I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
Writing your story with descriptive details
Details can be the difference between an engaging story and one that is passively read and rarely picked up again.
Writing your story with a purpose and audience in mind
Before you begin writing, determine the purpose of your story. You do not need to have a serious purpose for writing your story. You may decide to write a story for its pure entertainment value. You may decide to write your story to preserve a piece of family history. Perhaps it is to clarify your thoughts about a particular subject, or to make your memories tangible. Whatever the reason, knowing why you are telling your story will help you stay true to it.
Recently, we featured an article entitled Grandma's Red Hair, where author, Stepper McCrery showed you how easy it is to record a family story. Today, we'd like to help you a bit more with something that can be a bit intimidating... Interviewing.
Writing your story with the help of others' perspectives and memories
Interviewing can be one of the most rewarding aspects of creating your story. Planning carefully will make it a wonderful and successful experience.
You know that article, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten?” I feel like the last couple of weeks, and all the talk about Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke have been a crash course for brand marketing; “Everything I need to know (for marketing my business) I learned from Miley.”
I'm amazed at the slough of articles that have spawned as a result of Ms. Cyrus' latest stunt. Showing up in my newsfeed is everything from “How to talk to your daughters about their body” to debates over whether or not teen boys on the beach are immodest if they aren't wearing shirts. I'm sitting in awe, thinking what a fabulous study in brand/marketing all of this is.
I love my back porch! It's where we gather with friends and family to share potluck BBQ dinners, drink homemade root beer and roast marshmallows when the sun goes down. We anxiously await early Spring when the weather allows us to begin this, and then we stretch out the Summer days sitting on our back porch.
Now that you have started to share and gather stories, you can share and display your stories using the medium you are most comfortable with – this is where you, your family, your interests and your creative homemaking skills will really shine.
Like the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious teaches, we can fit what is good for us into our everyday. (Who knew pureed squash could be hidden so easily and taste so great in Macaroni and Cheese?)
In this episode Story Props & Prompts of our video series with My Craft Channel, join Founder Carol Rice and Designer, Janette Hammond as we show you a bunch of fun ways to create “props” in your home to make storytelling part of your every day; and make it something that is simple, easy and not feel forced.
Here at Family Storytelling we know:
“Sharing stories is one of the keys to ensuring that a family isn’t just a bunch of people living in the same house…”
We are excited about a new series, hosted by our Founder, Carol Rice at My Craft Channel. You can view the introductory episode with host, Kristine Mckay and the first episode, Why Connect, Why Stories by visiting here.
Keep Sharing Your Stories!