10 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Write Your Life Story

Everyone has a story to tell. Here's why you should write yours up.

By Roberta Temes, Ph.D. from How to Write Your Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story (Reader's Digest Association Books)

facebook secrets1. Sharing personal information creates connections
When you take the time to write about your life, you permit others to know you. The knowledge of who you really are strengthens relationships and builds bonds. Colleagues, neighbors, friends, and even family tend to think of you only in the role you play in relation to them. When they learn that you are a multi-dimensional person, with many facets they didn’t expect, a deeper relationship ensues.

2. Your family will thank you
Children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all deserve to know how you became the person they know today. The older they get, the more they will be curious about who you once were and what situations shaped you. They will benefit when you reveal the obstacles you overcame and the strategies you used to conquer those hurdles. Pass your wisdom on; you might be just the role model they’ve been searching for.

3. You may be able to move on
The process of organizing your life experiences actually creates healing. Many clinical trials have proved that when you put memories into words, particularly memories of emotional significance, you improve your mental health. When you examine and then write about old situations, especially situations that have bothered you over the years, you reduce your daily stress levels, improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and enjoy a healthier emotional life.

4. You’ll think more clearly
Once your mind is emptied of those negative thoughts from years ago, your cognitive ability will improve and you’ll notice that your thinking is sharper. You’ll no longer ruminate about past injustices or past problems. Obsessions will fade away and you’ll have room for new, interesting information to fill your mind. Writing about your life stimulates your intellect.

5. You’ll feel better
Writing about strong feelings and safely disclosing secretive happenings improves your health, according to medical researchers. Your immune system actually grows stronger when you investigate the past and then write about those true events that you discover in your memory.

6. You’ll be more present
Many studies show that when people write about their lives and explore new possibilities about the cause and effect of long-ago incidents, they reduce the number of sick days taken at work or attend classes more consistently and improve their grades. This holds true for both men and women, regardless of age and culture.

7. You’ll make peace with your past
Writing permits you to separate yourself from your problems by looking at them from a distance. Useful solutions for today’s situations become apparent and the past becomes less important. Reflecting and writing trigger that change of perspective.

8. You’ll never be bored
The writing project you embark upon will always provide you with something to do. Writing will become part of your routine. Also, you may be motivated to talk to friends and family from the past or to look through photo albums from years ago.

9. You’ll leave a legacy
When you finish writing your life story you will have a permanent memoir in book form that you can distribute to loved ones, publish and sell online and in bookstores, or simply keep for yourself as a reminder of what you’ve accomplished in your life.

10. You’ll have fun!

If you’re wondering where or how to begin, How to Write Your Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story by Roberta Temes, Ph.D., is the new Reader’s Digest book that provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions—even if you’ve never written anything before. It is available here or wherever books are sold.

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