People today are busier than ever. Writing - any kind of writing - is time-consuming. So, how do you add the task of preserving stories to an already full schedule, and hope to keep your sanity?
If you have an already full daily schedule, adding another thing - like writing stories - just doesn't make sense. I'm assuming that since you're taking the time to read this, story preservation is somewhere on your priority list. That's the first step. It has to be important enough to at least make it onto your list of things that need to be done. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your efforts.
Don't write the story.
We usually think of preserving a story by writing it, but there is no reason to not use technology. You can easily record a story using your phone to record video or audio. Getting in “the zone” for writing is time-consuming in itself. so skipping it and opting to record it might often be a better choice.
Schedule a time and place
Don't add it to your to-do list and squeeze it in when you have a chance. Preserving a story usually requires intentionally planning time to do just that. Whether you'll be writing or recording, set a start and finish time - even if it's 15-20 minutes - and stick to that.
This isn't so much about finding time as it is using that time most effectively. What do you need to be comfortable so you can focus on the task at hand? For writing, you may need a comfortable chair and good table. For doing a video or audio session, you probably want something cozy to sit on while you talk.
Don't forget to have something to drink or snack on. It's always more relaxing if you have a favorite beverage (probably non-alcoholic, but that's up to you) to sip.
This may seem silly but go to the bathroom BEFORE you start.
At the end of the day, you have to choose to be intentional
Story preservation is difficult because it requires intentional decisions and actions. Human beings frequently struggle with that, so we have to consciously and deliberately do this.
Take everything in small chunks
One big hurdle with story preservation is looking at all the stories there are to record. It quickly becomes an overwhelming task that gets put off indefinitely. One of the reasons we made greetingStory cards was to work through this problem. Rather than looking at all the stories you could (or should, or need to) record, focus on one at a time. Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare teaches us that "slow and steady wins the race." Keep that in mind as you work on your story preservation.
Most people feel that story preservation is important, but struggle to make it a priority. If this describes you, don't feel guilty, simply decide to do it, plan a time and follow through on your plans.
Start small. Plan on 5-10 minutes a week. Put it on your calendar and do it. That will give you a starting point from which to grow.
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash