Would you like to give the future a present?
Humanity’s legacy of stories and storytelling
is the most precious we have.
All wisdom is in our stories and songs.
Each of us has had moments of “glad grace,” moments of inspiration, courage, tenderness, and each of us is wise in our very own way. What could be better than sharing our stories and wisdom with the people we cherish? … Just imagine what it would be like to have a permanent record of your mother’s dreams for you as she awaited your birth—or words of inspiration set down by a grandfather who triumphed over disaster.
My name is Jean Sheppard. I am a writer and editor and a writing teacher, and I firmly believe in the truth of Doris Lessing’s observation. I also firmly believe in the value of sharing those stories and the values they embody.
Let me explain …
Memory is the mother of all wisdom.
My great-uncle, Harry Radcliffe, is, to borrow the words of Winston Churchill, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. All I know of him is what I can glean from this photo postcard he addressed to his niece, my mother, many decades ago.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I would much rather have his words—and more than a thousand. Why did he join the navy? What did he learn from his travels? If he could speak, what would he say about what mattered to him?
If he had shared his memories, he would have given the future a timeless gift …
What gift will you give the future?
The emphasis in a memoir is on a meaningful event in the writer’s life. The writer tells that unique story in order to understand and/or explain its significance. As Neil Gaiman observed, “The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.”
The emphasis in a legacy letter is on sharing the wisdom that comes from our life experiences and our hopes for the future. Addressed to an individual or group, the letter relies on stories that illustrate their core values and life lessons. We can write these letters at any time in our lives.
I provide individual coaching sessions to help you write a memoir or create one (or more!) legacy letters. We can meet in person or online.
If you belong to a group that would like a workshop tailored to your particular interests, I would be delighted to design one for you.
Here’s what some people have said about what I offer …