Everyone has a story to tell, and printing your own booklets with your story inside for your family to enjoy can be a rewarding endeavor. But even if you’ve been telling these stories for years, you may find when you sit down to write that you’re stuck. How do you get started?
The first thing to think about is the specific incidents you want to convey. You might think “I had a happy childhood” or “My time in the war was grueling,” but when you write about those experiences, you should try to avoid a general overview of what they were like. Instead, choose one specific day from your childhood that illustrates how happy you were. Describe one incident from your time in the war that will make your readers feel like they were there with you.
Thinking in terms of the concrete rather than the abstract will serve you well when it comes to detail, too. Try to get down some sensory details. Think about what you saw, felt, touch, tasted and heard. These kinds of details will make your work more vivid. Try to include dialogue as well. Of course, if you are writing about a conversation you had thirty years ago, you are unlikely to reproduce it exactly, but that’s okay. The idea is to convey the overall tone and content of what was said.
Try to write regularly. Set aside things you’ve just finished and come back to them in a few days or weeks to read over them and revise. As you write, you may find that some stories take off in directions you didn’t plan while others lose steam and perhaps won’t be included in your final volume. Once you’ve finished with the writing, it’s time to start thinking about printing booklets.
Just because you are printing your own booklets doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be quality. You may want to ask a friend or family member to proofread the manuscript for errors before printing booklets to give out to everyone.
One of the best things about personal printing booklets is the control you have over the final product. You can choose the paper type and the font. You can even include cover art if you’d like, especially if you know a talented artist.
Personal printing booklets can then be distributed among family and close friends, and people will have a wonderful family record they can pass down through the generations.
Amanda is a professional, a mom, and a writer. She has gotten her parents and grandparents to write their own stories and has a wonderful collection of booklets that she hopes will be passed down through her family.