For baby boomers, it’s time to stop and reflect – Part 3
By Linda Tedford and Mary Lilja
You’ve reflected on your life. You’ve gathered your photos and recalled the stories behind them. You’ve organized the stories you already have and written new ones. Or maybe you don’t love to write and getting the stories recorded doesn’t come easy to you.
At Lilja, even though our LifeStories clients run the gamut from polished author to non-writer, they all come to us with the desire to share their story in a way that is memorable for their friends, family and future generations. That desire is an important part of their legacy that they want to record and leave behind.
And there’s good reason your stories are important. Research shows that children who know their family stories — the triumphs as well as the challenges and disappointments — are more resilient by nature. When their own lives take a difficult turn, it helps to know that Grandpa lost his job during the Depression, but Grandma was able to go back to work to keep the family afloat (as was the case in Mary’s family).
As the holidays approach, it’s the perfect time to consider recording your own life story.
Creating a polished manuscript
Some clients have elegantly written manuscripts that just need a little polishing. Others have wonderful stories already written down, but they need help organizing and editing. Whether your manuscript needs a final proofread or developmental editing, we can help. We love working with writers of all abilities to let their stories shine.
Some clients have stories to tell, but they need another writer to help share them, which is one of our sweet spots at Lilja. We can interview you and record your stories. Then we can turn those stories into a written memoir — one that’s in your voice, not ours.
Framing your story
If a completed manuscript is your end goal, think again. You might print it out and send it to your kids. Far too many memoirs in rough form have been lost in the back of the closet — or mistakenly tossed out by family members after the author has passed.
We like to say that we put a frame around your story and make it beautiful — and accessible. The key is to create something that will be a keepsake for your family. Not just a manuscript to read in a notebook or on an iPad or the next new electronic device. But a thing of beauty to be shared from generation to generation. A book worthy of a place of honor on the coffee table or bookcase.
Because the reality is, it’s not just a book — it’s a piece of art. Your stories are framed with just the right color scheme, design and font to complement who you are. And the photos you’ve worked so hard to locate are strategically placed within the text to make your stories even richer. When our clients first review a produced draft of their memoirs, the experience is always emotional. There is magic in seeing your personal story come to life.
Leaving a legacy for future generations
It may seem like an extravagance to you now, but your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank you long after you are gone. They will have the gift of knowing who you were, the lessons you learned from the challenges you faced, as well as the values you held dear. And they will carry your story with them as they create their own lives well lived — and write their own life story.