The written word creates a legacy that will live through many generations.

The act of writing a message, no matter how long, verbose, and detailed, or short, sweet, and off the-cuff, is a priceless gift.”

– Judy Helm Wright, today’s narrator and author of Write Your Family Story: Leaving a Living Legacy

You are likely one of the many people, all over the world, that are eager and anxious to learn about your family heritage – while also potentially feeling confused about your roots. Judy Helm Wright had you in mind when she wrote her book, Write Your Family Story: Leaving a Living Legacy, an approachable and common-sense guide to writing your history.

In her decades of experience helping people document the story of their families, Judy knows that there is not a single family without something to share for the generations to come. We all have a lifetime of stories in our memory banks. We have had life lessons that our children and their children will want to know and need to know. Even the stories that seem mundane provide a joyful glimpse into the small pleasures of life, and Judy promises that they are worth writing down.

The best time to begin is now. Check out the audiobook to hear Judy’s expansive list of methods for memoir making to jumpstart your writing journey today!


Full Transcript

Intro: Welcome to the Grace Point Publishing podcast. Today we continue our first chapter segment where our authors narrate a section of their book for you. In this episode, Judy Helm Wright shares a section from her book, write Your Family’s Story, leaving A Living Legacy, finding the heart of the Story, and the Journey of Life. Please see the show notes for information on how to buy Judy’s book and connect further with her work. And now here’s your narrator, Judy Helm Wright.

Judy Helm Wright: Dedicated to the hundreds of life story class members who have attended my writing classes. Your stories are incredible and so are you.

Judy Helm Wright: All over the world, people are eager and anxious to learn about their family heritage. However, as a trained parent and life educator and personal historian, I have found that modern families are many times complicated, isolated and confused about the roots. People everywhere feel some of the emptiness in their life when talking about close family relationships.

Judy Helm Wright: They hunger for morals of information that will tell them about who they are and why they do what they do. They look to the past for information about their life and the future of their children. Millions of parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, in-laws, out-laws, maternal and paternal grandparents, and stepparents and step siblings are scattered by area and conflicted stories. Many people enjoy doing the puzzle of a family tree. They enjoy studying a long list of names, places, and events that are connected through family ties. For some, the names and dates are enough to prove that they come from a long line of people. It was never enough for me.

Judy Helm Wright: I wanted to know them as individuals and to hear their stories. When I tried to do genealogy, I became frustrated, annoyed, and overwhelmed. Sure you can find the date of birth, marriage, and death, but I needed the stories in between. Would you rather do a genealogy study or write a few of your personal memoirs, your descendants?

Judy Helm Wright: They can find the names and numbers online, but only you know the real stories. Each of us has a unique history to draw on to tell our life story. We can also select the method, the reason, and how much we want to reveal of the personal history and information we alone possess. Most people have some knowledge of at least two generations back.

Judy Helm Wright: Even just writing down a few of the memories of stories you heard as a child will help the reader to relate to that ancestor as a. Rather than a date and burial place, written words are a special heirloom captured in tangible form. A life story becomes a permanent, priceless memento of your family’s heritage.

Judy Helm Wright: It is a document that honors all of your loved ones, both the storyteller and the story readers. For generations to come, a life story is anything that describes a period in someone’s. It can cover a space of time as short as a few minutes it took to rope that first steer, or as long as the tale from Diaper Days to Twilight Ears.

Judy Helm Wright: It can also be a compilation of anecdotes, stories, experiences, memories, journal and trays, or captions on snapshots like the artichoke, which we have chosen as our logo. You need to peel off many layers to get to the heart of the story. Underneath all those leaves with a sharp prickly ends, you will find an essential truth.

Judy Helm Wright: The truth of the story is that which speaks to your heart and touches you in a way nothing else could. I firmly believe that each of us has a destiny and purpose in this life, and we have wisdom to. Most of us have no idea how extensive an impact we have made on the lives of others. We come across in our daily life by exploring some of your own accomplishments or failures, pleasures and pains, lessons learned easily, as well as with great sorrow.

Judy Helm Wright: You will share your wisdom and humanity with reader. . As you reflect on your story, you will come to recognize the different crossroads through each phase of your life. While you and you alone can choose what to include, know that the readers are not going to judge you nearly as hard as you have. They will be relieved to find out that life was not always easy and you were not always.

Judy Helm Wright: A life story is an ongoing process that continues beyond your lifetime. When someone reads or glances at this written legacy, the subject of the story comes to life again, your words can warm, inspire, instruct, or encourage the reader as they think of you and your experiences or the experiences of the person you are writing about.

Judy Helm Wright: Many people have been prompt. both by their own spirits and the voices of others to record highlights of their life. You may be unsure of how and when to begin. The task can seem daunting, but the effort will be very worthwhile. Everyone for generations to come will be grateful. You are willing to sacrifice other easier pursuits in order to write those memoirs or leave a paper trail of who you are, where you have been.

Judy Helm Wright: and what you believed. It is the same whether you do this for your own life or you gather the information to record the life story of someone you know. The most important step in compiling memoirs is that you do something now. Write down the story, the joke, recipe, instructions, or anecdotes that you have been meaning to for so long.

Judy Helm Wright: There is no such thing as too little or too much. There’s no good writing or bad writing. There is no such thing as not important enough. In the experience of writing a life story, you will find the introspection learning process and absolute joy of reminiscing to be therapeutic and healing. You can capture the feelings and emotions of a particular time or experience you can add to it.

Judy Helm Wright: or you can do an entire autobiography or biography later in life, but begin today to capture the essence of the vital life you’re writing about and the world of that person’s experience. Never has there been an author who wishes they would not have done the book story or manuscript. If a noted publisher grabs it and it gets made into a movie to be seen by thousands, that will be.

Judy Helm Wright: If on the other hand, no one else ever reads it, you will still find the self introspection learning process and absolute joy of reminiscing to be very therapeutic in healing. You can capture the feelings and emotions of a particular time or experience and then add to it next year, or do an entire autobiography when you retire.

Judy Helm Wright: Begin today to capture the essence of who you are and the lessons you have to teach. You will find this a reoccurring theme in life stories. All written accounts are important, interesting, and easy to do. Once you realize that you are giving many readers clues about your. You are peeling down the leaves of the artichoke of life with its layers of daily activities, major and minor adversities, joyful activities, lessons learned and messages taught.

Judy Helm Wright: Those who are privileged to reach the heart will love you even more. They will be encouraged to keep going and perhaps even inspired by your words, but the main emotion. Will be one of gratitude that you made the effort to share your wisdom in some small way. So gather the little bits and pieces from here and there.

Judy Helm Wright: Put them in a timeline or chronological order. You may want to check out our website, memoir live story writing.com for a great organizational tool that assists in building a timeline, which is the foundation of all life stories. Once you are organized, the stories will just flow. Write them just as you remember.

Judy Helm Wright: You can worry about spelling and editing later. Have fun. Does it matter which method you use to record your life story? No. You may choose several methods to make your mark on history. What does matter is that you do something, whether it’s to expand on a project already. Or begin today to record bits and pieces.

Judy Helm Wright: Your story is unique and the lessons that you have to share are valuable. The written word creates a legacy that will live through many generations. The act of writing a message no matter how long, verbose, and detailed, or short and sweet or off the cup, is a priceless gift. There is an old African saying that every time a person dies, It is if a library has burned down, write your story today.

Outro: Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Grace Point Publishing Authors podcast. We can’t wait to talk more next time. As we introduce you to another one of our amazing authors. Make sure you hit subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform so you never miss a single episode of the Grace Point Publishing Authors podcast.

To find out more about our authors and to see how we can help you publish your book, head to gracepointpublishing.com Keep writing, keep creating your words matter.