#TipsonTuesday: How to Write a Story for a Footprint

Using polaroids is one way to start writing your story

Writing a Story on the Everlasting Footprint of a loved one is one way to share memories. The Story can be sweet, sincere, serious, humorous, whimsical, or funny – and everything in between – and you don’t need to limit how to write a story of your loved one; you can write as many as you want, commemorating all your favorite moments.

Writing Footprint Stories is your chance to remember the person fully, complete with quirks, likes, and dislikes. The Storybook with the person, lets you show your personality and one-of-a-kind relationship. Did your uncle have a penchant for telling jokes? Did your friend love to paint? Did one of your parents have a favorite recliner or claim a place on the couch every night?

The small moments, the silly little things that make a person different, are great sources of inspiration for Footprint Stories.

To help get started knowing how to write a Story for the Storybook on your loved one’s Footprint, here are a few topic suggestions:

  1. Write about the things you miss most about the person. These treasured tidbits stay with you for a lifetime and can help paint a picture of the person for your reader. Consider the things and times that make the person special to you, and you will tell a Story full of emotion.
  2. Research your loved one’s achievements and ambitions. Consider his or her career, volunteer or nonprofit work, patents or inventions, and prizes or awards. You can even consider local reputation and community involvement that was never officially recognized. Every one of our loved ones had small actions that made them who they were; actions that we remember and are proud of.
  3. Look at photographs of your loved one and write a story around one. What memories do they bring back? Consider the occasion, events, other people in the photo, and small details captured by the camera. Photos can trigger a cascade of ideas for your Story.
  4. Search your loved one’s name online. You may find ancestry records, newspaper articles, Census information, and more. You may be surprised at what you find. Most family history has so much lively information that you could write a book.
  5. Ask others for their stories. While they could become a Collaborator on the Footprint to share their Stories as well, having them tell you personally may spark your own memory of the event or person. Especially, asking someone of the same age as the loved one can give you entirely new insight on how to write a Story about your loved one. From hearing another person’s perspective, you may be surprised by what you learn about your loved one.
  6. Write from the heart. You can’t go wrong with writing how much the person meant to you. Put your emotion onto paper, and people will feel the love that shines strong. The effects of loss can generate feelings that need an outlet, and what better way to memorialize your loved one than to tell about your loss?
  7. Try recording yourself talking about the loved one. The right way of how to write a story about your loved one may be to tell it first, then write it. Many smartphones have a vocal recording program, or you can use a “speech to text” program on a computer to automatically transcribe as you dictate. All you have to do is a bit of editing.
  8. Write a list of several questions to answer about your loved one. Then, do some research and comprise your Stories based on the answers. For example, you might find out your loved one’s favorite meal, favorite activity, favorite vacation destination, or favorite movie. You can write an entire Story off just one of these questions.

There is no right or wrong way to write, no formula for writing. The whole point of writing a Footprint Story is to do something that makes you feel good about what you are doing.

You are paying tribute to your loved one. Let others see the person as you saw him or her. Share your memories, express your love, and know that when you’ve found your method of how to write a Story about your loved one, the words will write themselves.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.