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So, you’ve thought about writing your stories, but you certainly don’t have time. And you have no idea how to start anyway. Excuses.

Last Wednesday at the Palos Heights Public Library (IL), participants in Caregivers Share Your Story learned they could start writing their stories in only ten minutes. Caregivers can include all of us–we all either care for someone or ourselves.

First, they made a list of ten things they thought was important in their caregiving roles. These could be events, feelings, characteristics…whatever came to mind.

Second, they circled the one item that felt most important right then.

Third, they wrote nonstop (called a “free write”) for ten minutes. No thinking, no editing, just keeping the pen moving on the page.

Ten minutes later, each had a rough draft of a story. Something they could go back to some day to revise and refine. But the story was out of their minds and onto the page. Simple.

A photograph of a 2 month old human infant, hi...

A photograph of a 2 month old human infant, his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his maternal great-grandmother.

Do a ten-minute free write every day, and you will have a book length manuscript in no time to revise and refine. Think in the future how your grandchildren will enjoy reading how you gave their grandpa Old Spice every Christmas because that’s what he was wearing the day you met, how you took your temperature daily for years in your effort to get pregnant for their mom, how that new baby nearly drove you over the edge as she  mushed her peas time after time into the crevices of her high chair, and on and on. The little things. The family traditions. The things that make us human. The things that make us family.

I have just a few writings from my folks and maternal grandmother. I wish I had many more. I want to know about their ups and downs. I want to know them better. But once they died, their stories died too.

So, don’t wait. Start now. Write from your heart. Your grandkids will appreciate it…some day.

Next time, I’ll talk about why it’s good (and fun) as a caregiver to write our stories.

Photo credit: Wikipedia