How to Collect and Record Memories

Turning the meaningless into the meaningful Collecting memories and mementoes is something most of us do, often unconsciously, on a daily basis. The advantage is that we know the stories behind the photos and trinkets we keep, but to anyone else, this collection is pretty much meaningless.  For example, you may pick up a photo of yourself with friends, sitting around a table and you might look fondly at the picture and chuckle to yourself, remembering all the events that occurred that night. But, let’s say your great-granddaughter picks up this same photo 40 years from now.What would she see? Read more

Does Your Story Have Legs?

The second instalment of The Life of a Backstory. By fleshing out the backstory and asking some key questions, writers can easily determine whether their idea has the potential to be more than just an idea, or whether it could be a bestseller. She doesn’t need to see to hear them fighting. She doesn’t need to see to know what expressions they wear. She doesn’t need to see to feel the house shudder as the front door slams. He’s gone. She never breaths during these exchanges, she’s tried to, tried to relax, but she can’t. Now she sucks air in so deep her shoulders and abdomen Read more

How To Write My Life Story

I once came across a quote by the author Kate Rockland, which read: “Relationships consist of telling your same life stories to different people until someone finally appreciates them.” Although, a little on the soppy side, this idea about the power of the life story and the realisation that our stories literally make us did really hit home. Now, most people wouldn’t consider themselves storytellers and definitely wouldn’t consider themselves authors. In actual fact, that is exactly what we all are; storytellers. By merely going about our day-to-day lives we are unwittingly creating Read more

Ghostwriting: Myths and Misconceptions

Ghostwriting can be loosely defined as the process of writing a book on someone else’s behalf. The contribution of a ghostwriter varies from book to book and from writer to writer. A ghostwriter’s task can range from predominantly editing to writing a complete novel or biography based on someone else's story or idea. Outside of the publishing world, the ghostwriters existence appears to be just as elusive as their name suggests, with many people being blissfully unaware of the ghostwriters contribution to the trade fiction sector. It seems to be widely accepted that biographies and cookbooks Read more

How to Write a Memoir

First-things-first, let’s establish precisely what a memoir actually is. It is not an autobiography. An autobiography is an account of someones life written by that person. So what exactly is a memoir? Well, memoirs are personal accounts of specific memories or stories from your life; it is not a record of your entire existence. One: that would be pretty much impossible to write down, and two: that would probably be a rather boring read. Learn more about the difference between a memoir and an autobiography (What's the Difference Between a Memoir and an Autobiography?)  Memoirs, like autobiographies Read more

The Recipe for a Good Ghostwriter

Problem: you want to share your story, but you feel as though you don’t have the time or the necessary literary skill to be able to convey it properly. Solution: Ghostwriter Simple. Somewhat. Getting a ghostwriter is one thing; getting a good ghostwriter is another. Here’s what you’ll need: INGREDIENTS 2 mugs of mutual understanding 1 generous serving of empathy 1 sprinkle of flair 2 drops of clarity 6 doses of stylistic transparency 2 clean ears 0 spoons of judgment 4 helpings of industry expertise 1 dash of wit 6 spoons of patience 1 Read more

The Life of a Back Story

I’m a starer. My husband is always picking me out about it because it’s so obvious, so blatant, so (God forbid) rude. I can’t help it though; some faces just keep drawing my eyes back to them. It could just be the face, but sometimes it’s the whole package: the way the lips move in conversation, or eyes stare unblinking at seemingly nothing or move constantly, a subtle mannerism or prodigious gesticulation. Sometimes it’s as simple as a pair of shoes. I can’t help it because I’m thinking: I wonder what his / her story is. I stare as I try to put together the pieces of a total stranger’s Read more

The Importance of Dementia Focused Books

If you've found this blog post you are most likely looking for help finding a "dementia book". Whether you have or are in contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed, hopefully you'll find the answers you're looking for. What is Dementia? Dementia is an illness that impacts the lives of thousands of people everywhere. It is not quite a disease as many people think. “Dementia” is the umbrella term used to describe the collection of symptoms that occur when brain cells are damaged. It primarily presents in people over the age of 65. Every 3 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed Read more

Creative Writing Tips

Whether your project is a short story, a biography, a series of novels or anything in between, creative writing can be hard. The road to greatness is often encumbered by speed bumps. Maybe you have an entire story plotted out in your mind, but you can’t find the right way to fit that cinematic adventure into words. Perhaps you can’t wait to fashion beautiful sentences, but you’ve got no clue what to write them about. Or maybe you’ve written the whole thing, but re-reading it disappoints you because it’s not what you imagined. Overcoming these issues and more is all part of the creative Read more

Writing to preserve memories

'Tell me about when you were a little girl.' Coaxing stories and memories out of parents and grandparents was at one time my favourite way of putting off bedtime. Nowadays – and once the stories are written down – it fulfils deeper purposes with broader benefits. Parting the curtains For a child, listening to stories is like visiting the old days hand in hand with the parent or aunt or grandparent who used to live there. It’s a comforting way to open up the past: their past, your past, the stories that shape family life. It’s like peeping behind the curtains that part the generations. Read more

Writing your life story can be easier than you think

There are hundreds of great reasons to write your life story down – to build a safe place for your memories, create a keepsake for your family, or make sense of your own journey. But the thought of chronicling your whole life on paper is an intimidating one, and you don’t have to dig deep to find reasons to stop before you’ve started. However, we at Story Terrace believe that because every life is extraordinary, every life story deserves to be told. So we’ve compiled a short list of comebacks to those pesky excuses! “I can’t remember everything that’s happened to me, especially Read more

7 TIPS FOR RESEARCHING YOUR FAMILY TREE

Is it time to research your family history? Has something come into the fore in recent times that’s made you decide the moment has come to embark on one of life's biggest projects that will mean so much - are you about to tackle researching your family history? If so, we have gathered 7 tips to help you on your researching way - it’s certainly going to be a journey of highs and lows, breakthroughs and lulls, but this is a commitment that will enable you to understand who you and your family really are. 1. Write it all down and begin to build your family tree  Start by writing information Read more

5 TIPS FOR ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONNAIRES

Our questionnaires are designed to conjure up your memories in a fun and engaging manner, and are an integral step towards the creation of your book....read our tips to help get you started!  1. Brainstorm Write down whatever details come into your mind first– whether it’s the smell of your grandmother’s cooking or the excitement of playing outside as a child. It doesn’t matter if your stories are complete or just words jotted down. Don’t worry about the style or accuracy of your writing. There will be plenty of time for editing later. 2. Take your time! There’s no way Read more

Quick Tips for Digitising Your Old Photos

Quick Tips for Digitising Your Old Photos We know where all of your cherished memories are hiding...in dusty old boxes at the back of your closet! The task of organising, digitising and archiving your old photos can seem like an overwhelming, never-ending job, but luckily there are lots of options out there today to help you get started before any of your treasured collection is gone for good. Accidents and ageing can and will happen! Use our tips below to get started digitising your old photos so they can be easily shared for many years to come. First, start organising... 1. Before you Read more

Interview: Vintage Photo Lab

Interview: Vintage Photo Lab Photos are treasured pieces of our personal histories that have the power to bring back old experiences. At the same time, most people have these treasures stuffed into boxes at the back of a closet that are only dug out when the occasion demands. Reliving past memories shouldn’t be a chore. We spoke with a man who’s made it his mission to ensure your old photos and memories are more accessible and safer than ever by converting them to digital copies. In our interview, Ed Padmore, founder of Vintage Photo Lab, talks about his motivations for leaving his career Read more

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