Grandparents, Please Write Your Stories!
My granddaughter Jessica was the one who inspired me to write my stories. “What was life like when you were a boy, Grandpa Jerry?” she started asking me last year. “What were some favorite games you played with your friends? What did you spend your allowance on? What were your parents and grandparents like?”
As our grandchildren grow up, at some point they recognize that grandma and grandpa are real people who had their own lives. And they hunger to know more about us. Luckily for Jessica, I’m still around at 92 to tell my stories! But you don’t have to wait.
It’s Easy To Write Your Stories
Hopefully, everyone is safe and healthy, albeit sheltering-at-home to stay that way. That’s why now is the time to write your stories! Your stories are a gift for your grandchildren. And they also are magical for you. Opening your high school yearbook brings memories so immediate they could have been yesterday. Remembering the smell of a favorite dish your grandma made, the “Dear John” letter you got while off fighting in the war. Sad, happy, full of emotion…your stories are the moments that have filled your life.
Get on the Write Your Story Party Train!
Here’s how: Twice weekly you’ll take 10 minutes to journal your memory, inspired by a writing prompt that will be emailed to you. Prior writing prompts include:
- On my mother’s dresser…
- My first crush…
- The games I played…
- From my grandma’s kitchen…
- My dad got mad when I…
Open the prompt, set your timer for 10 minutes, and GO! We recommend that your story be between 250-400 words. Here are some past writing prompts.
Here’s how to sign up.
To participate, fill out this form. Once you sign up, you will receive an email twice weekly, following Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 13.
If writing by hand, find a journal or special notebook to keep your stories together. If on computer, set up a spot where you will save everything to find later. Think about how you will share your stories with your family. Will you send them by email? Loan them your notebook when you are done? Set up a free blog on WordPress?
We also invite you to submit your stories for consideration to JCC Chicago at GGC@jccchicago.org, who will publish samples of stories from the prompts.
Still not sure?
I started this myself a few weeks ago. You can see a sampling of some of my stories here. And if you are still not sure, feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to talk to you about how to get started, and how meaningful this writing adventure will be, for both you and your grandchildren and your entire family.
It doesn’t matter if call yourself a writer or this is your first venture into new territory. All you need is love for your grandchildren and family and a desire to open yourself up and invite them to enter your world. Our hope is to provide some structure and encouragement to support you in your writing during this time.
PS. Don’t worry about spelling!
– Jerry Witkovsky
Author and Founder, Grandparent-Grandchild Connection