to yourself. When writing your story, a thorough reflection process will not only describe what happened but also answer the how and the why, and that is what we care about most. How did your experiences impact you? Why was this moment important?

More benefits of self-reflection 

Improves your emotional intelligence

Through this process you look at yourself through various alternative lenses and perspectives, further improving your understanding of yourself and how to react in certain situations or environments.  

Builds confidence

As your understanding of yourself grows, you will see further improvements in your confidence as you can tackle problems with a new outlook and implement alternative solutions.   

Increased productivity

Self-reflection involves focusing the mind, and in doing so you may identify and pinpoint goals, aspirations and solutions. According to thinkrightme.com, having a streamlined and focused mentality will lead to improved productivity.  

The process of writing your story will involve self-reflection and the potential benefits are fantastic for personal growth, not to mention you’re ensuring your legacy is documented for future generations.  

Get in touch to start your storytelling journey today.  

Memories make up a large percentage of the stored information in our brains. They are imperative for recalling previous experiences, reacting to certain stimuli and evoking particular reactions when faced with those stimuli.  

Memories are responsible for your behaviour in everyday life and how you perceive your past. At My Story Told, we help you preserve your memories for future generations, ensuring that your legacy lives on.  

Our memory will fade; you can’t keep your memory… But you can keep your memories …. Write them down.

How are memories formed? 

Memories are formed through a process called decoding, which involves adapting information into a useable form for the brain, and once completed the information is then able to be stored in memory for later use.  

Once stored, memories are brought to the forefront of our brains in order to be utilised in a process called retrieval. The retrieval process is not always successful, which is why we forget certain parts of memories, and experience the ‘tip-of-the-tongue’ phenomenon. This phenomenon, in a nutshell, is the temporary inability to retrieve information from our memory.  

In order to retrieve memories, sensory triggers are used to trigger activation. For example, thinking about certain aspects of your childhood home like your bedroom or front door will activate memories involving that location.   

Types of memory 

While there have been many differing theories proposed surrounding memory, the most basic of these is the stage model. According to verywellmind.com, this theory was first proposed in 1964 by Richard Shiffrin and Richard Atkinson, outlining the three stages to be sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory.  

Sensory memory is the initial stage of the process, where information solely from the environment is stored for very short periods of time (half a second for visual information and three to four seconds for auditory information).  

Information that is deemed valuable enough to store then moves into short-term memory, sometimes termed ‘working memory’. Information is stored for around 30 to 40 seconds, and a large percentage of this is forgotten quickly. Attending to this information will allow it to progress into long term memory.  

As its name suggests, long-term memory contains the information deemed relevant enough to be continuously stored. Information stored within long-term memory is retrieved as mentioned, and some more easily than others.  

Losing memory 

Forgetting or losing some aspects of memory is a natural process as the amount of information stored in the brain increases. There are a few reasons why we forget things, which are: failure to store, interference, motivated forgetting and retrieval failure.  

Sometimes, we unconsciously forget certain aspects of our memory for reasons such as traumatic experiences, but on the whole, our brain will only store information that is relevant for our survival.  

Although memory can be lost, certain sensory stimuli can also kickstart the retrieval process and can be used as a long-term component of memory. For example, recognising a certain colour, smell or a familiar voice will aid in retrieval.  

Preserve your memories 

At My Story Told, we understand the importance of preserving your memories, and want to help you every step of the way. Our writer matching and interview process will ensure that we are documenting the most relevant memories for your story, taking the pressure off you completely. Telling your story has never been easier.  

Get in touch today to see how we can bring your personal story to life.

Presenting your life story in a way that will intrigue readers to continue on with your book is one of the biggest challenges when writing an autobiography. Here we take a look at things to avoid, and how our writing experts at My Story Told can help you with your storytelling journey.

No planning

Extensive planning is important when telling your story as it means that you leave no stone unturned, include the best details and it allows you to chronologically piece together how your story will unfold.

Outlining your story using a timeline is recommended for autobiographical writing as it involves real events. Collating the best events in chronological order will give readers a better understanding of where the story is going.

At My Story Told, we will undertake interviews to take the hassle of planning away from you and ensure that you are including the most suitable details. Take a look at our blog on planning an autobiography, which identifies how to approach your preparations.

Overdoing the family history

Unless the details are vital to your story, keep your family history concise and relevant. A common mistake is to overdo the background elements of your story, so briefly outlining this section of your life is key so you can concentrate on the narrative elements of your story.

Libel

Though your autobiography is from your own perspective, you have to be careful about mentioning others whether that is previous employers, partners or friends. Your book must not be used as a platform to insult or embarrass anyone.

Poor writing quality

This mistake can be avoided by choosing My Story Told for your autobiography. This ensures that you will have great quality writing that you can be proud to share with family, friends and colleagues. With over 20 years of journalistic experience under our belts, our writers have covered a plethora of topics.

At My Story Told, we’re eager to learn about your story and share it with family, friends and colleagues. Whether you want to share your expertise or a life-changing event, get in touch so we can help you preserve your legacy for generations to come.

Autobiographical content has been utilised in TV and film for many years, and a story that originates in reality engages viewers that much more. Many of the most famous autobiographical movies were once penned in written form long before they saw the screen. This type of content is also popular amongst the upper echelon of directors, swapping immersive fictional narratives for real life experiences.

We take a look at 5 famous autobiographies that have since been recreated on the big screen.

127 Hours

The autobiography, Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, was released in 2004 following a mountain climbing accident in 2003 where Ralston found himself trapped in Utah’s Bluejohn Canyon for five days. It follows Ralston through both past experiences and his entrapment in alternating chapters.

Inc. Magazine called Between a Rock and a Hard Place one of seven ‘great entrepreneurship books that have nothing to do with business’. The book encapsulates determination and fearlessness perfectly, and such a rare occurrence was captivating for filmmaker Danny Boyle to reimagine on screen.

The 2010 movie version of this book generated a lot of media hype not least due to it being directed by renowned director Boyle and starring James Franco. It was nominated for six Academy Awards including: Best Picture and Best Actor.

The Pianist

This memoir was written by Polish-Jewish pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman. Szpilman grew up in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, and the story highlights his struggles through this extremely difficult time.

The English version is titled The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945, and the story was later reincarnated into the movie, The Pianist in 2002 and like 127 Hours, was also reimagined by a renowned director – Roman Polanski.

Arguably Polanski’s best release, The Pianist was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and three Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay), two years after Szpilman’s death.

Donnie Brasco

A crime story for the ages, Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia is an extraordinary tale lived by former FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone. Pistone was an undercover agent tasked with infiltrating a theft ring run by the Mafia.

The book was released in 1988 and following the sensitivity of his work, Pistone’s life history was wiped by the FBI in order to retain anonymity and establish a secret identity. The operation it depicts lasted several years and led to more than 200 indictments and 100 convictions of mafia members.

The 1997 movie, Donnie Brasco starred Hollywood royalty, Al Pacino and Johnny Depp and was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The life story of Jordan Belfort is known worldwide for his exploits in Wall Street. His 2007 tell-all book of the same name outlines his rise to success through stock trading. Belfort’s company would trade penny stocks artificially inflating their prices by spreading misinformation.

Belfort’s success was not without low points, and subsequently ended with his incarceration for securities fraud. The honest delivery of The Wolf of Wall Street puts the reader inside every moment.

The movie was also an immense success, partly due to director Martin Scorsese’s storytelling ability, Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Belfort, and a star-studded cast. The movie was released in 2013, six years after the book’s release and was nominated for five Academy Awards including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love, a 2006 memoir by American author, Elizabeth Gilbert, chronicles the author’s trip around the world following her divorce. It remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 187 weeks.

It is a tale of self-discovery, spirituality and individual growth in times of hardship. The movie produced under the same title was released in 2010 and starred Julia Roberts.

Though the book was well received as shown by its dominance in the bestseller lists, the movie saw mixed reviews. The Huffington Post review described the film as ‘ultimately charming and inspirational … though it doesn’t have quite the impact of the book’.

The range of industries, topics and themes that autobiographies can explore are endless. The 5 books above all have different subject matter, so whatever your story is, it’s worth telling! Whether you have had success in the face of adversity or have expertise within a specific industry, there is always a story to tell and at My Story Told, we want to help tell your story in your words.

Get in touch here to start your storytelling journey.

An autobiography is a written account about oneself, narrated by oneself. An autobiography can be written for many reasons but are typically released by people who are well established or recognised in their fields and can also document unique introspective life stories.

Autobiography vs Biography

Biographies on the other hand are life stories written by a third party, and more often than not document the story of historical figures including politicians, entertainers and entrepreneurs.

Though biographical writers have a particular set of skills in order to aptly present the lives of renowned people, autobiographers need expertise in one field: themselves.

Planning an autobiography

If you are considering writing an autobiography or telling your story, My Story Told is the ideal choice to accompany you on your journey. Our expert writers will be there every step of the way to help with developing and writing your story exactly how you envisage it.

Understand your audience

Before planning an autobiography, thoroughly understanding who you are writing the book for. This is important because it will influence the tone, structure and overall approach of the story you are telling. If you are sharing industry expertise, it must be presented in a coherent way for the target audience.

Identify a clear core concept

Some key questions that are important in the planning stages of your autobiography include: what are you looking to get out of the book? Is there a central idea that can shape and unify the narrative of the book?

Familiar core concepts in autobiographical writing include keeping faith in the face of adversity or a rags to riches story; however, identifying a reoccurring trope can help streamline the planning process to include the most suitable stories and memories that align with the vision you have for your story.

Significant Memories

In addition to identifying a clear concept, pinpointing key life moments and weighing up their relevance is another important aspect of the planning process. If you are writing your story for your family, involving them in the planning process can be effective in choosing the best stories to include.

Here are two starting points when thinking about significant memories:

  • Childhood – detailing how your journey started or your formative years can provide contrast to where you are today and how you got there. This will also give the reader some background detail that creates a rounded view of your life.
  • Pivotal moments – significant turning points or moments that played a major role in your journey are what readers are looking for. They are also important in formulating the narrative construct of your story.

Our previous blog entry titled 7 questions you should ask yourself before telling your life story can help with this section of the process.

Be yourself

Your book should be seen as a portal into your life and should be written in your own voice. It is your story after all. Use the language you are most comfortable with,  don’t try to upgrade your writing with a larger vocabulary than you would normally use. Instead, pick the words you would normally use and this will maintain the personal touch of the story.

How My Story Told can help

My Story Told can aid with any of the above considerations when planning your book. Our expert team of writers will be on hand to ask the right questions and get all the juicy details of each story.

Regular catch-up meetings will provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on the memories that have been documented and a chance to fill in any blanks.

Get in touch and start your journey with us today.