Frequently Asked Questions

Title How can I prepare for telling and recording my story?
FAQ ID F00000014
Last Update Wed Apr 2006
Description I can think of a thousand things that have happened in my life. How do I decide what to address and how do I prepare?
Solution This may be overwhelming but is much easier when considered in the various segments of your life.

One way to look at your life is to make short notes of the happenings of your life according to the years in which they occurred.

Take a 100 page spiral bound notebook and number the pages with the years of your life (beginning on page 1 with the year of your birth - and continuing page by page until you reach the current year). Now make very short notes on those pages about the life events that happened in those years (e.g. 1953 - I was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho; - the Korean War ended; - we moved to the new house; - my oldest brother drowned in the irrigation canal; etc.)

Take just a few minutes each day writing these notes. You need not go in year order. Just write about the years that come into your mind.

Your own memory will improve as you start to remember your life. Keep writing until you have defined the important points of your life.

You will have to decide what makes something important. One person will want to describe the new house and another will want to remember the wonderful meals his mother cooked. Use your own memories as a guide to what is important to you.

Don't worry about writing a lengthy history from these notes. Use them as a starting point for your audio history (and perhaps a written history in the future).

Now construct a simple outline of your life that you would like your descendants to remember you by. Add in the details you want mentioned and leave out those details that matter less.

Your outline should be just a page or two - again only mentioning the briefest details of each topic. Your memory will take care of the rest.

This outline becomes helpful to create questions for an interview(or even a script for a monologue type recording).

Use family members to review your outline and suggest changes and additions. Children are especially helpful here as they suggest the kinds of subjects they want to know more about.

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