Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where My Passion Intersects A Need (maybe?)

Back in April, on the Re:Create Cruise, someone said (I believe it was Randy Elrod) to find your vocation “where your passion intersects a need.”   Then last week I went to the Storyline Conference and was inspired and convicted by Don Miller to get off my butt and start doing the things I need to do to create the story I want to live.  I think I might have found a way to do just that, and I want YOUR opinion.

As I said in my last post, “The Secret to Learning Others’ Stories”, if I could do anything right now, I would listen to people’s stories then write about them.  I LOVE to sit with another person and hear his story,  I mean the story of his life…stories of events that shaped him…stories of his greatest joys and deepest tragedies…stories that give insight into the person he is today. 

I also love to write.  I love to re-tell stories.  I love to use words to create emotion and spark imagination.

So, how do I intersect these passions with a need?

Here’s my idea…it’s still very rough, with a lot of details to figure out, so be honest, but no TOO rough with me!!! 

I’ve seen A LOT of books out there filled with life story questions.  You’re supposed to buy the book, answer the questions, then give the book to your children or grandchildren.  I’ve also seen some “story” websites where you can go online and write your story for family and friends to read (seems pretty much like a blog).  The problem is, many people can tell their story if asked the right questions, but will NEVER take the time to sit and write it out.    If you are one of those people, let ME write your story for you… 

Here’s how it would work…
  • We would meet for a videotaped chat…about 2 hours in length
  • I would basically interview you about your story…we’d have a casual chat over coffee, or something similar…easy, unassuming, informal.
  • I would use my creative talent to write your story in a way that fits with your personality and tastes.  If I find you to be very serious, the story may take that tone.  If you’re a joker, the story will have humor…etc…This would be partly based on my own intuitive “feel” of the situation, and partly on the purpose of the story.
  • That story can then be presented in different forms (printed and framed, in a book form, in a book form with pictures that you give me, in a book form with stock photos that relate to your story, maybe also in an e-book form)
  • You can also purchase a DVD of the interview (edited or un-edited)
Here are some possible uses…
  • For the elderly to leave their life story behind for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc…
  • As a wedding gift…I would interview the engaged couple, then write the story of how they met, fell in love, got engaged.
  • Wedding anniversary…”The story of our first year" or “The story of our first 20 years”. You get the point.
  • High School graduation… “My life story so far” or “My high school story”.  This could be written from the student’s point of view, or the parents’ point of view, or both. 
  • Others??
So, here’s where I need your help!
  • Do you think this is a good idea or not?
  • Would you ever consider using it? 
  • What issues immediately come to mind that I might not think of? 
  • Anything else you wanna say!!!
I would greatly appreciate your time in giving me some feedback to help me get started!


    1. Kim - I think it's a GREAT idea!!!

    2. What you're proposing sounds great. And you've obviously thought about it for awhile. If it really speaks to your heart and creativity, go for it!

      Be prepared for the possibility that it's a market that will grow slowly. You're probably going to have to use your creativity in marketing this as much as in forming the final product.

      I suspect that you might need to plan on several visits with the client. They may have some idea of what they think they or the family will want. But there'll always be times when they forget to include something. Or you'll see parts of the process where your creative sense tells you that something needs to be changed to make it more interesting.

      I think you know enough people who can help you sort out the business aspects of the idea. If you want this to continue as an ongoing business, you don't want to lose money doing it.

      All businesses hit slow or rocky periods. Don't get frustrated when that happens. No matter what, have fun with it. This is still something you do, not who you are.

    3. What a great idea Kim! I love it! =)

    4. I think it sounds like a cool idea Kim. I think there would be a market there. I'm not sure why, but my grandmother recorded stories of her growing up years on cassette tapes. My brother listened to them incessantly at night (we shared a room). I learned more about her life than I could ever remember.

      Have you looked up Story Corp? Sounds similar to what they do, but they grab one story of the subject's life. It might give you some perspective.

    5. Yes I love it. I would hire you in a heartbeat to write the stories of both of my parents.

    6. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and suggestions!

    7. I've done something sort of like this with a "Memory Book" for my Mom and Dad one year. There was one question on a page and they were supposed to write an answer. ie... "What were you doing when JFK was shot, You are sitting in the kitchen of your childhood home, tell me about the sounds and smells of a typical morning." It was amazing to read the stories and learn about some of the things that made them tick. I still have the questions somewhere. I think it is actually in loose book format.I also have a self publishing book you can borrow if you would like. I think there is a market for this. I have thought about meshing something like this with a scrapbooking project. It could turn out to be really cool. Lori Heiser

    8. What a wonderful idea!!! Go for it! Yes! xo