Monday, February 27, 2017

the reason you're more creative than you think

I'm in the business of memory-keeping--preserving photos and the memories that were made with them.  Technically, my interests involve just those two things:  photos and memories.  (Well, yes, and a third thing--a way to preserve them.)

I'm surprised, then, when I hear people say things like, "Oh, I don't do stuff like that.  I'm not creative."

Um... what?  Stay with me here.       photos + memories + a way to preserve them = memory-keeping

Nowhere in that equation is "creativity" included.  This may come as a complete shock, but CREATIVITY IS NOT REQUIRED FOR MEMORY-KEEPING!

And guess what.  Even "non-creative" people are creative! 

It's true.  By definition, a creative person is someone who creates.   Bombshell:   If you create something, then you are creative.  

I realize that's not always how we use the word--a person who creates a cake that looks like the Eiffel Tower is considered "creative" while a person who creates a circuit board to make something function isn't necessarily considered "creative."  But, again, by definition, the power to create makes you creative. 

According to {this article, "7 Surprising Facts About Creativity, According to Science"}, there's a really simple thing you can do if you want to be more creative.  Check out number three: "trying new things makes you more creative."  The article states, "As it turns out, there’s a major neuroscientific basis for the link between openness to new experience and creative thinking."

SO THERE IT IS.  If you want to be more creative, try new things.  

 And this brings me back to why "creativity" is not required for memory-keeping.  First, if you create something, that's "being creative."  Second, if you don't feel like you're creative, try it--try something new and you'll BE more creative.

In the end, though, I promise you that these two books


They are the same thing.

They preserve memories the same.  They tell your story the same.  They preserve photos the same.  They give you something meaningful about your own life experience and that of your family THE SAME.  One that looks "creative" doesn't make it different.  They are the same.

No matter what the current trend, please don't let creativity or non-creativity influence your memory-keeping.  It's not important.  IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY MATTER AT ALL.  You are more creative than you think, and every time you try something new you stimulate your brain to be more creative.  But always remember that creativity isn't even a requirement for memory-keeping! 

Get started.  You'll be glad you did.

In fact, you can {get started right here}.

Pin and share!

Friday, February 24, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 4

Step Four of the Ten-Step Escape Plan:

Take it one step at a time.  Don't worry about EVERYTHING you have to do--just do one thing at a time.  Breathe.

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab along the top.)  

Friday, February 17, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 3

Step Three of the Ten-Step Escape Plan:

This is such an important step in catching up on your photos:  STAY CAUGHT UP!  I've been told if you have an activity that takes longer than 15 minutes, it should be on your calendar.  Yup!  

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab along the top.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

When should I write my life story?

Many people don't even realize the benefits of a recorded life story, and most people think they'll have time to think about that later.  But here are some important things to consider, articulated so well in {this excellent article, "Define Your Dash"}.
  • At the very least, YOU benefit personally from reflecting on your life and recording it.  Writing things down can increase your gratitude, give you a stronger sense of self, and create a sense of purpose.
  • Teenagers who know more about their family history are more resilient and have a higher emotional well-being.
  • Children have a stronger self-confidence when they know they belong to something bigger.
  • “A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory.  What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family. Knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills within us values that give direction and meaning to our lives.”  -Dennis B. Neuenschwander

So the answer to "when should I write my life story?" is NOW!

Have you seen the #52stories project from  It's a great way to leave a written legacy for your children and grandchildren in a do-able way.  You can find {printables to 52 questions (or prompts) to help you write your story} at this link.

Because computers and files aren't the safest place to keep special things, I recommend preserving your story in a special, professional way.  It's easier than you might think to have it professionally published!  This also gives you the advantage of being able to have multiple copies for family members, which makes great gifts. 

UPDATE 2022:   This easy platform is a great option for a life storybook!

However you choose to write your life story, start now.

Winston Churchill said, "History will be kind to me because I intend to write it."  This is one reason that I personally am writing my own story and not leaving it to those who come after me.  It's MY story, so I'm the best one to write it for my children and grandchildren.  I need it now.  My children need it now.  And my grandchildren will need it later.  

We all need the connection that comes from knowing our family stories.

Friday, February 10, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 2

Step Two of the Ten-Step Escape Plan.

Truth:  We take every photo for a reason. 

Sometimes we take multiple photos of the same reason.  It's okay to just choose your favorites.  In the "olden days" of photography, we used every photo because we just didn't have all that many to choose from.  Now it's easy to take 20 photos of your kids at the park and 400 on a vacation.  Don't feel like you have to use every photo you've taken.  Choose the best photos to preserve with their stories (memories).

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab along the top.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Stories Not Forgotten

Telling your story is important.  No one else can give what you give to the world, and no one can tell your story quite like you can.  It's why I'm so passionate about Heritage Makers--because it gives you a high-quality, beautiful way to do just that.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Trish Tolentino.  After her grandmother's health was in danger, Trish felt impressed by the need to learn more about her grandma's life and experiences.  She borrowed a friend's camcorder and shot video for a couple of days.  Trish learned about her grandmother's amazing life, stories about the Japanese invading the Philippines during World War II, how she met Trish's grandpa, and more.  Following this experience, combining the urgency Trish felt about saving her grandma's stories with her degree in Media Communications, Trish's company, Stories Not Forgotten, was born.  You can read more about Trish and Stories Not Forgotten {right here.}

 Trish and I connected immediately because we know and believe the same things:  Everyone has a story.  Everyone's story needs to be told.  WE benefit from telling our stories and preserving our memories, and so does every person who loves us.  If we don't take advantage of the present, who knows what the future holds.  (I don't mean that from a doomsday perspective, I just mean that things change.  Because they do.  I took about 300 photos on the last family vacation we took with my mom, but she wasn't in many of them.  She was tired and exhausted from chemo, and although she really did look fantastic in hats, she didn't particularly look like HER.  Things changed.)  It's just important to do important things now.

If you're in the Denver or St. Louis areas, get in contact with Trish and get your loved one's story preserved in their own voice.  It's irreplaceable.

You can see some samples of what a Stories Not Forgotten video looks like at the website, but there's also one right here on my website!  Did you see the new "meet me" video in the sidebar?  That was done by Trish!  She was AMAZING to work with and so talented.  It was truly a pleasure.  I would absolutely recommend her to anyone!

Haven't seen my "meet me" video?  Here it is! 

Isn't that awesome?  It was such a great experience.  Here we are near the end of the shoot while she was capturing some of the product shots.
Trish is knowledgeable and an excellent videographer, but she also really has a talent for making people feel comfortable and at ease.  Which is exactly what you want from someone helping you tell your stories!

Everyone has a story.  What's yours?

Friday, February 3, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 1

Step One of the Ten-Step Escape Plan.

Organizing your photos has to come first.  You have to know what's there and what's worth saving or using before you can really make any progress.  And it makes the process of preserving your photos MUCH EASIER because you can find what you're looking for when you need it.  Don't worry if this organizing step takes you some time--it is OKAY to spend three hours or one week or two months doing this.  Just STAY ON IT until it's done.  Ask for help if you need to, and calendar some time for this important first step.

UPDATE 2022:  Watch my three-part Photo Organization and Preservation series!  The first one especially goes over organization.   The second gives solutions for storing photos and preserving them (and why they're not the same thing.  The third is 10 strategies for consistency.




See you next Friday for Step Two!  (UPDATE:  Get all 10 steps at the "how to catch up on your photos" tab.)