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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #031 - Personal History Tipping Point
July 27, 2006

"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 July 27, 2006 Issue-031 - Personal History Tipping Point

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: Tipping Point
Featured Article: Personal History News
Resources You Can Use: iMemoryBook, Build Your Own Web Business
Closing Info

Opening Remarks: Tipping Point

As a member of the Association of Personal Historians I am part of a group whose passion is to help you preserve your personal history. Telling your story through books, audio, video and online methods is easier and more popular than ever before. I'm seeing more and more media attention and we may be reaching critical mass, or as the expression goes, the "tipping point".

In this month's issue I list some of the interesting news items I've seen covered recently. It's the kind of thing I do on a regular basis at my Your Life is Your Story blog.

I thank all of you who are reading this newsletter and visiting my site about life story writing. I hope that you are finding helpful information and motivation. You can always email me with questions and comments. I welcome the feedback.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. It is a special thing to share with you life story writing and personal history tips, resources and thoughts. If you like what you read here, you can pass it along to a friend. 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 History News

By Tom Gilbert

We now have more ways and opportunities to pass on our stories and personal history to others than ever before. This is really important as loved ones, friends and especially family members deserve to know about your life and your legacy.

Despite the amazing array of video, audio, digital and written ways to preserve your personal history it has seemed until recently that it is something the average person rarely does. However, I believe this is rapidly changing.

It's now quite common to hear about people writing their memoirs. And it is no longer just for the rich and famous. People from all walks of life are finding the value of writing a book about their life. It is a way to pass on your values and experiences and the process can be powerful as you reminisce about your life.

You certainly can do it all by yourself. However, more and more people are turning to professionals - personal historians - to get help.

The media coverage about the increasing interest in preserving one's story is growing by leaps and bounds. Not all of these stories focus on the various professional services that help people do this, but they are raising awareness about the importance of your legacy and professionals can help immensely.

Since the largest segment of the U.S. population are the "Baby Boomers" (now all entering their fifties and sixties) it is not surprising how many of them are interested in doing this. Some are telling their own story, but others are getting the story of their parents to pass along to family. I think this is because years ago extended families lived closer together, but that has changed with family members scattered across the miles. Telling your story is a way to connect you and your family.

Here are some recent stories pointing to the growing trend of personal history preservation.

Newsweek Online recently published a terrific article by personal historian, Andrea Gross, about her experience interviewing and writing her parents' story. You can read These Stories Will Change Your Life: What hearing my family history taught me about my mother and father here .

In Memoir vs. Memoir: Married almost 60 years, couple writes separate stories, Jeffrey Zaslow wrote about his parents in a story originally published in the Wall Street Journal, but also as a special submission to the Chicago Sun-Times. His parents each wrote their memoir, although his father started his first. The 663-page manuscript was mostly about his experiences in World War Two. His mother was initially upset that he wrote more about that than about their marriage and family. "I felt," she writes, "like I was living with his mistress." However, she decided to write her story, too. The end result is that they have both self-published their memoirs and learned more about each other. more here. (Note only an excerpt is available, but the full article is available for purchase.)

Another windy city publication, Chicago Caregiver Magazine, has just published a 4-page article Treasured Memories: Capture Your Family History in the July/August edition. It's not currently available online, but may be in the near future at

Elderly people certainly deserve respect and good care. I came across an interesting story about three brothers who created a vital living quarters for senior citizens. You can read A place to age in grace: Elder-care innovators make senior citizens a vital part of the urban experience here.

NPR - National Public Radio regularly has stories about people preserving their family history and they have given regular coverage to Story Corps the oral history project that started with a recording booth at Grand Central Station in New York City, but is now roaming across the country. Story here.

Even such long-time journalistic positions like obituary writers are getting new life (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun) out of enhanced obits that include more history regarding the deceased. The story, Obit writers find that death becomes us, by Cathy Dunphy of Las Vegas, New Mexico published online by the Toronto Star delves into this. Go here.

Some people are also anticipating their death by planning their funerals to be more like a final party celebration. Read this article, It's My Funeral and I'll Serve Ice Cream if I Want To, in the NY Times.

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

Resources You Can Use

The iMemoryBook

I'm very excited to offer you the iMemoryBooks. This is a great way to share your life story. It's very affordable and easy to build your story online and then have it printed with a beautiful hard or soft cover and with the artwork you want.

There are a couple of ways to do this. You can buy the main package for less than $200 and your story will be online forever as well as getting one hardcover book. Plus, you can affordably order additional books and because your story stays online (password protected so you can share it only with those you choose to) you can update it in the future. Or you can use the Heirloom package for just $49.95 that allows you to follow the same process. Plus, you get a $37 coupon towards the cost of your project that gives you a 25 page full-color or 150 page black and white hardbound book. For more information and to get started visit here

Build Your Own Web Business

Why build a web site when you can build an online business?

There are many ways to go about launching a web site of your own. And more than a few "get-rich-quick" schemes salivating to take your money and leave you hanging out to dry without the tools, support or resources to do it right. All successful online endeavors have something in common. It starts with the right niche to attract traffic to your site. That means creating a site you have knowledge, but more importantly, passion for.

The best way to have long-term success is to create content that brings traffic that you then pre-sell on your business/hobby/passion. Only then do you pursue making money with it (the all important bottom line necessity of monetization).

I've been online since the early 1990's and started building sites in the mid to late '90's. I had to learn the hard way. But you don't. I've found that Site Build It! (which I use for the Your Life is Your Story website to be what really works. Better tools. Better resources. Better support. And an Action Guide that works - if you use it! More info 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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