Every life is a story. A journey from place to place, from relationship to relationship, from job to job, the list is often long, interesting and full of surprises.

A favourite Visual Life Story is about a woman who lived in 30 different houses throughout her life. Each address held clues to her choices & life journey. Who lived in the house? How long were they there? Where in the world was it? Guess what, she has moved again! Truly a nomad.

When we share our stories with family and friends, we are recognizing and celebrating  our own personal journey. Our trials and tribulations, our accomplishments and successes. When we are talking and sharing we are in a way, honouring the “who” in who we are. Having a written record, a collection of our memories, creates a legacy to share with future generations.

You may be wondering how to get started? Your whole life is a big topic, a big project. Time to chunk it down into manageable pieces.

Wondering how to get started telling your story? We have a few suggestions. Our list below is an excerpt from an article written for Comfort Keepers, a national home care provider that has consistently supported people who have great stories to share. The local office features Visual Life Stories in their latest newsletter. Try these steps and you will be amazed as the story of your life emerges…

Have a look at your work, your journey, your path through life. Sit down with your booklet and spend 30 minutes at a time, going back to each page and adding details.  Write in point form, it’s easier. The goal is to get to the essence of your story. Keep things concise. Don’t get bogged down trying to write a beautiful sentence. For me, setting aside the time to reflect on my journey is a delight and helps me manage when times are challenging. For your Visual Life Story stick to the essence and if you think of an image that would help tell the story, make a note of it.

I have the good fortune of listening to people’s stories. As a Memory Collector, I help people tell their personal stories. As a Graphic Journalist, I take their stories and edit them to get the essence of their life. Once we have the story, we combine the text with personal photographs, sketches, maps and life’s artifacts to create a Visual Life Story.

Map view “How to List” for Collecting Memories, Your Life StoryFor the story above, the client provided some of the images. Surprisingly, many images were found using Google Street View. It’s a fantastic tool that’s part of Google Maps – I’m sure you already know it. If not, check it out. Go find the house you grew up in. I did.  Click on theStreet view “How to List” for Collecting Memories, Your Life Story little figure in the corner and drag it onto the place on your map where you lived. It will turn into a view of the street. Here’s the house where I grew up.

At Visual Life Stories we cherish the opportunity to help people collect their memories. Our story booklets are accordion folded so they stand up beautifully on a table or shelf, to display a life well lived. They are stories people love to see

Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

Pen in Hand,
Deborah LeFrank