4 Reasons to Hire a Life Story Writer
It's a question we ask ourselves often, whether we need a haircut, a birthday cake, or a fresh coat of paint on the house--Should I do it myself, or hire a professional? You might ask yourself the same question when you decide you want to write your life story. (P.S. Did you know there are professionals out there who offer this service? Cool, huh?) Here are four solid reasons why you might consider hiring a life story writer to help you record and preserve your most precious memories:
1. So it actually gets done
Setting out to recall and record memories from an entire life can be a daunting and overwhelming task. You may be unsure of where to start or how to go about it. Or maybe you are someone who has no trepidations and charges head-first into writing, but you lose steam after finishing the chapter on your childhood, set it aside, and never pick it up again. We always think we have more time, but we just don't know what health issues or life circumstances may arise that will prevent us from recording our most important stories. "Someday" can easily turn into "too late."
With the help of a professional, you now have a coach and partner to keep you on track. They have likely been through the process a number of times with other clients and can simplify the process into manageable tasks. It's not that it won't take ANY work on your part, but a life story professional will guide you each step of the way and won't let you quit until you have a beautiful FINISHED product.
2. So you can enjoy the process more and stress less
Your life story writer worries about the "how," so all you need to do is show up and share your stories. You will have the joy and satisfaction of being heard and getting immediate feedback and encouragement. It's like having your daughter's wedding at an all-inclusive event center rather than trying to do it all yourself--you are still there, playing the most important part, but instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you get to enjoy the event and focus on what matters most.
3. So it will be well-written
This means more than just being free of errors, although it certainly encompasses that (their vs. there, it's vs. its, and all those other things your English teacher marked you down for). Being well-written also means your narrative is cohesive and enjoyable to read. A life story writer can help you identify themes in your story, organize chapters, select your best stories, and draw out the most important details while cutting the irrelevant, boring stuff. With all this polishing, however, a good life story writer will NOT remove your unique voice from your stories. You will still sound like you--just your best written you.
4. So it will become a beautiful book (and actually be read!)
If you are going it alone and don't have stellar computer skills, you might end up with a smorgasbord of spiral notebooks, or a word processing document forever stuck on your computer, never to be found (gasp!). Or maybe you do get it printed, but simply make photo copies of it and put it in a three-ring binder. How likely is it to be pulled off the shelf? Maybe you go the extra mile and decide to add photos. If you try to do so in a word processing program like Microsoft Word, you will find that these kinds of programs, while great for typing text, are not designed for integrating images. (Warning: frustration!) Working with images is an art in and of itself, from selecting good images, scanning them properly to ensure high resolution, editing them, and incorporating them into your text in a visually appealing way.
Most life story professionals will help you take your project to the final step: getting it beautifully designed and printed. Some professionals are skilled with design software and can offer this service themselves, and others choose to contract with a graphic designer to produce your book. In the end, you will have a book that is visually inviting and engaging, begging to be read rather than gathering dust on the shelf. Isn't that why you did this in the first place, anyway?
I would love to help you write your life story, or connect you with other professionals who can help as well! Contact me here.