I hear that phrase all the time. All the time.
"I didn't even know this was a thing."
But if you have ever headed into a bookstore or library and wandered around the biography and autobiography sections, you might have begun to suspect it. Because while you might be an outstanding sports person, innovator or politician, it does not mean you are a great writer. And if they can get support to share their stories, shouldn't others be able to access help too? And not just the kind where you still have to sit in front of the computer for hours. The kind of help that just get's it done for you?
We thought so. Because what people are really saying is:
"I didn't know this was a thing for ME or for MY FAMILY."
While there is a great debate about the value of social media in our lives, it has very clearly shown that you do not have to be a celebrity for people to be interested in your life. They want to know what you are doing, who is in your world, and of course what you are eating for breakfast!
While many decry the hours spent online, the historian in me is quietly excited. Never before have we had so many people creating a record of their lives before. All the different perspectives and viewpoints. While as I writer I would like a more curated perspective, and as a parent and business person I wonder if some of the records should be online at all... but that said, there is no doubt people are interested in everyday peoples stories.
But what about those who don't use social media? Or even technology and whose stories are equally valuable?
We can still help, because this IS A THING for you and your family.
Did you want Nana to share her story, without her having to pick up a pen or join Instagram? We can help. Would you love to know what your Grandpa did during his 20's but just can't remember all the stories he's told you? We get it.
As Oral Historians, we work with everyone to share their story verbally. Talking. Using their own words. Not worried about the arc of the story, or what writing tense is best. And we curate the content for them.
Because it's interesting. For you. For your family. And people are interested.
I have been honored to learn about the lives of my clients. A mom who applied for a job as a tea lady and walked out an atomic inspector. A jeweler who joined the air force and solved a problem that had a fleet of aircraft grounded during World War II. A young woman working in a bookstore who became a radio announcer raising funds for hospitals. A family emigrating to escape war and start a new life in a distant country. And only some people in their family knew these stories! But through working with us, they had an opportunity to share their own stories with their friends and family.
So we want to let you know, this is a thing. It's a great thing. It's an easy thing. It's an important thing to know your own histories. To know where you have come from. And for others to know you. This is a thing we love to do.
And it is a thing you!