Your Story, Our Writing Skills
There is power in a captivating story. When we read a true story, we are moved from either the familiarity we feel, or are awed by it's vast difference from our own life experience. From any perspective, a well-written memoir is hard to put down.
At The Cheerful Word, we seek to help everyday people discover, share, and preserve your life stories in memoirs that matter. Our compassionate writers are your personal guides, from the first interview to the final draft so you can tell your story without the worry of crafting a beautifully written memoir.
Why Should I Write a Memoir?
We believe that everyone's life is a story worth telling. Each of us has extraordinary stories that sometimes just get lost. Some stories are lost to a season lived long-ago, others to the careless ears of uninterested people, others simply get folded into our gray matter and disappear.
Write for yourself. Telling your life story is a fun and worthy pursuit that needs no justification to anyone.
(Don't try. They won't understand, and they're probably not as intriguing as you are anyway. Unless you tell them we said that and then they'll get mad and call us and we'll be forced to tell them the truth, that they really are interesting (duh, like everyone else) and to tell us a little bit about themselves. After 15 minutes, they'll have their own memoir to write and you can both have a good laugh together over the whole debacle. But don't share your stories with each other. That's grounds for unfriending, or unfamilying. We honor each person's truth and you're always going to disagree about what really happened at that St. Patrick's Day dinner after the green beer ran out, so you each have your version to tell and it will become family legend to read that story from your memoirs every March for generations to come. Look, just like that you created a new family tradition! See how powerful memoir can be?)
Write to leave a legacy. A legacy can include anything dear to your heart such as a family business, community service, military career, honoring those who influenced you, faith-based stories, pearls of wisdom, hope for the future, etc. You don't have to publish a book to the outside world to have a beautiful memoir to share with your family. You can print a regular paperback style book or add a tailor-made heirloom book made to last for generations.
Write about an experience you had that could inspire, entertain, or enlighten a broader audience. If anyone has ever said that you should write a book about your life, you've come to the right place. We can interview and write it on your behalf and publish it through our imprint here at The Cheerful Word. Your words will stay with our team from the first nugget of an idea through publishing your book on Amazon.com.
If you have a memoir theme in mind, but know you will never pen one yourself because you lack the time or skill to write, you'll love being the storyteller and letting us do all the heavy lifting. Your Story, Our Writing Skills is the perfect answer to your needs.
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Memories & Memoir
We've all experienced "mind-pops," those instantaneous moments when we've been reminded of something familiar and a memory comes rushing forth to delight us. Sometimes we think, "I should write this down before I forget this again!" Well, here is your chance!
We have the pleasure of inspiring happiness every day at The Cheerful Word when memories are shared and seen through the lens of compassion, acceptance, and love—especially the gloomy memories. What? No, we don't wear rose-colored glasses. We do choose to recognize that we each carry around life histories that color the way we see ourselves and our stories today. During interviews we give people room to explore a story door they chose to open, perhaps unexpectedly, when one memory hops to another, free-association style, sometimes mid-sentence. Sometimes that door leads from a planned story you wanted to tell to story long-forgotten and rather painful. Suddenly you are mad saying, "I don't know why I just brought that up. Something made me think of that stupid car that never worked. I want to go back and talk about when I left for college." Our writers know how to interview and will take you where you need to go. The man with the car story came back one session later and asked to add a story in his memoir. Turns out that the one bad memory unfolded a whole bunch of positive memories about fixing cars with his uncle in the summers. The stories were dormant, probably because the one angry memory kept them at bay. If you do say something during an interview that you don't want included in your memoir, just say the word and we'll leave it out.
Not all memories are happy ones, we get that. Life is lived with other imperfect people and that makes for the adventure/experience/overcoming of it all. Did we mention that we know you're not perfect? Yes, that's part of any good story, in fact it might turn out to be the focal point of your memoir. We know how to write that stuff to make you shine.
You might be afraid to write your memoir because you can't fathom how to write around a difficult family story. Skeletons—some generations old—lurk in our family closets threatening to get out and hurt people. Truth be told, most of us live with a few of these bones rattling around in our heads making our minds and spirits ache. At The Cheerful Word we have decades of experience handling shitty family stories and we'll help you work with those rattling bones. We are skeleton wranglers. We teach them to dance. Seriously. Read about that here.
See what these authors have written. Ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Your Memoir, Your Unique Voice
When people read your book say, "That sounds just like her!" we are thrilled. It means we've captured the essence of your personality well and translated it to the page in a way that is familiar to those who know you.
Each of us has a unique way of speaking—like a fingerprint for our voices. During an interview, our writers capture not only the words and phrases you speak, but the unique pace you use, the lilt of your tone, and the turn-of-phrase that makes you charming or otherwise recognizable to your loved ones. You simply tell your stories as prompted by your writer and we do the rest.
Relax, It's Your Story
Think of your interviews more like a conversation with a friend over a glass of your favorite beverage. Except we're better than a friend, temporarily because we hold a safe space in which you can explore your life story without worrying about hurting feelings or damanging a relationship or letting any proverbial cats out of the bag. When sharing life stories, secrets sometimes slip to the wrong person at the wrong time unintentionally (see Skeletons). With us, you never have to worry. Everyone on our little team signs confidentiality agreements. What happens at The Cheerful Word stays with The Cheerful Word. It wouldn't stay cheerful for long otherwise would it? We have no history with you, and therefore no preconceived notions on your life experiences or how you perceive your own story. This impartial view allows us to see you in an unbiased way. This fact should bring you a sense of calm since our assumption is that your story is your truth to tell and not ours to share. We have no reason to doubt your sincerity nor your facts and we don't check either one. Now, if we pick up on a timeline of events that seems out of whack, we'll ask you to clarify it for us in the manuscript draft, but other than things like that, this is your story. We honor the way you want to be remembered.
With choose the stories from your interviews that you have identified up front that you most want to include in your memoir. With a genuine curiosity, we ask questions that inspire and awaken your memory to bring forth your best stories. There is a real joy in telling stories to someone for the first time and your enthusiasm will shine through. We love that and know how to capture that enthusiasm and transfer it to the written word, in your unique voice. In most cases, some new stories will emerge during the process, and if they fit with your theme, we'll include those too. We are expert listeners and through our unique method, we teach you how to become the consummate storyteller.
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What's the Process?
- Fill out a brief questionnaire telling us a little bit about yourself.
- Our project manager, Sam, will email and then set up a video chat with you to answer your questions and probably ask a few.
- If you both feel that moving forward is a stellar idea, Sam will send you an Agreement to read and sign and choose a writer that she feels is the best fit for you.
- After you sign the Agreement, which includes project milestones and a soft publication date, and your deposit clears, your writer will contact you to arrange a schedule for interviews and draft review dates.
- The rest is for you to enjoy the experience of being guided through interviews as the narrator of your own life stories, just the way you want to be remembered.