> The importance of Personal History is finally being recognized! We have a Nobel Prize winner! Click on the link to read all about it.
> Celebrate your life. Every life is unique and everyone has a story to tell. Your stories will be lost forever unless they are passed on to others, and you are the source.
>Your personal story matters. Click here to read one person's opinion of why it is important.
“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
> Personal History/Memoir gives future generations a sense of history and roots.
> A survey reported in an article in the Journal of Financial Planning noted that “non-financial leave-behinds-like ethics, morality, faith and religion-are ten times more important to both baby-boomers and elders with children than the financial aspects of a legacy transfer.”
> Sharing your stories and feelings can give those you love better insight into who you are.
> According to gerontologists and therapists, revisiting and even reframing the past can have enormous therapeutic value.
> It makes a great gift for special occasions: Give someone you love a gift certificate to get them started with their own special project.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do to prepare for my project? There is really nothing you have to do to prepare, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. Pat will provide you with a pre-interview questionnaire requesting basic biological information, and will even help you fill it out if necessary. She will then come prepared with interview questions. Pat has been interviewing people professionally for many years, and they and/or their friends or family have expressed surprise at how much information she has been able to elicit. It would also be helpful for you spend some time thinking back over your life and to jot down some notes reminding yourself of important memories. Begin gathering up photos and other items that you might want to include, and talk to family or friends about any favorite stories that they would like to see included. If you want to involve others in the project, contact them.
How long does it take? Your project could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the type and scope of your project, the number of interviews needed, and the amount of editing and other work involved. A memoir of 100 to 150 pages, for example, could take three to five months.
What will my finished project look like? It will be a high quality product that will last and be cherished for years. We will go over your options before we begin. You will have several choices ranging from small, black and white books to larger ones filled with color and many photos or other scanned items, as well as ebooks.
How many copies do I get? That is entirely up to you. Multiple copies can be purchased, and you can also purchase copies at a later date.
What if there are some things I don't want to share? That is also totally up to you, but you may want to discuss it with the personal historian and/or a family member. Sometimes sharing difficult memories can have a therapeutic, healing effect and can help you understand yourself better. If your memory would hurt someone still alive, you may want to leave it out.
Why shouldn't I just go ahead and do this on my own? You can write your own memoir if you already have the time and skills or are willing to develop them. There are books and workshops available to help with this. Most people will never take the time to do this, however, and can be overwhelmed by the process. Working with a personal historian can fun and rewarding on several levels. Having an experienced interviewer can stimulate memories and reflections, provide ideas for organizing your thoughts into a coherent whole, and handle the design and layout of your project.
What if I have more questions? Just email Pat or give her a call any time.