A life story is a record of your unique experiences and memories. It can be in photo, video, or written form, and as long, short, detailed, or general as you want to make it.
"One of the saddest sentences I know is 'I wish I had asked my mother about that.'" William Zinsser
You are unique, and your life is too. If you fail to record your personal history, your stories disappear when you do. You have a responsibility to succeeding generations to leave a record and if you don't tell your own story, it will be told for you.
The benefits to writing your life story and your family history are innumerable. Studies show that those who write their memories down are happier, healthier individuals:
Additionally, sharing family stories benefits your posterity. The more that children (even adult children) know about their family history, the higher their self-esteem and resilience in the face of adversity tend to be.
Having a strong family narrative also strengthens and binds families together. As Marvin. E. Blum put it, "preserving a family legacy can help preserve a family."
Reaping these benefits is easy. Simply take the time to share your family stories. The most lasting way to do that is to record a family history.
A family history can start as far back as you want, can include genealogical sources and research or not, and can be as long, short, detailed, or general as you want to make it!
Some examples of family histories (or things to include in a family history):
The short answer is: any personal writing project you have in mind. Everyday Legacies specializes in life story writing, biographies, family history records, and other memoirs of any length. We have the skills to help you create projects of any kind, from written and audio histories to photo journals and videos.
As every project is unique, costs vary too, but we offer options to fit almost every budget. The best way to know for sure what something might cost is to schedule a consultation with us. Remember that every project includes any and all manuscript formatting, editing, photo placement, and up to two drafts of changes (except for interview- and transcription-only specials).
Absolutely. In fact, one of the best things about having a personal historian is how personalized the process is. We are happy to meet with you through whatever medium suits you best. In-person interviews, where possible, are great, but video calls are a perfect alternative. Although they are not ideal for a full interview, if necessary, even a plain-Jane phone call will work.
The amount of time involved from start-to-finish is mainly dependent on two factors: the size/length of the project, and your availability. Once we determine a scope for the project, we will always give you a timeline as part of the project proposal, and then we can fit it around whatever else you have going on in life.
With Everyday Legacies, you are the author of your own story. At the end of the project, your name will be on the cover (our contract simply specifies a standard 5% royalty agreement, should you decide to publish your finished product).
Everyday Legacies is made up of a talented team of writers, researchers, interviewers, transcribers, editors, and designers. Additionally, our clients benefit from our partnerships with professional genealogists, digitizers, life and growth coaches, and professional videographers. Depending on the project and what we agree in the contract (and for quality purposes), your project is likely to be completed by a team of individuals.
We absolutely get it, your story is personal. Each of our clients can expect the highest standard of confidentiality and privacy with their personal information while working with us, and after. Our contract stipulates our commitment to keeping all of your personal information confidential, including the personal details of the stories and experiences recorded in the project.
Life stories and family histories are 100% unique and customizable. Remember, you are telling the story of YOU, so including elements of your story that explain your history, your values, your character, and your personality and experiences is important. Visit our services page to get some ideas for what you could create, or contact us to tell us about your unique project vision. Remember, our talented team is here to help you through every step of the journey, from getting started to sharing the final product!
If you're the type of person who has always kept a journal, has labeled scrapbooks for each important memory of your life, and your children and grandchildren know all of your stories by heart, our service may not be of benefit to you. But to the rest of us – those who always knew we should have been writing things down (or wish we would have written more), or those whose otherwise diligent life-records seem to disappear during each busy period of life--our services are for you. You've had enough to do with simply living your life, now let us help you record it!
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Learn how to record your personal history with our easy DIY guide. BONUS: Includes a "Do They Know" needs assessment + 21 questions to help you get started.