How Can I Share My Life Story?
When we hit a major milestone in life or a challenging bump in the road, it may occur to us that what we have learned along the way is worth sharing, either with our loved ones or maybe even with the public at large.
In some ways social media has put a negative tone on self-publishing, because of some people’s tendency to “over share”. But in the era of constant digital communication, documenting your life’s journey can be easier than ever.
How Can I Share My Life Story Responsibly?
1. Facebook Conscientiously and Nominate a Legacy Contact.
Facebook is one of the most pervasive forms of modern self-expression. We Facebook Users take its platform to make community and share the moments of our lives, both monumental and ordinary. Yet with all the time and energy we put towards crafting our online presence and monitoring those of our Friends, we rarely stop to think about what would happen to this living, breathing space when we are no longer here to control it.
Facebook’s solution to this dilemma is nominating a Legacy Contact. This person must be chosen by you during your lifetime and will be able to make important decisions about your Facebook page after your death. For example, your Legacy Contact will have the unique power to download a copy of everything you’ve ever posted and preserve it for your family and friends.2. Self-Publish Your Autobiography.
If you like to write and have the self-discipline to follow it through, writing your own autobiography could reach a large audience. If you already keep a daily journal or diary, this might be the best solution for you, as you’re already half way there! The internet is full of companies offering self-publishing services, with a wide array of fees and different arrangements for royalties. Check out this "How To Guide" for Self-Publishing for some direction before you get started.
You could also choose to write your story and just have it printed and bound for your own family. My grandfather published a book about the Battle of Gettysburg during his retirement and subsequently wrote another, entitled “Courting the Muse” all about his lifetime experiences playing music. Our family has the only copy and it’s priceless to us.
3. Make Legacy Preservation a Part of Your Estate Plan.
When it comes time to do your estate plan, look for an attorney who recognizes that you have more to preserve than just your financial assets. You have valuable intangible gifts: your values, your hard-earned life lessons, your insights, and the stories of your life. These pieces of you are priceless to your loved-ones and are too easily lost over time.
All LifeLadder clients have the opportunity to do a Family Wealth Legacy Interview at their estate plan Delivery Meeting. These 30-minute interviews pose questions to draw out some of your most valuable advice and most important life lessons and preserve them via audio or video recordings.
Interested in trying your hand at Legacy Preservation? Download a mini-set of interview questions in our Legacy Preservation Guide below.