Why Carol wants to help us write our own life stories

Do you have a story to tell? Chichester author Carol Godsmark is launching a new service that will help you to tell it.

Chichester author Carol Godsmark
Chichester author Carol Godsmark

As Carol says, she is aiming Your Life, Your Story at the growing trend of people from all walks of life who are recounting heartfelt first-person accounts of their own lives in private book form.

“If you think that writing your life story is not for you, think again. Why should biographies be the preserve of the rich and famous? Pulling apart the threads of all our lives, who’s to say whose has been more important or more interesting? Just because you’ve never been a nurse on a children’s ward or a politician holding high office, it doesn’t mean that what you have done isn’t worth putting down on paper. In fact, this is the very reason why people should write their story down for family and friends – or telling their story, possibly to a writer who can shape it into a book – because nobody, but nobody in this world has had a life like your own.

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“I’m a novelist, a non-fiction writer and previously PR manager for Chichester’s independent cinema, Chichester Cinema at New Park, as well as being a journalist for over 25 years. My stints in nursing in London, living and working in various countries as a stewardess on ritzy airlines and teaching business courses as well as being a Samaritan and court volunteer helping witnesses in court have been character-forming, life’s experiences of us all worthy of telling our story – your story.

“My new business, Your Life, Your Story, was recently launched to interview would-be biographers, writing their stories and seeing it to book form to give to family and friends. Unearthing the person that they are, who or what shaped them, what they value in life, is my focus.

“Those interviewed may have been a successful tennis coach, working in the field of social care, a telecoms manager with a second career as a stand-up comedian or a family member following in the footsteps of the family business.

“There are endless life’s experiences, who or what signalled changes in each and every one of our lives, and the choices we make, to grab new opportunities. Those people we have met along the way add to the fabric of our lives, contributing joy, humour or tragedy to our everyday existence.

“A memoir, printed privately for family and friends, doesn’t always have to document the lives of individuals or families. It could be the story of a company you’ve set up, the ups and downs of a business just as intriguing as a life story, as demonstrated by Wilfred Cass in his memoir, Here Comes Mr Cass, and whose business acumen culminated in The Cass Foundation and Sculpture at Goodwood, Chichester.

“His memoir is about ‘following your instincts, even when that means swimming against the tide, and starting to make something extraordinary out of nothing. ‘

“A person’s history – part of our collective social history – can enhance the knowledge of our families, many of whom may only have known the individual as an adult, or in the role of parent or grandparent, not a glimpse of the more rounded person.

“But it’s more than that. It’s a chance to re-evaluate our lives– or a portion of our lives – and gain pleasure from remembering the past. During lockdown we may have been thinking of our past lives and where our lives will lead us. Now’s a good time to get it down on paper, Your Life, Your Story guiding you to the finishing line.

“These days we’re all so busy with our lives that we often forget to enjoy the present, let alone remember the past. Sitting down to write your autobiography can be a great way to wallow in a bit of good old nostalgia.”

Contact Your Life, Your Story on 0771 7777 478; [email protected]; or www.carolgodsmark.co.uk/yourlifeyourstory.