Start journaling your heart out today. Have your very own Journaling Kit™ shipped to your doorstep...FREE!

E-books Workshops
Free Course
Support Us
Founded April 2000. A Writer's Digest Magazine 101 best Web sites for writers (2001 & 2003)
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
Instant Home Writing Kit
Ceramics Monthly

Buy a novel by Lucille Bellucci at and receive these .pdf bonuses:

  • 17 Ways to Make Amazon Your River of Gold
  • Make Money with Radio
  • Success Bound
  • Book Promotion: NOT for Sissies
  • Harvey Mackay Rolodex
  • Top 20 Talk Radio Topics
  • Harrison Bonus
  • Million Dollar Rolodex

    E-mail Lucille at lucil95783 AT aol DOT com to claim your bonuses.
  • Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less!
    Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less! New course reveals fresh secrets. Click here to learn more.

    The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED! It's all in the brainwaves. Find out here!

    EasyEbookPro Books

    Click here to advertise with us for 2 whole months for only $35!

    Home Columns

    Your Story is Part of Your Family History

    "Mom," my daughter commented, "You're spending so much time researching and writing about our ancestors. You need to write down your story for your grandchildren and me."

    This made me realize that I'm part of the generation of family, that someday my descendants will be excited to find my writings and remembrances. We so often think of our lives as being ordinary, as we live them, that we don't realize they will be and are of interest to other people today and in the years to come.

    This made me recall a reader of my "Country Kitchen" column telling me I should write a book about my life and my writing.

    "You'd like to hear about ME?" I asked in amazement and received an answer in the affirmative.

    Where Do You Start?

    These comments made me realize that my family and my readers truly might be interested in my life...not as an ego trip, but as a record of the times in which I live. My great, great grandchildren might even be interested in the mundane happenings in my life as I was when I discovered letters written by my great, great grandmother of the everyday events in her life as a pioneer homesteader in the United States in the 1800s.

    You also don't have to be an adult to start writing about your life. Youngsters often do this as a writing exercise in school. Save your children's writing. Have them start a journal...or keep the ones they write in school.

    Your start doesn't have to be with your birth and then written in chronological order. Sometimes people are put off simply because they don't like to write in sequence. Instead, remember exciting and memorable events in your life, whether they're sad, happy, or even ordinary. These could be:

    • First day at school
    • Escapade with a friend when a teenager
    • First job
    • An award or recognition you received
    • Your marriage
    • Birth of a child
    • Death of a family member or friend
    • A memorable vacation

    The list is endless. Once you start writing about these incidents in your life, they will act as springboards for more ideas.

    Recording Your Story on Tape

    If you don't like to write, don't let this deter you. Simply get out your tape recorder and record your memories.

    • Keep a small recorder with you to use whenever you recall incidents and events.
    • Record everyday happenings as you experience them, too. Today will be part of your family history tomorrow!
    • Chat with a family member and record their remembrances. It's interesting to see how two or three siblings recall the same event. Or what they recall that another may have forgotten.
    • Set a specific time each week when you might record some of your memories.

    Keeping a Journal

    A journal or diary is a great place to record information about your life, for yourself and as a treasure for future generations. What fun to go through my grandmother's and my mom's dairies.

    From my grandmother's diary I get an idea of her daily life, year after. She was a very regular diary writer, faithfully recording just a few sentences every evening.

    My mom's diaries were intermittent over the years. But the tidbits I glean there give me greater understanding of her. Of particular interest to me, as a teacher, are her years at her first school in the early 1900s.

    I have kept journals for years...for ideas as a writer, and to record my daily life, which I can refer to later. When I started, I had no idea I was jotting down a heritage for my family.

    Don't Throw Out Letters

    When I read those letters of my great, great grandmother's, I realized that the letters I have of my mom's and my grandmother's are part of family history, too, and shouldn't be thrown out. Then when I had to move my mom from her home as Alzheimer's disease made it impossible for her to live alone, I discovered that she had saved just about every letter I'd written her over the years. These are gathered together in a box, for me to catalog. They give me a record of my life from my days at college, my marriage and life as a military wife, the birth of my daughter, and then of grandchildren. Some of these are more detailed than a journal and give a glimpse of my husband's and my life over the years that may be of interest to my descendants if I can get them in some order that is easier to save.

    Ideas are Numerous

    The ideas are numerous for keeping a record of your own history. Items like report cards, birth and marriage certificates, diplomas, news clippings, and other items of recognition all add to the record you can keep for your family.

    If this becomes too much to keep, try scanning the important items into your computer; preserve them on video and on CDs. However, remember that these items will deteriorate just as paper can, so check out the best methods of preservation.

    Remember...the events in your life are of interest to someone in your life, now and in the future. Begin recording it. You'll often find this great fun, too.

    Copyright © 2001 Mary Emma Allen

    Mary Emma Allen researches and writes about her family history as well as the history of the state where she lives in the United State. She's a children's writer, print and online columnist, book author and teacher/speaker. Her many publications are listed on her Web site --

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper


    The Web
    This Site

    Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    Creative Nurturing of the Writer Within

    6 Approaches to Journaling

    21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Muse

    Imagery in Writing


    Children's Writing
    Freelance Writing
    Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Technical Writing


    The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publishers Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Home | Articles | Columns | Workshops | E-books | Free Course | Quotes | E-zines | Top Fives | Support Us
    © Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ & The e-Writer's Place.
    Materials appearing in this Web site are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors and/or writers. Please read our Privacy Policy and TOS. No part of this website may be reproduced without consent from its owner. Original site design by Shery Russ. Hosting & maintenance by
    WriteSparks! Lite free software for writers
    Our sister sites: | | | | | | | | Writers Web Designs | | Aspiring Authors | Books | | | | | |