Part 1 – Me and Storyworth: Have you seen Storyworth in ads on TV? I have. I almost got it for my mother for Christmas. There were things I wanted to know about her, but my husband and I thought it would be too hard, even if I did the writing. Now I’m glad I didn’t. Mom died in early December, but I wish I’d been able to do this five years ago.
It turns out someone in our family got Storyworth for Christmas. Me! It was from my daughter, and now every Monday, she gives me new homework . . . every Monday! That’s when I get a new email prompt from Storyworth. I’m 4 behind, and I’ve never been late on homework . . . ever!
The first photo was from Storyworth’s Facebook page. This one is from the top of their webpage. I’d never seen it, until I started putting together this post. It’s a treasure! It’s a letter from the founder of Storyworth that tells their story. I’ll let it speak for itself. It’s worth reading!
You can read the letter, but you can also listen to the video. I didn’t, but you can go to their website and listen. I believe that the young man is one of the founders, Nick Baum, and the older man is his father. I love their story, even though I didn’t listen (I had this blog to write).
Meet the founders, Nick and Krista Baum. I love mom and pop businesses! I read that Nick’s from Stockholm and grew up in France. I bet he has some stories to pass onto his own family. I hope they find time to write them down. Their kids will love them!
Meet Sarah Christian, the customer care lead. Her team is easy to work with! I’m known for my questions, and someone from Storyworth answered within 24 hours.
Both questions were about formatting pictures. BTW – I learned the best strategy is to put all your photos at the bottom of your answer. If you have 2, 3, or 4 pictures, then take a screenshot. Put it at the bottom.
Part 2 – My Storyworth Account: This is my homepage for my year-long adventure on Storyworth. Normally I don’t see it. The question I’m answering has a link. I click on it, paste in my answer and a photo or two. Then I click save. But if I’m editing, or want to know where I’m at, this is where I go to check-in.
Here are the first five stories I wrote for my daughter. I answered them back in January. That’s when I was able to keep up with my Storyworth homework.
Post 9 is about my childhood pets. When I submitted it, Storyworth sent my daughter an email. She’s my editor. She started this project so I want her to be happy with the results, but I also want to make sure my writing is clear to her. And to anyone else who reads it.
She knows some things from my childhood but not everything. I wanted to make sure I wrote enough . . . not too much, or too little. When I wrote about my childhood pets, she wanted to include our dog Leia. I almost added it into post 9, but then I decided question 11 was a better fit.
#11 asked, ‘Who inspires you?’ I answered, ‘The characters in my work in progress (WIP).’ Then I wrote about Leia and her picture book story. It took 11 years to get it agent-ready. That’s super hard!
Then I added in Leia’s history with our family, like how she came to be Leia Millenia Beach. OOPS! I forgot about the name part for Storyworth, but I can’t tell everything! Even here. I don’t want this book to be Harry Potter long. Then my kids wouldn’t read it either!
Part 3 – How I Write and Edit My Posts: Here are the basic steps I take to answer a Storyworth question.
1. I jot down a list of things I want to write about. It’s quick, fast, and dirty. For Leia, I wrote picture book, choosing her, coming home, and best things.
2. Then I start writing, first sentences, then paragraphs, about each idea on the list. I don’t worry. I just put my answers into the computer.
3. Next, I edit. I listen to each paragraph on my computer. (I use narrator.). I don’t move on to a new paragraph until it feels right. I add and delete words. I move sentences around until I’m ready. It’s better, but not perfect.
4. Then I do another round of revision. It’s never just right on the first round, or the second one either. Every time I make a change, it uncovers something else. When I listen to my writing, I hear my mistakes and change them. I’m done when those mistakes are gone, when I like how the words sound altogether.
5. Next I find photos to fit the post. Usually I pick one or two, and I take a screen shot of them together.
6. Now I’m ready to go into Storyworth. I find the right question, paste in my words, add in the photos, and click submit.
7. Storyworth emails my daughter, and she checks my work. If she finds an error, I do another round of edits until it’s just right.
Here’s a finished question. It looks like a chapter book to me, but my daughter likes them this length. I need to go back and edit my early pictures. I couldn’t get them side by side the way I wanted. Now I know how – screenshot them together.
If you want to remember your family’s history, I’d take a look at Storyworth. Your posts can be as short or as long as you’d like, and you’ll have your family history, plus photos, in one book.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!