Being professional personal historians, people ask us all the time: "Have you written your life story?" We have written many of our stories, and have put them into books to share with loved ones. But (as we tell our clients and students) life is ongoing, new things are always happening, and new insights are gained. So we have a few more stories to tell.
This year, Tom and I have each committed to set aside 15 minutes a day to work on our own pictures and stories. So we thought we'd take you along for the ride!
Starting January 31, 2016, we will post a daily writing challenge of some sort: an exercise, writing prompt, or bit of encouragement. Our hope is that by the end of the year, you (and we) will have a stack of personal stories recorded.
The Challenge - Write Something About Your Life for 15 Minutes Each Day
Why Only 15 Minutes?
- Because it's 15 more minutes than you've been writing lately, which is zero minutes.
- You will be surprised at how much you can write in 15 minutes.
- If you write for 15 minutes, 5 days a week, for a year, that's 65 hours of writing. Fifteen minutes a day is much less painful than spending your a week's vacation chained to a writing instrument, trying to get it all done at once.
- Small doses overcomes the subconscious resistance *some* of us have to doing anything that feels like work. Seriously, you can stand anything for 15 minutes. And after the first minute, you are reminded that it's actually fun.
- Finally, evidence: we have noticed that our clients who have successfully completed a project with the least amount of stress did so by making consistent small daily efforts.
How to Start:
- CLICK HERE to sign up to have a daily challenge sent directly to your inbox. (Be sure to put picturesandstories.com on your email "safe sender's list" so it doesn't end up in your junk mail.)
- If you'd rather not bother with the email, you can follow Pictures and Stories on Facebook to get the daily post. You can always check in to THIS PAGE to see the daily post and an archive of previous posts.
- There are no rules, really. This challenge is just for your benefit. Jump in and drop out as it suits your life. But if you commit to the process, even imperfectly, you will accomplish something.
- If you miss a day, you don't have to make it up. Just start where you are.
- You don't have to stop after 15 minutes if you don't want to! If the words are flowing, keep going!
- Not so fond of writing? Grab a recorder and tell a story instead. (Please make sure to back up your audio files!)
- You don't have to share anything with anyone. But if you wish, we'd love to hear about your experiences with the challenge. Please comment if you have a question about the process or a struggle (or success!); odds are that another reader might have the same issue. (Long personal stories may not be appropriate to post publicly, but you can always send us a message if you have a personal question.)
- Most importantly, don't judge yourself. Don't worry about grammar, or accuracy, or what your mother will think. Just write. You can make revisions later before you share it with anyone.
Best of luck and happy writing!!