If you've ever binge-watched a show on Netflix or any of the other platforms, you know how the first episode compels us to watch the next until the end of Season 1.
When it comes to telling your life story, why not conceptualize in the same way? After all, you certainly have an abundance of life experiences to draw from, more than enough to create a compelling series of episodes.
In fact, you have been confronted with so many life-defining moments, milestone events and unforgettable memories, you only need to know which ones make the cut and which end up on the cutting room floor.
With this in mind, here are 7 tips to tell your life story in episodes:
1. Think of Your Life Story as The Show. Give it a working title that is likely to change later. Keep the title simple at this stage. Example: My Life Story.
2. Start with Season 1. Like a television show, there are several episodes to watch in a given season. Some shows never progress to Season 2, while others can have a dozen or more. By committing to only a single season at first, you'll avoid being overwhelmed by the process. With one successful season, you'll be motivated to do the next.
3. Choose Your Season 1 Theme. In your premiere season series you may want to tell stories about your ancestors, or perhaps your childhood memories, or life in the 60s, or do your own cooking show and talk about your family recipes. It's often easier to start Season 1 with an Ancestor theme because most people find it easier to talk about others than themselves.
Telling what you know about your ancestors acts as an icebreaker to get the conversation started. You may be one of the last living family members who can describe the people in old photos or tell what it was like entering your grandmother's home when a pie was coming out of the oven.
4. One Episode at a Time: It's not nearly as important to organize the sequence of episodes in this season than it is to tell the stories, one episode at a time. Sometimes, it's just better to keep the conversation going while its flowing than to stay within a hardened structure. You can always rearrange the order of episodes later.
5. Keep the episodes short: Your audience will most likely be consuming content in sound bites and text messages, with shorter attention spans. If you want your children and grandchildren to consume your stories, keep them pithy. Less is more. For recorded stories, keep them less than 5 minutes in length. For written stories, try keeping to one or two pages each, where possible. For stories that take longer to tell, try creating "Episode 1- Part 1, 2, 3, etc."
6. Time Your Release: The best part of telling your stories in seasons is that you don't have to wait until all seasons have been completed before releasing them all. Like a TV series, you can release each episode as it is completed or wait until an entire season is finished. This way, you can enjoy feedback from your family and friends (fans), which will inspire you to work on your next episode or season at your own pace in your own time.
7. Promoting Your Bio Show: People write and read blogs about everything. So, why not distribute your life story show in a blog where each post is like an episode?
That's exactly what you can do here with your free Legacy Story Blog in the LegacyStories.org website.
You don't have to be Norman Lear to create a story your family will enjoy. All you have to do is present your life story in a way they are familiar with and feed it to them in brief and informative episodes. "Season 1" can be as few as four or five episodes, and you can always add more later.
Now you don't have to stress over having to tell your entire life story all at once. Follow the 7 steps above so your family can binge on your life story!