Guest post: Your story

Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

Over the Christmas/New Year break many of you will have spent time with friends and family catching up on all the latest news and/or reminiscing about past events or people no longer with us, etc. Others will have done as I did and gone to visit family graves to give them a bit of a tidy - it was interesting to see how many were at Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, on Boxing Day.

As family historians we often become fixated with the past and forget that our lives are of interest to the younger generation; young children often enjoy hearing about the "olden days". We may consider our lives to be ordinary but think of those things we have experienced during our lives that the younger generations will not. For instance, the thrill of the family getting its first television or car, milk being delivered to the house (perhaps you worked on the milk truck/cart). I know that my uncles and aunts sometimes wouldn't tell my grandad when there was a horse out in the street just so they didn't have to shovel the droppings to put on the garden.

It is important to write about our memories as we are the last with a memory of our grandparents or, if you are lucky, great granparents, uncles, aunts, etc, and if the memories of them are not noted then they will become a series of notes in someone's future research without having a personality. Having an idea of someone's personality can help when trying to work out why they took this action or made that decision. Think how pleased you would have been to find such a series of notes or stories when you started your research.

Writing your story need not be a daunting task. You could simply make notes about events and people in your life or you may decide to write a series of short essays. Given the current holiday season, you could write about Christmases past, or summer holidays - remember those essays you used to write when you returned to school, "What I did in the holidays?"

Some things in your life may bring back bad memories but do try to wirte about these as well as it could be healing for you. If you are concerned about the family reading it you could place that story in a sealed envelope with instructions that it is not to be opened until a particular time.

I hope this will encourage you to begin writing something about your own life as you may be surprised what you remember when you get started. If you want to go further with this you may find a course in writing available at your local night school or community centre.

Happy writing, and a Happy New Year!

This entry was posted on Friday, 31 December 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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