The Life Story Coach: Build a career as a professional writer of personal and family histories
By Amy Woods Butler, Personal Historian and Life Story Writer
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Want to make your living as a writer? Love listening to other people’s life stories? Tune in for advice on the craft and business of personal history, the growing field of recording memoirs and family histories for paying clients.
||Clean43: Rachel Brenke Livens Up the Legal Stuff||Rachel Brenke with legal advice for life story professionals—it's not as hard as you think!||12/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean42: Cynthia Kyriazis with Tips to Get Organized, Get Focused, Get Moving||Cynthia Kyriazis shares expertise to help life story professionals with productivity and time management.||12/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean41: How I Edit Life Stories Using Scrivener||Going from interview transcript to book draft can be hard. That's why I decided to share my system with you. In this episode, I give you an overview of how I use Scrivener to go from interview transcripts to a book draft.||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean40: How I Edit Life Stories, Part I||Going from interview transcript to book draft can be hard. That's why I decided to share my system with you. In this episode, I talk about how I used to do it with Mac Pages. In part II, I'll talk about how I edit life story books with Scrivener.||11/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean39: Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company||Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company discusses quilting and the importance of family stories, and how the two are related.||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean38: My Life My Story with Dr. Susan Nathan and Thor Ringler||Today's guests are part of a VA program that recruits interns, student nurses, community volunteers and others to record the life stories of veterans in VA hospitals. The narrative is included in the patient's medical chart, a tactic designed to allow a||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean37: Lili Shank of Voices in Time||Lili Shank is a life story professional who helps people preserve their stories as told by them, in their own voice.||10/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean36: Mindful Writing with Donna Strickland||Donna Strickland on the principles of mindful writing, a practice that allows writers to write more efficiently, more productively, and with greater joy.||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean35: My Life, My Stories with Brittany Bare||Brittany Bare founded My Life, My Stories as a 501(c)(3)—a non-profit organization. On this episode, she talks about matching volunteers to seniors, serving seniors from under-represented populations (including those who speak a foreign language), and||10/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean34: Charge What You’re Worth with Sarah White||Do you have trouble charging what you're worth? Life story work, like other "heart-driven" work, attracts people who may not feel comfortable profiting from the services they provide. Sarah White helps us uncover our hidden attitudes and limiting belief||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean33: Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, on Writing Creatively||Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and the upcoming The Last Stone, talks about researching, reporting, and writing stories about real people.||9/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean32: Tone Up Your Writing with Helen Sword of The Writer’s Diet||This brief writer's guide is a favorite of mine. Listen to this episode to learn about five common trouble spots in writing, how to spot them in your own prose, and what you can do to fix them.||9/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean31: Scrivener for Life Story Writing||Scrivener is a powerful app created especially for writers. Find out some of the key functions that make it an indispensable tool for life story writing.||8/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean30: Dawn Roode of Modern Heirloom Books||Dawn Roode of Modern Heirloom Books creates beautiful life story books using skills she learned from her career in magazines, where she did work with Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Parenting. She recently relaunched her life story business wit||8/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean29: Rutger Bruining of Story Terrace Talks Life Stories||Rutger Bruining of Story Terrace talks about creating movement in the world of life stories. He believes that having a book about your life should be the norm, not the exception, and his company is helping make that happen. They match up freelance write||8/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean28: John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing||John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing on connecting with clients, identifying the problem you can help them solve, and the life story project he did for his own mom.||8/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean27: Janet Kirkman, Part 2 | Pet Stories and More||Listen as Janet talks about doing life stories for pets (including an overlooked niche: show dogs!) and cherished possessions.||7/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean26: Janet Kirkman on Life Story Writing, Teaching, and More, Part 1||Today's episode is part 1 or our interview with Janet Kirkman, a 15-year veteran or life story writing. She talks to us about writing life stories, clients who self-publish, teaching memoir classes based on Guided Autobiography, and how she learned to c||7/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean25: Preserving Family Memories with Hilarie Robison of Legacy Tale||Hilarie Robison talks about living life with intention, the importance of family planning, preserving memories on-the-go with tools like Google Photos, and her work with Legacy Tale.||7/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean24: Candus Kampfer on Bookkeeping and Quickbooks for Life Story Professionals||Candus Kampfer knows Quickbooks. Listen as she shares her expertise on how to set up and maintain good bookkeeping practices.||7/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean23: Nitty Gritty on Rough Drafts and Client Expectations||Mistakes happen. That's why rough drafts are rough. But clients don't always understand that. To avoid problems, it's crucial to prepare your clients before you hand them the first draft.||6/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean22: Reminiscence and Life Review for Life Story Professionals||What can we learn from a reminiscence and life review certificate program? Plenty. Listen as we talk to Esther Gieschen from the University of Wisconsin about the academic field of reminiscence and life review, their certification program, and the annua||6/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean21: Erika Ettin Helps Clients Create the Perfect Online Dating Profile||Can you apply your life story skills to the online dating world? Learn how Erika Ettin built a business around helping clients create the perfect online dating profile and more. Her company, A Little Nudge, has been featured in the New York Times, Washi||6/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean20: Nitty-Gritty on file naming conventions||The Nitty-Gritty is a new series where we'll be talking about the practical aspects of our work. Today, that's it's going to be about file naming conventions and why you need one.||6/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean19: Going Wide with Life Story Professional Peta Roberts||Peta tells us about how documenting her own family's history led her to a career in personal history, and how a newspaper advertisement jump-started her business.||6/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean18: Teaching Life Story Classes and Opening a Life Story Studio||Sam shares her ups, downs, and sideways on growing (and then scaling back) her life story business. Once the proprietor of a brick-and-mortar life story studio in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Sam now teaches life story classes, coaches writing client||5/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean17: Life Story Memorabilia Boxes and Marketing with Show and Tell Events with Martie McNabb||Martie McNabb helps clients tell their stories through their memorabilia. She's also a master marketer. She created her first "show and tell" event at Branded Saloon in Brooklyn several years ago, and since then the events have spread across the country||5/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean16: AncestryDNA for Life Story Professionals with Scientist Mike Tones||Why is one sibling’s AncestryDNA results different from another’s? If we share the same parents and grandparents, how can our tests show something different? Mike Tones explains the science behind genealogical genetics and what it means for our gene||5/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean15: Denis Ledoux from the Memoir Network on How to Grow as a Memoir Professional||Listen as we talk about using workshops, coaching, editing, and memoir ghostwriting to build our life story writing business.||5/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean14: Tom Cormier of Legacy Tales||Tom shares tips he has learned on how to scale up life story and personal history business by using the "one to many" approach.||4/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean13: Getting Personal||In this episode, we explore the question of how much we can and should share about ourselves with our clients and potential clients. What are the professional boundaries? And should they sometimes be breached?||4/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean12: International Ghostwriter Derek Lewis||Derek shares how to find clients for life story writers and other personal historians, giving us a behind-the-scenes peek at his marketing strategies||4/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean11: How to Price Your Personal History Project||It's the first question a potential client asks: How much does it cost? And it's one of the hardest to answer. There are lots of ways to determine the price of a project; in this episode, I share with you how I do it, and I give you a few suggestions (a||4/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean10: Author and Save the Cat! Expert C. David Milles||C. David Milles runs through Blake Snyder's popular screenwriting methodolgy known as Save the Cat! We discuss the beat sheet, transformation machine, and other elements of story structure, and how they can help us find our client's story.||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean9: Archivist Margot Note||Are your clients drowning in years' worth of photos, papers, and other family history mementos? Learn tips on how to help them get their archives in order the way the professionals do it. Archivist Margot Note has 19 years of experience in working with||3/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean8: How to Conduct a Great Initial Sales Call, part 2||Last episode, we discussed what an ideal initial sales call looks like; today, we'll take a look at how a recent sales call played out, including what went right and what didn't.||3/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean7: How to Conduct a Great Initial Sales Call, part 1||Someone has contacted you about doing their life story, but you're not sure what to say at your initial meeting? Tune in to learn how I prepare for these crucial first meetings with clients.||3/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean6: Interview with Marketing Specialist Dhyan Atkinson||Want to find clients for your personal history business? Join us for a talk with nationally-recognized Dhyan Atkinson, who has made coaching and teaching personal historians her specialty for over 16 years.||3/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean5: Interview with ghostwriter Tim Vandehey||Amy talks to ghostwriter Tim Vandehey about his work and how it overlaps with the legacy books personal historians write. Highlights include: the power of referrals; bringing a sense of mission to your client’s book; getting the voice right; how outli||2/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean4: Interview with author and improv coach Chad Elliot||We talk to Seattle improv coach Chad Elliot on how the techniques for learning improv can improve our overall communication skills, and help us to conduct better interviews with our life story clients.||1/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean3: How to conduct a great interview||From recording setup to active listening skills, we'll cover everything you need to consider before you sit down to interview your personal history client.||1/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean2: Interview with Read This When I'm Dead author Annie Presley||Annie Presley talks about marketing her series of life story workbooks||1/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean1: What is Personal History?||Learn about a growing trend in the field of memoir-writing: people hiring professionals to record their life stories.||1/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
This podcast has much to offer the personal history business entrepreneur. Amy has orgnaized a wide range of tips and interview ideas making this one of the most valuable and entertaining podcasts in my library of resources. Thank you Amy!
I found this podcast while looking for something to work as continuing education for a personal historian. I want to keep improving at my craft, but I know that doing so through practice alone leaves me in a bubble. I came into the profession with a degree in creative writing and professional experience as a journalist, book editor, and columnist. I have been at this for two years now, and most if not all of the advice I hear on this podcast refers to things I have either already figured out through quick trial and error or else learned before I even came to the profession.
I keep being interested in episodes, but they are not living up to their titles in terms of depth of advice. All of that said, it seems to be the only podcast out there, and something is better than nothing. It reminds me I am not the only personal historian in the world and tells me how some people do things differently. That is worth a few minutes of my week.
Great resource for writers!
I am so happy to have found this podcast! I just started my personal history writing business, and I have had so many questions about how to plan and structure my business and my services. These episodes give me down to earth, practical advice while encouraging me to keep going and to believe in the value of my work. Thank you Amy for making this podcast!