An Invitation

List Your Life began as long-form stories of my life and memories with people who influenced me. Two years before the book would be printed, I wrote lengthy and detailed accounts of various scenes of my life. I savored the memories as I fell back into those moments with people who matter.

As I was developing List Your Life, it occurred to me that I wanted the project to be participatory in nature…that readers wouldn't just absorb my stories, but they would share their own as well. What began as a memoir evolved into a self-guided journal. Thus, an invitation, designed in the style of an actual formal invitation, serves as a foreword to the book calling readers to action so that they, too, will collect and relish their memories.

As much as each topic that I've written about is especially meaningful to me, the second year of work on LYL brought a shift in my focus. I maintained a sense of peace in knowing that people who are special in my heart would know just how much I appreciate and value them. But I also began to take on an outside view — knowing that the words ought to be crafted into something that would draw readers in.

The quotes were fun to collect, seeking meaningful sentiments from worldly figures, coordinated with memories that I'd rediscovered. Quotes were one more way to entice readers to write. I love quotes and could read them for days, and it was especially helpful that I already had a position from which I was searching so that I could find the most accurate sentiment to represent my ideas.

The various prompts are intended to be relevant to anyone — that any woman could relate to the ideas in the book. We all have our favorite shoes, and we all have key people who have lifted us up. My hope is that reading my stories in short form, while enjoying the quotes together with accessible topics, will compel a reader to write her stories…and arrive at a beautiful collection of her memories.

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