Some people think that collecting memories is a complicated process but in our experience that doesn’t need to be the case. Oh sure you can make just about anything complicated but with our Three Key Tips, you can start collecting memories right now and it’s not hard to do.
Key Tip #1 – Define the Time Frame. Thinking “Okay, I want to collect my whole life story”- that certainly can be an overwhelming thought. Set yourself time frame parameters. We love hearing stories from the early years of growing up. Whether you are collecting memories of your own or someone else’s, maybe a family member, start with a manageable time frame. Maximum of 15-20 years.
Key Tip #2 – Record the Stories. Really this is the most critical step. You can try and take a whole whack of notes while someone is talking or write up your own story but the easiest way is to make an audio recording. I use a free app called Voice Record Pro. It provides you with an mp4 file; a type of file that’s easily shared for the next step. Once the story is recorded, you can get it transcribed using an on-line service called Speechpad, turning your audio file into a word document. It’s like magic. It’s much quicker than the painstaking hours it would take to transcribe it yourself. Not to mention at a reasonable price. Another key aspect of recording life stories, especially someone else’s story, is being a good listener. When you’re recording a life story, you are not having a conversation. You are creating a beautiful open space for someone’s memory to wander in with little nudges along the way, asking for more detail but not interjecting with your own stories.
Key Tip #3 – Think about Images. Everyone has heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Images enhance stories like icing on a cake. They just make them so much better and so powerful. As you hear stories or think of your own stories, make a note of any images that come to mind. Maybe it’s photos that you know you’ve seen or maybe it’s a description of something that would be great to see, like a mountain climbed or a village visited.
Now that you’ve gathered all these precious elements, the next decision is what to do with them. If you’ve looked at our website portfolio, you will have seen examples of what we do.
But we are super curious about WHAT YOU DO when you are collecting memories. If you could take a few minutes to answer a short survey (only 10 multiple choice questions), it would help us tremendously to understand how people, how you, are collecting your memories.
Thank you so much for sharing this newsletter with people you think might be interested. Perhaps they are also people who might be willing to help us with our information gathering. My gratitude overfloweth.
Here at Visual Life Stories we are pretty obsessed with helping people bring their stories to life, to preserve them forever. Let me know if we can help you.