It’s a gift for you, really

I almost never do sponsored posts on this blog because I hate reading them on other people’s blogs so I only do it if it’s a product that I truly adore and think you’d love too.  I’ve written before about StoryWorth so if you’ve been around long enough you already know that I use it  and love it myself.  But if you’re new here or need a refresher, here you go.

StoryWorth is a wonderful company that will email you (or someone you love) an inspiring story prompt once a week for a year.  You (or your loved one) will just email your response back when you have time.  You can keep your stories private or share them with others.  And at the end of the year StoryWorth puts it all together as a memoir bound in a hardcover book.  It’s crazy easy and it makes an amazing gift to yourself or to others.  I used it on past Father’s Days and Mother’s Days and now I have two beautiful books filled with amazing stories that my parents loved sharing and that my sister and I and our kids loved reading.

Books from my mom and dad.

If you want to read some of their stories you can read a few of my dad’s here or my mom’s here.  I wish that I’d sent one to my grandfather before he died or my grandmother before her dementia got too bad, but I’m so lucky to have the stories my parents shared about their parents and that’s almost as good.  And this year I’m buying a subscription for Victor because his grandparents may not be around to tell the stories we loved hearing over and over but he is here…and he has those stories in his head that can still that can be recorded.  They are bloody and ridiculous and hilarious and sad and wonderful and contain more than a few unsolved mysteries that still haunt us, but it is not too late to preserve those stories.

If you’re looking for a great gift I cannot recommend StoryWorth enough and you don’t have to wait until it’s gifted to you.  You can use StoryWorth to write your own memoir.  Honestly, I got to go in and pick the questions sent to my parents every week and some of the prompts were so good that they inspired some of my own writing.

And right now if you click here you can get $10 off so it’s only $89 for one of the best books you will ever own.  (And yes, you can buy extra copies of the book for grandkids or other family members.  I’ve bought a ton of copies to share with family.)

It’s a lovely distraction when we’re all stuck at home, and another nice thing is that each week when your loved one sends in their response you’ll get a copy of their email so you can see what they’re writing about and ask them about it and suddenly you have something fun to talk about on your phone calls, which is really nice during this time when no one is really able to do anything worth talking about.

So if you want in just click here.  I honestly cannot recommend it enough, especially since you may think you have no good stories but then suddenly you’re reminded of the time your grandma dug up a corpse and took it home for Easter and then you realize that maybe you do have some stories after all.  You do.  I promise.

PS.  Tell the weird stories.  Let the skeletons in the closet come out.  Share your memories.  Even the hard ones are treasures, I promise.

53 thoughts on “It’s a gift for you, really

Read comments below or add one.

  1. wow I dont know why that copied all my info lol but here is the story lol

    This happened a couple weeks ago but I’ll try my best

    Girl in Whole Foods reaches across by body, arm literally on my arm to grab a can of blackbeans.
    Me: Um, wow, yea, we are frenching now.
    Girl: What?
    Me: Frenching. French kissing. I am going to french kiss you
    Girl: Wha-at?
    Me: Listen, you want to roll those dice and I can get on board because you are cute but we’re not doing any half measures, it’s gotta be all or nothing.
    Girl: What?
    Girl: Walks away

  2. I love this. What a wonderful gift!! I’m going to buy it for my son.

  3. I loved the idea of StoryWorth. I only have one grandparent left, but I knew it would be hard to get someone to help her share her stories. Both parents are alive, but my mom is already in a mental care facility. So that left my dad. I talked to my stepmom and she agreed to help me. Unfortunately, if the emails I receive with his memories are any indication, I think he has answered less than a dozen. I keep bugging him. I have his mom and wife bugging him, I’m even using the guilt of sharing his memories so his granddaughters have them. Nothing seems to be working. I keep hoping he will sit down and catch up before the year ends this summer. I still think it is a lovely idea.

  4. I love Storyworth! Last year when you posted this Jenny I got a subscription for my mom, which I just renewed… she loves it because it gets her thinking about her life (she’s 86). Can’t recommend it enough!

  5. Every time you post about StoryWorth I think about how much I love this idea! Unfortunately my grandmother doesn’t use email.

  6. My husband and I signed up for this three years ago. He completed his (two volumes!) and his daughters were so thrilled and appreciative. It turned into a cherished treasure for me, too. Who knew he was such a romantic?! I’m still working on mine … but I swear it will absolutely be finished by the end of this year as a gift for my son.

    I can’t recommend this project enough, and what better time to use the ‘bonus’ time at home?

  7. We are in the middle of a subscription for my dad. We don’t talk to him much on the phone, as his speech isn’t great and his hearing is worse. But he’s an avid computer user and he likes to write. What I miss most about my mom is that I can’t ask her any more questions. So I decided I should ask my dad all the questions now! The site is really easy to use, and it provides suggested questions but you can reorder, modify, or replace them however you would like. As an added bonus, it’s a little easier to keep tabs on my dad during this pandemic, because we are hearing from him at least once a week when he submits his responses!

  8. Thanks for this post!! I know what my family is getting for Christmas this year. BAM!! Christmas shopping done!!

  9. That French kissing story made me laugh so hard I nearly peed. That’s awesome. I’m looking for wall art but not wealthy or decisive enough for “real” art, so I’m printing that story in a lovely font and hanging it on my wall. Thank you for sharing. If you have your name in it, I’ll take it out to protect your privacy. ❤️💋🧠 These are the emojis of loving smart stories about French kissing.

  10. BOth of my parents are almost done with theirs. It was a little trickier for Dad… he’s not a “word” guy, email guy apparently. But it has been really fun… I need to go in and edit some typos.

  11. I took your previous endorsement and gifted this to my in-laws. They will receive their books this week. I LOVED reading their stories. Somehow, holding a beautifully bound book of them made them feel even more precious. I have asked several of those questions before, but given time to write, it they would answer slightly differently or add a detail or two. My favorite response of all was when a question was asked that my FIL just responded: No. We kept it in the book. Such a perfect day sample of his personality.
    I think I’ll do this for myself too now. Thanks Jenny.

  12. I have to tell about my experience with this. I bought a 1 year subscription as a mother’s day gift for my mom and my mother-in-law. Long story short they both hated it. To the point that they both individually asked if they could just drop it. I contacted storyworth to let them know and they were so great! The offered to let us transfer the subscriptions (almost 1 year later) and restart the clock. Amazing customer service. My husband and I took over the subscriptions since the thought was this would be a keepsake for our son and our siblings. I have enjoyed writing my own story and I’m really glad we did it.

  13. This is a wonderful gift. It’s not something I myself want, because I am trying to forget I ever had a family, and don’t plan to speak to a single blood relative again during my lifetime. But for people with human families, this is so wonderful.

  14. I also got this for my mom last Mother’s Day (I think with a coupon code from here!) She was really into it at first but I don’t think she’s written anything in months. Also a lot of her responses were just gushing over me in some way (I’m an only child and our relationship has been *ahem strained since the election so I think this was her way of making up for it). Sadly this hasn’t turned out how I hoped so I sympathize with others in the comments who are having a less than stellar experience with this. Maybe I should transfer the subscription to myself like Anon did. I don’t have kids but it might be fun to think about how I’d answer the questions. Anyhow – hugs to y’all and I’m happy for people who this works for, but I ain’t one of em.

  15. This is such a lovely idea! I decided to try using Future Me to send myself a letter on NYE 2019 so I look forward to receiving that heap of sweet naivety in December this year. I think a book of stories is much more interesting, though.

  16. I got this for my grandmother last year on your recommendation. It was a really wonderful experience for all of us children and grandchildren, as well as for her. My favorite part was actually seeing which questions she sort of dodged or answered obliquely. I found it really interesting and honestly, really informative! Pro tip for users with poor eyesight: Her vision is impaired after a stroke and so navigating the website was difficult. Often she would type something up in an email or Word doc, email it to me, and I’d upload it to Storyworth. Easy peasy!

  17. I agree even the hard stories are worth preserving. That is what my blog and memoir work is for. I am not sure I would do so well with prompts. I find I don’t remember a vividly what I don’t record on the blog.

  18. I bought Storyworth for my dad last year and he LOVED it. After the first few weeks he just made up his own topics and wrote like crazy. He’s 92, and my mother died 3 years ago so a lot of his stories were about the two of them. For me, it was wonderful. I’d heard a lot of his stories before, but never in such detail, and the things that were new to me we so interesting. Just imagine what I would have missed!

  19. I signed up my dad and his two brothers earlier this year. Dad and Younger Uncle have been pretty regular so far, but nothing from Older Uncle yet (ironically, he was the most in favor of it when I proposed the idea to them in January). I’m looking forward to reading their three different perspectives on their childhoods. I’ve already teared up a couple of times, both from Dad’s sweet words about his younger brother being his oldest friend, and with anger/sadness about how Younger Uncle was treated by their father (Grandpa was one of those unpleasant people who don’t understand why their children cut them off as soon as they’re able to move out, although he was mostly able to make amends by the time I came around). My dad’s side of the family is pretty small, and my knowledge of the family history basically only goes back to his childhood, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to have them record their lives for me. Should be quite interesting to read about their post-war childhoods, their time (or not) in the Navy during Vietnam, and raising my cousins and me.

  20. Thank you so much for recommending Storyworth! I had read about it here awhile ago, so I got gifts for both of my parents last year. They have loved writing down their stories, and I’ve actually learned some things I didn’t know before, even though they are in their 70’s.

  21. I can’t afford to do this right now, but maybe someday. Your parent’s stories are so amazing. I wish my parents were still around to do this. Thanks for sharing!

  22. When you shared this some time ago, I signed up my Dad and his younger sister. My Dad was able to write a few stories before his unexpected death. My aunt was able to finish all of hers, including some about my Dad. We recently got them finished and mailed out. I will treasure this book. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. When you shared a while ago, I loved your parents stories. They were amazing- I keep hoping I can talk my parents into doing this, because you’re right, it would be a gift for me!

  24. After your recommendation last year, I got this for my mum. I can’t wait for the finished product. We have a couple of weeks of questions left, then I will be putting it all together. It is a great idea, and the fact that you can select your own questions, set the schedule and arrange it how you’d like is great.

  25. I’m doubting story prompts would motivate me. Also, I wouldn’t sign up without seeing all the story prompts to see if they are any good. The few they flash on the screen are really mundane, at least to me. “have you ever been afraid for your life?” srsly? Everyone has at some point by the time they are adults, even if to outsiders it seems silly

  26. Storyworth is fantastic! I just got the book we did for my dad last year for his birthday! I bought a copy for us, my mom and dad and my brother. It has been awesome reading his stories. He’s 75 and I’m so glad we got him to do it. Working on my mom too but she is resisting, lol.

  27. I bought one for my mom last Mother’s Day, after reading about it here, and while she’s just a little bit behind in her responses (which proves I am my mother’s daughter) it’s already more than paid off. After 50 years in the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Indiana in February to be close to her only grandchild and my sister and I mined her responses for the About Mom speech at her church’s going away party. It was wonderful.

  28. Did this for my parents…they LOVED doing it…looked forward to the prompt emails. Was able to or extra copies for reasonable price for each family group. Would recommend HIGHLY!!!

  29. At your recommendation I gave subscriptions to both my mom and my dad last year for Mothers/Fathers Day. My mom in particular has absolutely loved it, and I have ended up hearing stories from both of them that I had never heard before.

  30. Took your advice last year and my mom is wrapping up her stories next month! She thought it was awesome and a great motivator to get memories and thoughts out of her head and into a readable format. It’s been such a nice treat to get a new-to-me story via email as she writes them down. I’ve had to remind her that she can change the question prompts any time or just substitute her own, but other than that, it’s been a great experience for both of us. Still trying to find a way to create a similar opportunity for my dad who is not online at all.

  31. Is no one going to mention the grandma digging up a corpse?? I mean, it’s possibly just a random example Jenny came up with, but knowing that family I have my doubts. Did that really happen? I want to know more!

  32. I agree with Nan R, above. This is a lovely idea, but make sure your loved one is going to do it. I got it for my father last year for Father’s Day, and he’s done maybe five. It’s really disappointing. It’s not like he’s busy – he’s retired! This year, he’s getting a trail cam.

  33. I wish we had done something like this for my grandma, she had great stories. Now my mom is showing some of the same signs of dementia. I’m going to get a subscription for her.

    PS I love the photos of your parents. How cute are they?

  34. I did this for my parents and my husband’s parents for Christmas. They love writing down the stories. I did buy extra books so I can surprise all the siblings with a copy. I hope these will be passed down for a while.

  35. A very nice idea, but enjoy with caution. With my grandma it totally flopped and only exacerbated familial tensions. Many of the prompts were not applicable and some were triggers for traumatic experiences. To her it felt like a lame way to make up for a lack of regular personal interest and contact. She wants to build stories with her grandkids day by day, not drag up depressive memories that she would rather leave buried.

    The takeaway: please don’t just do it for yourself so you and yours can be entertained, and definitely don’t forget to create new, happy stories with your special people, too!

  36. I would love to get this for my parents – my father has so many stories, and I am sure my step-mom does too. It would be nice to be them in book form as a keepsake.
    Cynthia W.

  37. What an awesome idea! I have just started a new podcast called Terra Gets a Life, and I plan to ask my parents their favorite stories about the family members as a part of it. I think I’ll give this a shot, too.

  38. After reading about storyworth on your blog I got it for both my parents last year and it has been the most awesome wonderful gift bringing us closer. Thank you!

  39. I got it for my brother and sister (they have kids) but neither finished. Know your audience folks.

  40. I got a Story Worth subscription for my mom and it took us two years to complete it, but it is her all time favorite present I have ever given her. I gave it to her for her 75th birthday in October, and she shows it to everyone who walks in the house. She is not computer savvy AT ALL. And so the way I did it was, I got the questions, and I made up some of my own, to fit our family, and then I got out my iPhone, and recorded her answering each question. After that, I transcribed each story, and uploaded it to Storyworth. It definitely took some time. And I added photos, too. But in the end, she got the book, and I have these recorded stories in my mother’s voice. And those audio files are something that I think I will really appreciate having in the years to come.

  41. Bought for my mother and both my grandmothers for mothers day! Can’t wait to read them all next year

  42. I bought a Storyworth subscription for my dad after reading your first blog post about it and it spurred him on to start his novel. I cannot recommend this gift enough! I learned a lot about my dad and loved reading more detail about things that impacted his life. For those of you starting out, you can pair photos with the stories in the final book, so maybe start looking now and scanning those photos to set aside for when you’re done. It made the final gift that much more amazing.

  43. ““You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamont
    I heard it somewhere but this was from the Goodreads page. ‘Let those stories rip

  44. Ok, this is perfect, and timely – my dad’s birthday is coming up, I just had a baby and he wanted to write stories to her about memories he might not be able to tell when she’s older. THANK YOU!!!!

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  46. I did this originally for my husband, he loved it, it got him writing and it was a way to catch up so to speak. We married 10 years ago, but we knew each other in college and we’re good friends. We both married other people, he lost his first wife to breast cancer and I had gotten divorced when we reconnected via email. (I had actually emailed his late wife, he was still checking her email 3 years after her passing)
    It’s been a great way for him to revisit the past and put things in perspective (as we’re retired), he loved it and I have loved reading all his stories and getting to know him even more..

  47. I love this. It is a truly wonderful gift! I actually got my mother something very similar and she liked it a lot. Got the original idea from

  48. I’m trying to help someone with this right now, and I’m less than impressed. Storyworth offers no formatting (no bold, italics, underlining) and if a single line goes over to a new page, tough. Blank pages have page numbers on them, which looks so wrong. All the email tech support has been copy/paste for mostly non-related issues. You have extremely limited choices of text, layout, etc. I’m finding it very frustrating… they just keep saying “it’s automated… we have no control.” What are they using… SkyNet?

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