I want to write my life story, but what experiences do I share? What do I leave out? Will my story matter to anyone? I have experienced all of these questions just like so many of the people I help. I understand that writing your life story is hard work, and I am always searching for more ways to offer my support.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can help others stop talking about writing their story and sit down and write. My mentor, Dr. Lezlie Laws, founder of Life Art Studio, shared with me a Ted Talk titled, “Anne Lamott: 12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing.” As I listened to this talk, I was touched by Lamott’s profound wisdom concerning the writing process.
“If you don’t know where to start,” says Lamott, “remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it.” Lamott is absolutely right. No one else can tell your story the way you can. This truth alone solidifies the value of each anecdote and experience we preserve when we write our life moments.
As many of you know, I found my passion for helping people write their stories when I tried to write my own family history, but the people I wanted to write about had already passed away and with them went all the stories they held. I encourage all of you to start writing now so you don’t have to experience what I did.
Follow Lamott’s advice, “You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday, and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs—your truth, your version of things—in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us, and that’s also why you were born.”
I encourage everyone to take the time and listen to this talk in its entirety; it’s less than fifteen minutes long. You’ll be energized, inspired and ready to write, and Lamott is really funny.
Bottom line: no one can tell your truth the way you can.