Everyone has a story.

March 14 is the first National Write Your Story Day. According to the web, it is also Celebrate Scientists Day (my sister is a scientist, I will celebrate her for sure), Crowdfunding Day, Genius Day (oh definitely my day LOL), International Ask a Question Day (my every day, I’m a curious person), National Children's Craft Day, National Learn About Butterflies Day (who doesn’t like a butterfly?), National Pi Day (too bad it’s not “pie” day, that I would have enjoyed), National Potato Chip Day (I might lose some weight if I only celebrated these by eating them one day a year), National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day and the list goes on. We celebrate everything it seems. But this is one that I think deserves special attention and a special thanks to Mitzy for championing a story day. 

Our stories give insights into who we are, where we have been and what’s important to us. If you are having difficulty thinking of something interesting to report today, then start with your mom. I bet she was fascinating… in some wonderful and perhaps, not so wonderful ways. Tell a story about her, or one about you and your mom or about her and her mom. You know that I am all about Moms! (smile)

I am on a crusade to have everyone collect their family stories in short story form. They will weave together in a tapestry that tells your family history in a way that ancestry and family trees cannot. It is great to search where you are from and map it all out. But if you want to know more than the name and vital statistics, then you will want to whip out those phones and begin to film individual vignettes, short scenes. 

Why am I suggesting you film short video takes, one story at a time? Because bite-sizable pieces are almost always easier. You can do them on the fly, in the moment. As family members answer your questions or report about an event, you will capture the sparkle in their eyes, the sound of their voice, the tilt of their head, their laugh, their frown. So much more than can be seen in a photo or read in a letter. Over time, you will gather an oral and visual history that can be organized and handed down from generation to generation. A treasure chest.

Where to begin? Begin with questions or ask about an event that happened. Maybe you ask your grandmother what her mother was like, what a favorite day was with her mom, the day of her quinceañera, how she looked, felt, etc. Ask your grandfather to describe the day your dad was born, when he decided he was in love and how he proposed. Maybe you ask your Dad about a time when he was afraid, a day when he was truly happy, or his most fun remembrance of you as a child. You get the idea.

We are preparing a booklet that will be available for free to download from PamelaLNewton.com within the next two weeks. It will give you tips on how to begin building and cataloging a visual family history. Watch this space for an announcement.

On this first National Write Your Story Day, a day set aside to tell your story in written form, I challenge you to tell a story below… or go beyond, and film a story. Send it to us or post it. You may be amazed at what you find, and we will all be richer if you share it. Use the hashtag #WriteYourStoryDay to share what you've gathered with likeminded individuals around the world. 

It took me more than 20 years to tell my mom story in my book A Candle for My Mother. Please don’t wait as long to tell your stories and those of your family. Dive into the unknown. Adventure awaits!