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 93 to tell my stories! But you don’t have to wait.
These are your stories. Your treasures.
They will capture your memories, your milestones, your feelings, to share a secret peek into your world with your own grandchildren.
And, it can take as little as 10 minutes each time! Why 10 minutes? It’s an easy time commitment. For that short period of time you will write non-stop. Don’t allow any other voice in your head to derail you! If you write by hand, don’t pick your pen up from the page. Or write on your computer and never lift your fingers from the keyboard. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just keep writing. You can edit later if you so choose. Each prompt is the beginning of the first sentence of your story. Write it down and let it flow from there.
There’s no right or wrong. There’s just you. Ready, set, go!
There are a two ways to participate in Write Your Stories
1. Sign up to get notice when a new Write Your Stories Session begins with JCC Chicago and YMCA Chicago.
Each session is 6 weeks long with prompts emailed out twice a week, for a total of 12 prompts. Sessions start periodically throughout the year. Register here to get notified when the next session is beginning. We always include a webinar for participating grandparents midway through the program. This is a great way to connect with other grandparents.
2. Sign up for the Write Your Stories Course here, for Individual Grandparents or Organizations
For organizations, this course gives you step by step instructions on how to set up a Write Your Stories program for your members, group, constituents. Plus you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to to join a private Grandparents Write Your Stories Facebook Group to connect with other grandparents. For all, including grandparents who sign up individually, once you sign up (only $10!) we will continue to add prompts ongoing.
Try it, You’ll Like It! Sample Past Prompts
- On my mother’s dresser…
- My first crush…
- The games I played…
- From my grandma’s kitchen…
- My dad got mad when I…
Get started writing today by linking here for more past writing prompts.
You can see a sampling of some of Jerry Witkovsky’s stories here.
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.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact me directly.
PS. Don’t worry about spelling!