Does this ever happen to you during Christmas or other holiday gatherings with your family?
You’re sitting around in a cozy space, soaking in the warm glow of delicious food and loving connections, when suddenly someone says, “Remember that time when…?” Then, before the person talking gets more than two sentences into their story, you find yourself nodding along, knowing exactly where the story is headed. And even if you would swear that the storyteller is not getting the details quite right, or you notice how he or she enjoys just a little bit of embellishing here and there, your attention remains riveted until the very end. As you look around, you see that you’re far from the only one comfortably entranced with the story that’s just been told.
There’s something special about shared memories. They have that power to connect and enthrall, whether they’re memories shared among family members or among fellow soldiers, current or former co-workers, attendees at a movie or concert, or anyone who was impacted by the same event or experience. Sometimes as writers of memoirs or autobiographies, we get caught up in the false belief that our stories must always be different, unique, something that no one has heard before, punctuated by a dramatic surprise ending. Sure, there is inherent value in telling something out of the ordinary, something that only happened to you. But there is also richness and broad appeal in being able to tell a story that others know quite well because they lived the same story. Others who read or hear our stories resonate with what we share, feel a deep sense of engagement, and appreciate the storyteller’s individual personality and perspective that guides their own unique expression of the familiar story.
So during this holiday season, pay extra attention to those moments when someone in your family or social circle begins to tell a story that others have shared in. Watch the magical connections that emerge. Then, consider what stories YOU may have to tell about common or shared moments and experiences in life. Those stories may be just what you need to jump-start your memoir or autobiography, or steer you toward enlisting the help of a memoir and autobiography ghostwriter to work with you on creating an unforgettable book about stories that are not yours alone and are waiting to be shared with an ever expanding circle.
– Kevin Quirk, Memoir & Autobiography Ghostwriter