Writing your life story

I have started writing my life story.

Just by writing that statement it feels strange and narcissistic.  To write your life story you have to be a celebrity or achieve something right?

But I have been motivated to do this indirectly by family.

I was over at my grandfather’s listening to his old stories – about when he was younger, doing national service, all the sports he played.  This got me thinking how interesting his life has been.  If only he had written all this down when his memory was better it would be a really interesting read (at least from the perspective of being his grandson).

This made me go home and think about my life, where I had been and the background I’ve come from.  It wasn’t as interesting as someone who was growing up in a post WWII environment, but there were some funny stories and also some life lessons for myself and others to reflect on.

Then I thought of my other elderly relatives – my Grandma and Nana who are both dead.  I know that they would have had a few interesting stories that are now lost for ever.  My Grandma in particular was so quiet and shy that it would have been good to get to know more about her!

There was also my Grandad from my mother’s side.   I never met him as he died suddenly in his 50’s before I was born.

He flew Spitfires in World War II, I imagine he would have had some great stories – He went all over the world, what did he see, who did he know, what were his experiences?

Dying at such an unexpecteid age also illustrates how precious life is – he never got to experience being a grandparent and I suppose this made me think that I shouldn’t delay my own experiences.

I am 34 now and although I hope I have many decades on this Earth, I would hate to be taken suddenly before I could record my thoughts and memories.

In many ways it’s not too difficult to do, I know all about myself as I was there.  I started with my first memories and took it from there.  I have about 50,000 words from start to present day, with the memories being more lucid the closer or more painful it is.

The writing is intended for my loved ones to read, perhaps when I am gone my relatives will look at it and learn a bit more about who I was.

Although the dead don’t worry about such things – while I live it is a comforting thought that I am leaving something behind to show I existed.


Pictures for this post provided by my Grandfather Donald Wilson from his adventure where he went around the world and trained to fly a Spitfire. To see more photos from this brief picture of his life story then click here.

 

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8 thoughts on “Writing your life story

  1. Oh what a life your grand parents have seen and experienced. I feel that way with my mum, she has seen a few things i dont think i will ever see. All the best with your book.

    1. Thank you. It’s crazy such a different life and way to what we experience today. It’s strange going into war museums and reading stories of people who could easily have similar experience to my grandparents!

    1. Thanks. A few things so far. Have to put these in a post for more detail
      1) it was really good from the perspective of challenging with my writing to keep doing so much. It made me realise that potentially I could repeat that formula to any major book writing project.
      2) focus on getting it down rather than editing it along the way. Only downside is its a daunting task to tidy it up. On the plus if I get hit by a bus tomorrow there is that evidence I lived which is all I want.
      3) my work is influenced by hindsight. I am much wiser to stupid mistakes and reflect as such. More recent events in am not so wise but give 10 years I would probably have that wisdom.
      4) memories create memories. I had a basic formula of what I wanted to write i.e first memories to now. But I found just by writing and reflecting I started to pull out more things that I remembered.
      5) it can be painful, it can be good. Sometimes it made me laugh sometimes it made me cry. It was all good to do.
      6) with the bad memories some I was able to put to bed. One I didn’t really go into detail – in a way my own private revenge against a person where I thought “your not significant enough to be mentioned in a story highlighting my life”

      I will certainly keep sharing my progress.

  2. I also plan on writing my life story through my blog at the age of 34. Enjoy reliving the good times and cringing at the embarrassing moments – we all have them.

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