Guest Post: How to Write Your Own Life Story

I was recently the featured storyteller on a new site called Story of My LIfe that enables anyone to share anecdotes about their lives online and I was blown away by Tamar Burris’ profile of me.
Today, we have a guest post by Kristen Kuhns, the founder of the site who offers tips on how you can capture the milestones and special moments of your life and turn it into a compelling read.
By Kristen Kuhns, founder of StoryOfMyLife.com.
Perhaps you have climbed tall mountains and visited foreign lands or perhaps you live a few minutes away from the house where you were born and built a beautiful life from simple things. No matter what your life has been like, there will likely come a time when you are thinking about how to pass the lessons that you have learned on to the ones who come after you. You might have a specific son or daughter in mind or perhaps you are simply writing for anyone who can learn from what you have been through. Keeping your Stories permanently recorded, rather than letting other people (or search engines) dictate what your future ancestors read about you, is important.
If you are ready to write your life story, you might not know where to begin. You might have all the information that you need, but you should also think about where you want to write it down. There are many people out there who jot things away in a notebook and never think about doing anything more permanent. When these records are lost, the people who supplied them with the information might not be around anymore to help them replace it, and this is why you want to think about how you are holding on to this information.
Don’t rely on your memory to keep you on the right track. One thing that you will quickly learn about writing is that it is a surprisingly immediate process where the things that you are working on become paramount. Small details that you would love to include can be easily lost in the shuffle, and sometimes that would be a great shame. Start keeping notes and use the tools that you have available to you. Keeping a notebook is one good way, but another is to keep your notes organized is to use your computer. There are going to be ways to leave notes for yourself attached to your documents and they can pop up when you need them. Remember that when you do anything on your computer that you need to back it up! Go online and look for archival sites where your work can be saved and even shared.
Technology plays a huge part in what we can do to make sure that your life lessons get passed on. Online preservation sites are actually quite different from what you might expect, and in many cases, they are significantly superior to what you might have access to. For instance, when you use online preservation sites, you don’t have to worry about a website that that disappears if you forget to pay fees or to renew the domain name. Similarly, even blogging sites can be deactivated if unused, taking years of work and thought with them! Or worse, a company could go out of business, losing ALL its customer’s data.
Remember that burning something to a CD or DVD is a good back-up, but in the long haul not going to cut it. Less than twenty years ago, people were using 8-track players or 9mm movie reels (you’ve probably even got some old family movies or slides in your closet or attic); who knows what kind of data storage we are going to be using in the next twenty or even fifty years to come? The question of online archival storage can help relieve your mind. Even physical storage that we consider effective now can be swept away. DVDs can be lost, scrapbooks or memoirs can be damaged by water or fire and any notes or ephemera that you might think important can disappear. This is why you want to make sure that you are going to be able to preserve what you know.
Writing your life story can be extremely satisfying; you will find that you can reach a better understanding of your own life through doing so and you’ll be able to be truthful with yourself in a way that might have been difficult before. Similarly, you can influence the people who come after you and teach them some of the lessons that you have won. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to share and teach; you never know when it might make a difference!
BIO: Kristen Kuhns is co-founder of STORY OF MY LIFE www.StoryOfMyLife.com. Story of My Life is the world’s largest online Story collection of the most extraordinary people – you, your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren… Read User Stories or Featured Stories, then create your own. Story of My Life makes it easy and fun to create and share your favorite memories – stories, pictures, videos & more – and preserve them Forever!

Introducing The Guest Post Corner

Here at Role Mommy, we’re always kicking off new and exciting ventures, so beginning this week, we’re going to start featuring guest bloggers on our site. That means if you’re an author, entrepreneur or parenting expert, then we want to hear from you! Today’s guest post comes from Trisha Wagner, who writes for DepositAccounts.com and she offers tips on how to teach our kids about saving money.
Tips For Teaching Kids About Savings by Trisha Wagner
piggy bankMany people will argue that we are all born with a tendency to either be savers or spenders. I have seen this first hand in watching my nieces grow up. Born and raised in the same house, by the same parents in the same way my youngest niece is naturally frugal and has no desire to spend her savings unless something really special catches her eye. In fact she is currently using her extra money to bribe her older sister into doing chores; this works because my oldest niece spends her money before it is in her hands. Having witnessed this with my own eyes, I believe saving money and our overall spending habits are partially due to our own personality. With that being said, there is no reason why savers cannot learn how to spend a little or vice versa- in fact as parents it is our role to guide our children through their own natural tendencies and teach them the importance of saving money for future expenses.
Here are a few tips to help parents teach valuable lessons about savings.
• Get kids involved- Your children should be involved in family finances in an age appropriate manner. There is no need to burden your child with worry and stress in this poor economy however you can share with them what is happening and how it affects the family budget. By teaching your children how to navigate both good and bad times you are setting a realistic picture of what they will likely deal with as adults.
• Admit your mistakes- If you have made mistakes in handling your personal finances, do not be afraid to share these mistakes with your kids. It teaches them that you are in fact human and that lessons can be learned from these mistakes. This is especially true if you have set an example of living beyond your means, using excessive credit or focusing on material trappings in the past. Children mimic their parents and if they have witnessed poor financial management for several years, acknowledging the error in your ways may help your kids avoid the same mistakes in the future.
• Compare savings accounts together- The best way to teach your child about saving money is by simply doing it. If you do not have a savings account for yourself or your child already, now is the time to open an account and begin setting money aside for future expenses. Children old enough to get the basic concept of saving money can help mom or dad “shop” for the best savings account. By doing this together you have the opportunity to open a dialogue about important financial terms and answer questions that might pop up in conversation. This is also a great time to begin teaching your child about the benefits of long term savings….not only can they save for a school trip or great new jacket, you can show them how money put away today could make them millionaires in the future.
• Accept responsibility- One of the best lessons you can teach your children in today’s society is responsibility. Before you can preach personal accountability you must first practice it yourself. Each person has the ability to change their personal finances for the better with hard work and sacrifice. Do not blame others (credit cards companies, banks, your boss) for your current financial situation. While you may have a legitimate complaint, it is more important to show your child how to overcome these obstacles and move on toward success.
Financial independence is the best gift you can give your children. By starting early and making savings a part of their life, children are more inclined to continue these habits as adults.
Trisha Wagner is a freelance writer for DepositAccounts.com, where you can compare rates of checking accountsfrom dozens of banks in one place. Trisha writes regularly on the topics of personal finance and savings accounts.