Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
RSS feed

A short history of the Association of Personal Historians

March 27, 2018

Tags: personal history, APH history

by Pat McNees (revised)
For twenty years, members of the Association of Personal Historians (APH, which folded in May of 2017) met at a popular annual conference, where people originally from many other fields met to talk about a new type of business: helping others tell their life stories. Here below is a brief history of the organization for those who may be curious about it; former members of the organization are invited to join the conversation through the Comments section. The term “personal historians” never became a household word, but personal histories (usually by other names) are still being produced and local groups of personal historians still meet (more…)

Is it still a great time to become a personal historian?

May 14, 2017

Tags: personal history, memoir, memoir coach, family history, Association of Personal Historians

by Pat McNees (updated the month the Association of Personal Historians filed for bankruptcy--but individual personal historians are still at your service)

Since 1990 I've been helping people and organizations tell their life stories. If you're nosy, love to do interviews, like shaping them into a compelling narrative, and either know how to produce and independently publish a book or are willing to learn and/or subcontract some stages of the process, (more…)

Memoir, biography, and personal histories (how-to resources)

January 19, 2015

Tags: Memoir, autobiography, personal history, audio and video equipment, tutorials

Here's a gateway to life story telling resources, whether you're doing it yourself, hiring a pro, or helping others tell their stories.

Telling your story

Articles, stories, websites, and other resources about how people have told their own, their family, or their company stories)
The art and craft of interviewing
Great interview questions and guides
Audio recording and editing equipment, software, and tutorials
(more…)

Connecting the dots: Steve Jobs' wisdom

October 7, 2011

Tags: Reminiscence, memoir writing, wisdom, advice, personal history

Read Steve Jobs' commencement address at Stanford (2005) to get a sense of what drove him. To quote him: "Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect (more…)

Memoirs: Is honesty the best policy?

July 16, 2009

Tags: memoirs, biography, personal history

Graceanne K. Deters includes provocative copy in her website copy about the hidden story of a missionary daughter navigating a maze of religious fanaticism, and the dark side of her early life in (more…)