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Recording Your Story

I’m forever banging on about the importance of recording your story. I push this message every chance I get.

It’s always disappointing to me when I hear the reply;

‘My life isn’t interesting enough. I’m not special.’

This is not true. EVERYONE has a story to tell. In these times there is very little, if any, letter writing, it’s all emails or messages or snapchats, which disappear into the great unknown (iCloud), in my case, never to be found again!!

I have published two books; both are a record of special times in my life which I wanted to record for my family and anyone else who may be interested. These memories have left a legacy. My story about nursing in the 1960’s is very different to my mother’s nursing training in the 1940’s. In turn a nursing training is vastly different to current university training. I believe recording my story is part of history, which gives my grandchildren great amusement and fascination

Few people help develop a cattle station from scratch in a remote part of Queensland. Recording this story has opened my grandchildren’s eyes to life without electricity, television, mobile phones and more! The interest in this story has stunned and amazed me as I never thought it would be anything other than a personal story.

The added bonus is having an identity! I am now an AUTHOR and that is far more satisfying than being referred to as a ‘housewife’, (though I’m proud of that role as well).

However, take a deep breath and relax……you don’t necessarily have to become a published author. That road is for the few who dedicate time and energy to the process. There are alternate ways to record your story.

Use a recorder or phone to reminisce and record. Maybe a family member would type it up for you. Try grandchildren, they are so quick (at everything!).

Jot memories in a journal kept in a handy place, as the thought comes to mind, maybe beside the bed. That is where I do my best thinking when I should be sleeping!

Ask a family member or friend to help you.

My husband sat with my father and asked him questions about his early life. It was an easy way of recording his story. Once he started he was hard to stop. I have that recording of his story with his voice which is very precious. (he passed away in 1994.)

My mother recorded her story in handwritten notes, and this is very precious to me as it somehow feels very personal.

So, my message to you all out there, is to start now! I understand that time is essential, but the way the world is changing at a rapid pace, we need these memories to be recorded.

Do it for your family. You will be amazed how rewarding it is and what fun it is to revisit times gone by.

My other advice is:

Don’t suppress your creativity. We all have a creative side. I ignored mine for most of my long years, but it’s erupting now, and I prioritise. At one time, I did have visions of being able to paint pretty flowers and landscapes. My sister and I booked into a wonderful week of classes with a well-known artist at her home in the southern highlands of NSW.

I was a complete DUD. My work turned to abstract. The remainder of the class (supposed to be beginners…ha) excelled. My sister has gone on to be a superb artist, creating amazing work. I, on the other hand, passed on my paints and books to a neighbour and focused on writing.

Enough advice from me. I hope I have tweaked a desire to share your story.

Enjoy passing time going down ‘memory lane’. It’s great fun!

Happy recording!

Jenny Old

Jenny Old AUTHOR

‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’

‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook


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