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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #073 – Personal Historian Passion
January 28, 2010

"Your past is your story up to now. The future is the story yet to come. The present is where you live with that experience, your hopes and your dreams."

Your Life is Your Story Newsletter

January 28, 2010 Issue #073 – Personal Historian Passion

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: State of Your Story
Featured Article: Personal Historian Passion
Resources You Can Use

Opening Remarks: State of Your Story

The first full month of the year has breezed by. How are you coming along with your life story? If you haven’t begun, have you made plans to do so? Is this the year to write your memoir or autobiography? Perhaps you are thinking of using a professional personal historian to assist you.

This month I’ve made more progress on some life plans as I embark on a future career as a school teacher. I am enrolled in an alternative licensure plan and in a year or so I hope to be teaching elementary school full time. Already I am working as a substitute teacher. This change came about over the past year after I was “downsized” from my radio broadcasting job. I spent over 30 years in broadcasting, but I’ve also worked in some other fields while also cultivating my life story writing and preservation services. I’m both confident and excited about helping children learn and grow. Teaching, like personal history work, is a calling, an avocation. And I see how both can work together!

This issue I explore some of the passion for personal history work I personally have and some tips for others who might consider working in the field. It’s incredibly rewarding and important work.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. If a friend DID forward this to you consider subscribing by visiting our signup page . Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter – simply reply to this email e-zine.

While the main focus of this newsletter is to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on life story writing you should know that I offer various services and also mention some products and services that can be helpful. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if any of these products or services are helpful and you decide to utilize them then I am most grateful.

Thanks for reading. – Tom

Featured Article: Personal Historian Passion

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © January, 2010

If you wonder what your ancestors were like, what kind of people they were, where they came from and what they did with their lives, you are not alone. More and more people are searching and researching their family history. Your past, including the history of your parents, grandparents and the rest of the “family tree” is a rich source waiting to be discovered. If you don’t already know the stories that make up your family history you are missing out on a vital part of your story.

There is also the story of your life – all your experiences, values, expectations, lessons and more are waiting to be shared with your family. They need to know about your life journey. You need to know about it, too. Critical reflection of your life journey is beneficial on many different levels.

Maybe you’ve thought about working in the field of personal history preservation. It is a growing field and there are many ways to go about it. There is also a tremendous need, whether you are inspired to do it as a hobby, for your personal family or as a professional.

I first became interested in writing and preserving personal history when I was exploring various options that would utilize my writing abilities and Internet skills. I’ve been involved in Internet exploration and marketing since the mid-1990’s. And I’ve enjoyed writing about my life, as well as the life of friends and family for quite a while. My research several years ago revealed a great growing interest in people preserving their life stories. That interest continues to grow. One of the most popular genres is now memoir. Workshops for writing autobiographies, journal writing, and the use of video and digital scrapbooking are also at an all-time high.

If you want to pursue life story capture I recommend that you learn what others are doing. This is part of the purpose of Your Life is Your Story. There are many others working in the field of personal history that you can learn from, too. I have discovered a wealth of associations and resources through my membership in the fast-growing Association of Personal Historians. The yearly membership fee provides exceptional benefits, such as exposure of my services through their website for those searching for a personal historian, credibility to people I encounter who are interested in preserving personal history, a vast network of helpful colleagues, resources for developing my skills and an ever expanding idea bank from email and forum participation. This year the APH is developing additional resources to enhance the value of membership. I highly recommend this organization.

There are also experts and contributors to the field of life story preservation who’ve published excellent books or teach workshops and seminars. I continually grow and hone my skills from these resources.

Additionally, having an Internet presence is essential. Whether you create a website as a home-base for your family’s history and stories, or as the “store front” for your services and specialties, a website is the most immediate way for people to discover who you are and what you offer. I’ve spent years of ongoing development of my site. I use the resources and tools of Site Build It from and it has worked exceedingly well for me. I consider it a corner piece of my personal history endeavors. You can find out more about Site Build It with this Upclose look on my site.

The most important ingredient for me as I continue to work in the field of life story capture and personal history is passion. I really believe in the importance of this work – both for my family and myself and for others. If you have a similar passion you can do something important that will contribute to the lasting legacies of others.

You can read other articles on life-story writing here.

Resources You Can Use

The Association of Personal Historians

This is a fast growing International not-for-profit organization of people working in all genres of life story capture. A wealth of resources and valuable networking is available to every member and this year (2010) they are dedicated to taking the association to a new level of benefits, education, resources and more. Discover for yourself and visit the Association of Personal Historians.

Site Build It 2.0

Don’t just build a website – build a business, a passion and a real presence that gets found. I’ve used this Internet service and its amazing resources for years. The beauty is you don’t have to be a technical expert, but you do need to invest some time and energy in creating a vision that SBI will help you translate to the web. Build real and lasting traffic with a true investment that pays dividends well beyond the modest investment price. Take an Upclose look.

MemoryGrabber 4.0

MemoryGrabber is a great downloadable e-book resource to help you put together your life story. Michael Boyter of Family History Products put this valuable resource together and he has updated and revised it to make it even better.

It’s very affordable (just $14.95). If you are unsure how to get started on your memoir, autobiography, or life story the MemoryGrabber 4.0 will inspire you and lead you through the practical process of your life history. Find out more here.

Closing Information

That’s it for this month’s issue. Thanks for reading. Be sure to visit our blog regularly, and here’s to telling your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell! Be sure to see the Get Started section.

Any comments, ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated. Just reply to this ‘zine and tell me what you think!

Until next time, – keep your story alive!

Tom Gilbert

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