Giraffe: I was promised a standing desk...
Quote of the Month
"When I talk to kids and they say, 'How do you become a writer?', well, I don't know that you become a writer: you just are. I always had stories, they were always there inside my head."
- Judy Blume
Recording Those Noteworthy Stories
We believe everyone has a book inside of them. But it's intimidating to go from a few stories, ideas, or memories to writing a 100-300+ page book.
So, for the last 3 years, we've been trying to figure out a good starting point for recording stories. Especially in the biography, autobiography, or memoir format.
Our first attempt was called "Long Overdue Stories." Then, like Puff Daddy changing his name to P Diddy, we switched it to "Family Stories." Made a big announcement.
But in both of these earlier attempts, the focus was too much on the end result. We talked about how you could:
Record your stories and turn them into a book
Or a podcast episode
Or what if you took the audio and made this amazing vinyl record
After holding 40+ hours of interviews, what we started to learn was the interview itself was the magical part. It was this incredible space where stories and memories came to life. As someone told their stories, or stories/memories about one of their relatives, different themes emerged and one story would connect to another over the span of decades. We could learn a lot about someone in just 30-60 minutes.
This interview/storytelling session was a more natural way to record stories compared to "record your stories" journals or a list of generic writing prompts. There's just something about a meaningful conversation that gets the stories going in a way these DIY options rarely can achieve.
So, maybe this is another name change that we'll change again 2-3 years from now, but we have a feeling this one's gonna stick. We're proud to introduce our new storytelling class called...
... Drum roll please...
How it Works
This could be for your own Noteworthy stories or stories about a mom/dad/grandparent/friend.
Step 1: Book 1-2 hours of interview time with someone on our team. This could be 1-to-1 or you can gather family or friends together for a group storytelling session.
Step 2: We hold the interview(s), record it, send you the audio + a written transcript. We also make sure you have it all backed up digitally, whether that's Google Drive, Dropbox folders, etc.
Step 3: The journey is wide open. And you can always book more time. But now that nagging, "We should really jot these stories down" dilemma has been resolved. The stories are recorded for you, your family/friends, and future generations.
Where The Stories Can Go
We're torn because we don't want to focus too much on the end result, but we also don't want to go full hippie mode with a, "Dude, it's about the journey, not the destination, man."
So, here's a few examples of what people have done with their stories after the interviews.
Turning the Stories into a Short Book
Harolyn O'Brien (aka Mombo) shared stories about her mother, Lucy Evelena Crawford. After the interviews, she weaved the stories into a 7-10 page narrative. Added some photos. Printed off 20 copies and shared with her family on her 93rd birthday.
Group Interview Turned Magazine Article (+ Podcast Episode)
This was an awesome example of a group interview. Mike Stevens, Wayne Stieve, and Bob Wieland joined the Zoom call together and told the epic story of one of their cross country skiing trips from 40+ years ago.
Their "final draft" was a magazine style article keeping the interview format. A mix of story + photos.
We also uploaded the group interview as a podcast episode. This is another choice you can make, to share the stories publicly or keep private. Totally up to you.
Leyla Khanahmad and Ahmet Ergun's stories turned into a blog post/article. Now we're working with Ahmet on a cookbook.