You’re curious about the important journey involved in writing life stories. You may not know much about it at all…or maybe you’ve dabbled in genealogy research, or even taken a memoir class or two…but you’re not convinced that you should take part in it. “What’s the good of writing my life story?” you ask yourself.
Whether you’re a non-writer, a student of writing, or even a published writer, your life stories have something to say. Every story has the potential to change the person writing it…and the person reading it. Writing your life stories may be the most valuable activity you do all year, this decade, or in your lifetime. In fact, writing your life story can change your past, present, and future.
“Writing your life stories may be the most valuable activity you do all year, this decade, or in your lifetime.”
Here are a few ways that it can do just that:
What is the story you would like to tell? When you change your stories—your beliefs about yourself, your past, and your present—you set the wheels in motion to change your life. Invites self-exploration and self-awareness.
You have control over your perception of the past. You feel changes to the present in forms of emotions, and viewing your present life with a new eye. You experience the changes in your future that have happened because your story is told. Writing turns YOU into a better and more reflective you if you let it.
Writing your life story can engage your artistic side. Since stories follow structure (think rising tension, climax, and resolution) writing your life story can help you find structure in your life as well as be an outlet for creativity.
Writing your life story is a great entryway to writing more if that’s something you have an interest in doing. It’s also a great bridge for your writing if you already write.
Your intrinsic story lives in you, making it easier to write. You know the setting, the characters, and the events. You know who said what and at this point in your life you may even know why. If you don’t know why you can speculate. That’s where the creativity comes in.
It Heals Others
Another way of writing your life story can affect your life is the impact it has on other people. Though you do not have to publish it or even share it with others, it is an option.
It Heals Yourself
Just as the listener to a spoken-word piece pats the speaker on the shoulder and says “Hey, I really felt that,” so will the book reader leave you a comment to say that you are not alone. That they support you.
It’s also rather empowering to write down your life story. In that sense, you take control of your own life. You are the master of your life story as you sit and write the things that have happened, the things you believe, and the things you hope to come from them.
…most important way writing your life story can change your life is that it affords you a new view. When you take the time to write your story, you find yourself immersed in all the details of it. You remember the who’s, the what’s, the when’s, the where’s… and you get to re-discover the why of it all.
The best part about writing your life story? You don’t actually need to publish it to change your life. You really don’t even have to share it (although I hope you will). Your life story is personal, it’s a piece of you. Even the act of writing gives you the new view, the writing experience….
Writing your life story will help you and others heal and find a way through life. If you allow it, life story writing can help you gain perspective and even become a better person.
Writing your life stories won’t impact the world if they aren’t written. The most difficult part is getting started.
Want to know more about writing to heal? Writing our tough life stories isn’t easy, but it is incredibly healing. If you’re ready to take control of your future by confronting your past, the click here to check out the Lifestory Laboratory, an amazing online course that can help!
Also published on Medium.