When it comes to writing your family history, you are in a uniquely powerful position.
You are the ultimate gatekeeper. You decide who gets interviewed, what the topic of conversation will be, what is kept and what is discarded. You are the final arbiter in all matters, choosing which photos, documents and other materials are sought and which are used in the final product. Your family history is viewed through the prism of your own experience.
That is an awesome responsibility. And a lot of work.
Many people start enthusiastically down the path of creating family history only to burn out or collapse under the sheer weight of what appears to be an overwhelming task.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Help is available.
As a personal historian (or family biographer, if you prefer) at When Words Matter, I help people preserve their family stories. More often than not, much of the hard work has already been done. In all cases, I evaluate the work already done, consider the goals and offer suggestions on how best to reach the goals. It’s a very collaborative process and, best of all, it’s absolutely free and without obligation.
The more common excuses for not pursuing a family history that I hear include:
• I just don’t know how to put it all together
• I can’t write
• I don’t have the time
• I really want Dad’s (or Mom’s, Aunt Harry’s, etc.) life story, but he won’t share it
That last one is particularly tough. No one wants to try to make a beloved family member do something that they don’t want to do. However, many of our more successful projects have resulted after we transformed reluctant subjects into enthusiastic participants.
So, whether you need a cheerleader, coach, friendly persuader or professional biographer, we’re available to help. If you don’t want to send me an e-mail to take advantage of our free initial consultation, maybe you’d like to take a spin through our free 23-lesson course on how to write a personal history. Here’s the first lesson.