Have you ever thought of conducting a life story interview with a family member? It’s probably safe to say that each of us has at least one relative who has led a seemingly exciting life, has inspired us because of their ability to overcome significant challenges and/or has actively participated in a significant historical event. You probably love to listen to their stories and may have encouraged them to write them down before it’s too late.
Maybe they’ve said they’ll get around to writing their stories one day…but they’ve been saying that for years. Or maybe they don’t see the value of their experiences the way you do. Or maybe they simply don’t like to write.
Rather than pleading – or worse yet, arguing – with them to get it done, consider a different approach. Ask them if they would allow you to record them as they tell you their story. It could be an audio recording or a video recording, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on audio recordings.
You don’t have to be a professional journalist; anyone can press the “record” button on a digital recorder or smartphone. However, here are a few tricks of the trade that will enable you to achieve the best results possible.Read More
In just a couple of days, those of us here in the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Family members will travel across the country (sometimes, around the world) to be together on this special day that is steeped in tradition. And while this would seem to provide ample opportunity to reconnect and spend quality time together, we Americans are busy people. We often disburse into various groups: those who watch the Macy’s parade on television, those who participate in local Turkey Trot races (often done in an attempt to compensate for the overabundance of calories they will consume later that day), those who gather to watch the football game, those who go brave the elements (and the crowds) to jumpstart their Christmas shopping, those who bustle around the kitchen preparing the day’s feast, and the list goes on.
Yet there’s one time that you can be certain that everyone will gather in one place: when the food is served. Typically, this brief time together is full of laughter and catching up with each other’s latest endeavors. But with a little advanced planning, you can extend this time of fellowship and turn it into an opportunity to share and preserve family history. Here’s how: Read More
Who is your audience? It’s a simple enough question. And your answer may appear simple as well: “my readers.” But that’s not specific enough. You’re not writing for “everyone;” you’re writing for the people who are seeking the information you have to share. Thus, regardless of genre, you need to concentrate on your target audience.
Yes, even memoir or autobiography writers need to visualize their ideal reader throughout the process. You might be thinking, “It’s the story of my life! Why should I consider the reader?” Because although your story is about you and your experiences, it must relate in some manner to your audience. If they don’t connect with your content – emotionally or intellectually – then they will quickly lose interest and never finish the book, let alone recommend it to others.
To keep your audience engaged, consider the following three points:Read More
So you have a book idea and you feel that now is as good a time as any to write it. You’re eager to get started, so you jot down a few notes, maybe even develop an outline. You write a few paragraphs and then a few pages.
“This writing thing isn’t so hard,” you think. You write a little more. And then it happens.
A work obligation. An illness. One or more of the million-and-one things on your to-do list. Whatever “it” is, it diverts your attention, requires your time and ensures that you don’t write that day. Before you know it, one obligation or emergency or fun night out leads to recurring neglect of your book for weeks or months.
Friends and family members ask how your story is coming along. You wince at the reminders and being too proud to admit the truth, you simply state, “Great!” Eventually, you resume your writing, but by then you’ve lost your mojo and have to start back at square one.
Distraction is a common problem for writers of all genres, but it doesn’t have to happen. This type of scenario can be avoided if you take the time to employ this simple strategy before writing your first sentence.Read More
If you’re reading this post, you’re undoubtedly one of the approximately 80% of Americans who want to write a book. You’ve probably had an idea floating around in your head for years. Maybe it’s your life story or a memoir. Perhaps it’s a business book that showcases your company or a how-to book explaining your favorite hobby. Or maybe it’s a work about a specific historical event or era.Read More
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Dalene Bickel is an author, book coach and speaker who helps aspiring authors successfully write, develop and self-publish their books.
What My Clients Say:
I want to thank you for the smooth process you provided in the publishing of my father’s memoirs. Your patience and prompt responses with my questions were invaluable. Having had no experience, I felt I could trust and rely on your expertise, and we were thrilled with the final product!