Back to Back Issues Page
Your Life is Your Story, Issue #157 – Putting Your Story in Order
October 17, 2018

"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

October 17, 2018
Issue #157 – Putting Your Story in Order

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:
Opening remarks: Here Comes Family History Month
Featured Article: Putting Your Story in Order
Featured Resource: November is Memoir Writing Month

Opening Remarks: Here Comes Family History Month

October is Family History Month. It is a good time to take stock of the history of your family, from the patriarchs to the youngsters.

Have you given consideration to who the storytellers are in your family? Somebody typically emerges as the one who likes to remind everyone about various aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents along with all the elders. Having a talk about life is an important thing to do and if there is a person willing to step up and take time to listen and chronicle the exploits of family member then you have a good chance to preserve your all-important family history. A helpful resource is Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

Be sure to visit our life story blog regularly for stories about the power and importance of telling your story.

Thank you so much for being part of the Your Life Is Your Story community. Thanks to all our subscribers. I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. 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: Putting Your Story in Order

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © October, 2018

There are many things in life that need to have order. Without order there is randomness and chaos. That makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, there is a natural tendency in life for disorder. Consider the law of entropy. It essentially means that things tend to move towards disorder. If you never clean your desk (or your office) it will get messier. The tendency towards disorder in our lives and our world often leads to things not getting done. Also, it results in lack of organization, confusion and randomness. It takes energy, meaning and effort to counter entropy.

So what does this have to do with your life story? It is a fair question and in this short article I will attempt to explain.

Our lives are lived out in moments and experiences. Over time they help to shape our beliefs, values, habits and much more. When we spend time reminiscing and attempt to make sense of our lives we often want to share that. This is done by telling the story of our life and our various experiences. You need to spend time figuring out what your story is and why you want to preserve this story. Once you have done this the next step is to determine how you will do it.

Part of the how is taking the many experiences you write about and putting them into some kind of order. There is not one way to organize your experiences. But I think it can be helpful to try some different approaches.

Your story might be a personal or family history. Or you might be creating a memoir of a certain time in life or type of vocation or vacation. Regardless, any story has multiple parts and the resulting parts (stories) can be put into some kind of order.

The order of your stories in your memoir is important. It can establish a theme and a tempo. One way is to put it in chronological order. Start at the beginning of the time of the story and move across time to the place where the story concludes. This is probably the easiest approach, but it isn’t necessarily the best way to do it.

Some people find it very effective to start with a riveting event or experience that draws the reader in and then sets up the story for where you want to go. For instance, if you have a life changing event as a result of a disease or accident, you might start with the time when life was most threatened and then go back to before the life changing event and present background material. The rising action of your story will already have some momentum from your use of the opening flashback.

I have been working with a gifted writer who has many short, funny and entertaining life experiences. Each of them tends to be just two or three typed pages. What they have in common is humor and usually a twist to the outcome. Each of the vignettes provides insight into her personality.

We’ve been discussing some ways she might organize her many little stories into a book. It’s been fascinating and challenging to consider how. One of the things I suggested was to label each short story from her life on an index card and then lay them all out on a table or the floor. There are probably twenty or more stories for her to consider using. Laying out the cards and trying different groupings will give her ideas of how to structure the book. She could group the stories into similar categories, such as when she was a teenager, or stories about her married life.

How you will put your story in order is important. The flow of any memoir or personal history can impact how well you will retain a reader’s interest. It will also help you better appreciate the journey of your life.

Read some of the helpful life story articles here.

Featured Resource: November is Memoir Writing Month

November is fast approaching. It is Memoir Writing Month and an excellent time to finally get started, or re-start, your memoir.

The Memoir Writing Program offered by Denis Ledoux and the Memoir Network

is specifically designed to help people like you and me undertake what seems like a huge challenge, writing your memoir, and putting it into actionable, accountable and (most importantly) helpful steps toward writing your story.

It is natural to have doubts and anxiety about writing your memoir. Yet if you keep thinking about it, doing some writing, and wondering what it would be like to finally finish it, then you need to take some action.

Getting memoir writing help is a great investment. In November you can get a FREE 30-day course of valuable pre-writing tasks, lessons and resources.

Here’s where to go to access the November is Memoir Writing Month Program. This can be just the help you need to finally get your memoir written.

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

Back to Back Issues Page