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Nothing to Write Home About

Submitted by Tommy Hardin on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:17am
Girl with pen writing

I have always thought about writing my personal history, but my life seemed like nothing to write home about. Do I really have any exciting stories to tell? Where would I even begin? The thought of writing more than a few pages about my life seemed overwhelming, but I began to wonder, "if I don’t write my story." who will?

With that thought in mind, I made a New Year’s resolution last year to write my personal history. My kids say they have heard my stories a million times, so that seemed like an easy place to start. I found some great prompts on themed topics and wrote one story each week. By the end of the year, I had over 50 pages typed. Many times, I found myself digging through photo albums, old letters, and diaries. As my project went along, I really started enjoying the writing process. In 2018, my goal is to add some photos to the stories and do some editing. By the end of the year, I hope to have a finished book that I can give to my family. 

If you need some ideas to get started with your personal or family history, Mid-Continent Public Library and the Midwest Genealogy Center have plenty of resources to help. Search MCPL’s online catalog for items using search terms such as “write family history.” You can find titles like How to Write Your Personal or Family History and more. MGC’s Bi-Folkal Kits can help generate memories and are especially great with groups of older adults or intergenerational groups. If writing is not your thing, you can record your oral history using a Tell Me A Story kit. You can even sign up for one of over fifty writing classes available through MCPL’s database Universal Class.

Already started but need some help? Register for Past to Print: Writing Your Ancestor’s Story at MGC on Saturday, April 21, from 2 to 5 p.m. Bring your writing project to this three-hour workshop to receive guided instruction, advice, and more. 

There are so many creative ways to write your family or personal history. So why not get started today?

What creative ideas do you have for sharing your family or personal history?

Jolene C.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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