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Recording Your Story? Here’s How To Plan It Out

Everyone should have the chance to tell their story; that’s something we truly believe at Iternal. That’s not to say we don’t understand how daunting the idea of recording your stories and experiences can seem – especially if you’re trying to capture your whole life; biography style!

Like any significant project, the best way to approach recording your life story is with a plan. Sure, you know your life better than anyone; ‘planning’ may seem unnecessary. But if your memory’s anything like mine, there’s no way you can remember all those great times you’ve had off the top of your head – let alone the intricate details. 

The methods I’m providing you won’t just refresh your memory; they should allow you to explore your past from a different perspective and perhaps give you a new insight into yourself. Before you start, having access to photos, videos and other memento’s will really help your process; so, get the albums out if you have them. Now, let’s get the blueprints out… 

The Mind Map

Our first step is the bread and butter of the plan; the mind map. On separate pieces of paper, or virtual documents, break your life down into chapters or intervals (age 0-5; 5-10; 10-15; 15-20 etc. or something similar) to allow yourself to focus on specific periods. 

Like the daily journaling techniques we’ve explored before, let the thoughts flow to the page; you’d be surprised what comes back to you! Think about the major events in those periods –  in your own life and in the context of the time. What can you remember?

Now would be a good time to assign any photos or stimulus to your mind maps too. The people in them; the places; the context – what other memories and stories do they inspire? Have your notepad by your side so you can scribble down any fleeting thoughts to come back to later!

Write In Themes

Once you’ve got your bare bones out and you’re scratching your head for more ideas, it’s time to get thematic. Use a list (like the following) and go through each theme and each life stage you’ve laid out and think again about your relevant memories and stories. Anything that comes to mind, get it down on. Consider things like:  

Childhood family

Romances

Spirituality

Health

Gender

Adult family

Mentality

Emotional wellbeing

Friends

Family

Education

Career and prospects

Holidays/Social Events

Successes & Failures

Aspirations & Fears

How did you feel then compared to how you feel now? Did these events change you as a person? This is an opportunity for you to realise your growth and development, and may just be a lesson to your descendants.

Your Senses Are Your Best Friends

Ok, not literally, but in this instance your senses are your golden key to your memory vault. Photos and videos are obviously a great start, but our other senses are just as powerful as our sight. 

For instance, is there a certain food or taste that transports you to your childhood? Or a particular perfume or cologne that never fails to remind you of a certain someone? Using the Iternal app to record these memories when you’re experiencing this level of nostalgia is a quick, easy and effective way to capture the essence of the moment.

Play music that reminds you of your teenage years; watch a film that you first saw in the cinema with your best friend 20 years ago. Allow your senses to guide your memory and present the stories of your life.

We’re Almost There…

If you’ve followed these methods so far, you’ve probably got a pretty solid idea of how your life story will look. Before we finish off, I thought I’d put in some honourable mentions of things you might want to consider when figuring out your life story: 

Lifelong lessons and advice

Turning points

Regrets

Times of real joy 

Times of sadness and how you grew from them 

Family traditions

Proud moments

Things you wish you could change given the chance

Family history and ancestry 

Remember as well, there are two sides to every story. A relative, close friend or figure in your life may be able to offer you a new perspective or angle on your experiences! Invite them to Iternal and they can send their memories directly to you. 

I hope this guide helps you save your stories, you deserve it. Remember, we’re always posting new posts to our blog, so keep an eye for more tips, guides, fun listicles and awesome content every week!