Writing: Telling Your Story

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by Madisyn Taylor

Writing your own story can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story. Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on your experiences and to share your unique voice. We’ve all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we are longing to write down. Giving into that urge also can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings. No one else has to read it.

You may even want to write your story without reading it afterward and put it away to read in the future. Satisfying the need to tell your story is not predicated upon your writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail. Your memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. But rest assured that you possess the ability to shape your recollections into stories.

Writing your story is different from journaling. Everyone wants to be heard and know that they matter. Reading your story to others meets the human need to be heard. Writing your story helps validate your life. We all want to know that what we have to say matters.

When you finish writing, even you may be surprised at what you have accomplished. Your story can encompass as much or as little of your life as you prefer. You may surprise yourself with new insights, or you may find yourself exploring your roots, your identity, and your future through your words. Allow your writing to guide you and write as truthfully as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think of your personal journey, your style of writing, or your words.

Research has shown that writing a narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits. As you write, remember to express compassion and understanding toward yourself, particularly when writing about traumatic events.

If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older. Your writing may even help family members know you better or understand themselves more. Most importantly, in writing your personal story, you are expressing yourself in a permanent way, giving a gift to your future self, and letting your voice be heard.

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