Getting Started

How to Tell Your Story

Living your life has been a full-time job! It’s no surprise that the prospect of sharing it can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. Just take the journey one step at a time.

Step 1: Orient Yourself.
Before setting forth on your journey, take time to explore where you want to go and why.  Grab a seat, get comfortable, and ask yourself a handful of questions that will help you decide where you want to travel and why.

Step 2: Consult with a guide.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with Mary. Either in person or on the phone, you and she will discuss your answers to the questions listed in the Orientation Questionnaire in order to define the focus and nature of your personal history project as well as its timeline and budget.

Step 3: Start Your Storytelling Journey.

Path A: Speak Your Story.
Are you ready to share your memories but do not want to write them? There’s no need to pick up a pen or touch a keyboard. Just talk and Mary will listen and record.

Path B: Write Your Story.
Do you want to write about your life but need someone to offer memory prompts, share writing tips, keep you on schedule, and provide feedback along the way? Mary has years of experiences helping in all of these ways. She also offers group autobiography writing classes.

Path C: Participate in a Group Autobiography Class
Does having an audience and listening to others stories inspire you to write? Mary and her business partner Susan Kilpatrick from Timeless Memories offer personal history workshops and group autobiography classes. The options range from a one-hour presentation about various ways to share your stories to a ten-week course that meets two hours a week. Mary and Susan will craft a curriculum that fits your needs, timeframe, and budget.

Path D: Polish Your Story.
Have you already written your life story and want an experienced editor to take a look? Mary can help with anything from word choice and punctuation to organization and development.

Step 4: Look in the Rearview Mirror.
Meandering through your past and composing your narrative give you the opportunity to reflect not only on what you have experienced but also how resent those experiences. After reading your first draft, you might choose to drop a story, change the description of your father, or add information about your hometown.

Or perhaps the very act of exploring the past is altering how you see someone or what meaning you give an event. This retrospective aspect of the storytelling journey can be transformative. After all, our perceptions of events have more power than the events themselves.

Step 5: Put Your Path in Print.
Once you have found words to capture your life, it’s time for them to land on pages. With an eye on your unique story, Mary will work with professional graphic designers to layout and design your book.

Step 6: Arrive at Your Journey’s End.
You’ve taken two trips: one began the day you were born and the other the first day you put words to memories for your book. You have now finished that second journey. Have a good read and enjoy the rest of that first trip—your lifelong adventure.