Writing your memoirs can be a daunting task. That’s almost like writing a book – and grandparents generally don’t feel that they have it in themselves to write a book. Then, sometimes they think that their life isn’t spectacular or interesting.
Pshaw! Their life will ALWAYS be interesting to their grandchildren.
With her book Stories from my Grandparent, Susan Adcox solves those sticky issues for reluctant grandparent writers. She makes writing your memoir easy and enjoyable.
Before I talk bout the content of the book, I want to talk about the book itself. First, the cover is absolutely delightful. I love the picture of a grandpa and a granddaughter walking and holding hands. Isn’t that just the sweetest ever?
Another thing that I really like about the book is that it has a spiral binding. “Now why on earth would anybody care about a book’s binding?” you ask.
That binding allows the book to lay flat. Because it lays flat, it is easy to write in. Having a book that lays flat makes writing a memoir just that much easier! If it didn’t lay flat, it would be hard and awkward to write in — which could be just one more reason that could stop a reluctant grandparent from writing his or her memoirs.
Now for the guts of the book.
Susan provides lots of writing prompts. Lots of GOOD prompts. That way, you don’t have to worry about coming up with things to write about yourself. She has done all of the thinking for you. Thanks, Susan!
I am really impressed with the type of prompts that she has. While it’s nice to know my favorite color (yellow and orange) or my favorite food (do caramels count as food?), that knowledge doesn’t explain who I really am.
One prompt that I like is what my goals are for the next few years. Boy howdy! Goals really give a good insight into a person.
She also has a prompt about your favorite place in the world (mine’s Bora Bora) and what’s on your bucket list (traveling to Bali and getting a book published).
She has space where you can share religious beliefs or spiritual experiences and what spiritual values you hope your grandchild will embrace. (I really appreciate those prompts. I don’t know if grandparents (very often) share those experiences and values much with their grandkids.
There’s also a spot where you can write about what you would like to do today if you were young. (Oh my! Social media marketer, app developer, videographer, photographer . . .)
She includes a place where you can write what you love about being a grandparent. (Hugs and kisses from grandchildren and how they squeal ‘Grandma’ when they see me!)
There’s also room where you can write your memories about your grandchild’s birth. (The birth of our oldest grandchild was scary because his mother had to be life flighted to the hospital!)
One thing that is really nice about these prompts is that the space to fill in is just a few lines. This is a good psychological trick that she plays on grandparents – at least in my opinion. If I were given a prompt and then 3 blank pages, that would be intimidating. I would be afraid that I couldn’t fill all that space. But just a few lines? Gee willikers! Why that is easily doable! In just a few minutes I can complete one of the prompts. That makes me feel successful and encourages me to keep filling them out.
Some of the prompts might not fit your life. That’s okay. You can pick and choose which ones to write about.
Another thing that I really like about the book is that you are not forced to write your memoir in chronological order. You can open the book to any page and start right there. Before you know it, you will have created a memoir that a grandchild will cherish forever.
Oh, and she provides places where you can include pictures. You know, pictures are worth a thousand words. By including them in your memoir, that means you’ll have less to write about! (Or maybe you’ll have more to write about as you explain your hairstyle, clothing, or what you are doing in the photograph!)
Once you’ve completed it, you can give it to your grandchild as a birthday or Christmas present. That’s one gift that will have lots of meaning.
The book sells on Amazon for $14. What a bargain! I encourage you to run right out and get one to give to each of your grandchildren. You’ll be glad that you did.
About the Author:
Susan Adcox is a former English and journalism teacher with a degree in literature from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. For more than five years she has been the Guide to Grandparents on About.com, where she writes about topics ranging from grandparents’ rights to board games for kids. She and her husband Ronnie are approaching their 50th anniversary. Woot woot! They have three children and seven grandchildren.
Disclaimer: While I was given a free copy of this book, it did not in any way influence my review of it in any way.