Personal History Biography: Written, Audio, Video Memoir?

There is something about biography, isn't there? Our fascination with our own life is probably understandable enough. But we are also interested in learning the lives of others. More than curious, biography is one of the largest categories in publishing and it utilizes endless Net Worth hours of TV and cable broadcasting. From A&E to the History Siphon, we can't find a way to get enough biographies. And, with the new tech-tools available to us, personal and genealogy and family history biographies are increasingly popular.

Our desire for the lives of others is not something that People paper, satellite tv and the paparazzi invented just lately. Plutarch, writing about 100 years after Christ, composed around 50 personal history biographies : comparing the lives of famous Greek and Roman identities. Plutarch's Parallel Lives still rates as one of the greatest feats of biographical writing of all time; and as well as being studied in ancient history courses it still sells by the thousands in the general bookstores.

Even though Plutarch mostly wrote about the Ancient World's rich and famous, he knew that the measure of a life was not the size of the deeds and achievements : but the meaning worth of this life. And the worth of this life would more inclined be revealed by the personal details:

"It is not histories I am writing, but lives; and in the most superb deeds there is not always an indication of virtue or vice, indeed a small thing like a phrase or a jest often makes a greater great time-saver of a character than fights where thousands die. inches Plutarch Life of Alexander/Life of Julius Caesar

So, congratulations in taking the first step towards creating your own private history biography and joining a tradition that extends back thousands of years. The good news is that retaining your life story has come a long way since Plutarch and parchment. The main options these days range from the written memoir, the audio memoir and the video memoir

Write your memoirs

You can start handwriting your memoirs immediately with a coop and an exercise book. It helps to map out some topics : a chronological approach (e. f. "grandparents", "parents", "growing up", "school" etc) is often (but not always) better than a strategy based on themes (e. f. "family", "friends", "challenges" etc. Ask friends and family for suggestions about topics or stories; kids in particular often have favorite stories which they want to preserve for their own children.

Some people start with a printed memory book that sets out questions and spaces for an answer. The process for an would-be writer is to just get started with something. Because writing is self-directed, procrastination is the biggest danger in creating a personal history biography in words. Writing can benefit yourself and is a great way to straighten out applying for grants complex subjects (as Samuel Johnson said, "I don't know what I think till I write it down"). But you should find motivation too in the eager eyes of your future readers. You do it more for them than yourself.

Once written, it is a good idea to have a hand written memoir entered. (You can hire a copy typist for as little as $1. 00 a website. ) And, once entered, you can think about having your biography self-published. ("Blurb" and "Lulu" are two reputable, on-line book publishers that allow you to add your material from a computer and they print books for as little as $10. 00 for a 5"x8" soft cover book : with a full color cover. ) Once published, make sure you keep your handwritten copy : your descendants will value it too, trust me.

Advantages of written memoirs: simple, immediate and timeless; the minimum of equipment, maximum of information; can be printed.
Disadvantages of written memoirs: procrastination; handwriting may be hard to read simple things; can be stilted; not all subjects are completely literate.

Voice Record your life story

Some people audio record their personal history biographies. More often though, life stories are gathered by a relative or a friend or even a professional over a number of sessions using questions planned well in advance. The old method was to use dictaphone machines with those mini cassettes : or an old cassette player that one of the kids used to play music on back in the day. Now you can buy digital voice recorders that to the same job. Often, these recordings are transcribed and, with some editing, can be converted into a written memoir (see above).

The attraction of voice recording over a written memoir is that it captures something "live" of the person : their voice, their accent, their laugh. Listening, you can feel as if you are in the same room. Having listened to an audio recording, you get to know the person in a fashion that a written memoir does not allow. The attraction for the subject may be that it is less work to answer questions on audio than to spend time composing written memoirs.

But audio recordings by themselves have a number of problems. First, they are opaque. You cannot flip via an audio recording to find the bit you like. As a result, they tend to stay stored in a drawer or an old shoebox. Second, the machines that play most old audio recordings are evaporating or simply stop working. So hence, audio tapes may not the best home for your personal history biography.

Life stories recorded on recording can be edited and changed into Compact disks to very good effect though. First, the audio on the recording need to be digitized (basically, you need to run a cable from the headphone jack of the recording recorder into your laptop or computer, then open audio editing software to record it to your personal computer's hard drive). Then you need to listen to all the audio and in your audio editing software you can break it up into separate sections. The idea is to form tracks for all the separate stories. Then you bring all those tracks into iTunes and make some of audio Compact disks that can be played in the car or passed around to be published to iPods (and all of those other modern devices that so bedazzle the younger generation). You can even program iTunes so that no matter which computer you add the audio tracks to, the track names will be in the individuals play list.

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