When people sit down to talk to me, knowing I’m there to record their life stories, deep feelings can rise up to have their say too.
Firstly, where on earth do they start and how can they encompass all those days of love, laughter, sweat, tears and everything in between in a few hours of interviews with me? I get that, and I have ways to filter all that information into exactly what I need.
But the other thing that can happen is people feel, well, emotional. Tears can well and spill. Old feelings can come to the surface. This can be because someone’s listening, really listening, to their seemingly boring (but never boring really) story. Someone is sitting nearby who cares what they have to say. This in itself can be a marvel for some. Especially for those who were never in the news, or big achievers, they just got on with life, and lived it the best they could – navigating the tough times and the easy, quietly. For those people, an attentive listening ear can answer an old need to be heard, or to share. It can heal.
And for those people I rejoice. Because it’s my deepest pleasure to hear their old, beautiful stories. Because they matter. People’s stories matter.
Charlotte Squire writes memoirs or life stories for everyday folk. Charlotte has 20 years experience as a writer. She lives in wild, rural Golden Bay, New Zealand with her family. Find our more about her memoir packages here.