That’s the question I was asked one day by a personal history client. I muttered something about being too busy and feebly joked about not being able to afford it. As a professional personal historian, it wasn’t my best moment. Why should anyone hire me if I didn’t believe enough in life stories to do my own?
I think as professionals we need to “walk-the-talk”. Would you hire an interior decorator who was uninterested in his own home’s appearance? What about the professional organizer who tells you she never has time to organize her own office? The chances are you’d probably have second thoughts about hiring them.
If we haven’t had our life story told, we can’t talk about the experience in a personal and authentic manner. Imagine, on the other hand, what a powerful selling point to be able to enthusiastically share with a potential client the rewards of having had your own life story documented.
I have a modest proposal. If you’re a professional personal historian and haven’t had your life story told, here’s what to do:
- Hire a personal historian to do your life story if you can afford the time and the money.
- If your finances are low, find a fellow personal historian who’s starting out and needs some experience and product to show. Consider a barter arrangement. For your assistance through the process that person produces a life story for you.
- If you’re new to the business and can’t afford to hire a personal historian, do your own writing with the help of books such as How to Write Your Own Life Story, Legacy : A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Personal History, or Living Legacies: How to Write, Illustrate and Share Your Life Stories
I wonder how many other professional personal historians out there have never had their life stories told? Am I the only one?
Photo by Amarand Agasi
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