Course Description

Have you ever tried to work with your aging parent or grandparent to find out about their history? Were you successful or was it kind of hard?  

I know that it isn't always easy to have those conversations. Worse yet, what do you do with the information if it does work? 

The DIY Personal Story E-Course is the tool that will make all the difference.  

With a fill in the blank narrative, step by step instructions, and conversation starters, this course will help you create a lasting Legacy for your family and friends. 

Taking the time to talk with our aging population is so incredibly important. Thank you for your efforts!

This course is about taking the time to write down one part of your personal story. The course will cover how to identify the core elements of your story and how to put them together in a narrative.

Who is this course for? Anyone who...

  • has thought about writing a memoir, autobiography, or doodling a stick figure of themselves on a napkin :)
  • has thought about helping someone else write their life story, memoir, or... you get the idea

(here's the heavy part)

  • has lost someone they love
  • has someone in their life who is experiencing memory loss and wants to work with them to record their memories

This course will help you create a personal narrative based on a photo, memory, or recipe. You will identify the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, & why) and dig deep into the story behind the photo, memory or recipe.

I've included a story by numbers (fill in the blank) to make it crazy easy and a plethora of word banks to help you find the perfect turn of phrase.

I can't wait to read your stories!


Founder & Senior Instructor

Gael Gilliland

Gael founded The Legacy Recorder (2015) and self-published the Legacy Recorder Community Guide (2016) to share her passion for storytelling and writing about hard things like death and dying. Her mission is to help others create deeper, lasting connections through intergenerational storytelling. Today her storytelling methods and unique project approach are used globally. As a speaker, Gael has presented on a myriad of topics including storytelling, social media, project management, how to talk to your kids, branding, and death (ikr?). As a ghostwriter, Gael has completed ten manuscripts over the last eight years in addition to cultivating a consistent technical writing based clientele in the construction and product development sectors. She is also a millennial mother of three future creatives, who give her daily inspiration and a few grey hairs. She is an enthusiastic supporter of local music, local coffee shops, and new writers looking to make their way.

Course curriculum

  • 3

    What to think about when selecting your story inspiration

    • What to think about when selecting your story inspiration

    • Story Inspiration

    • Making Your Story Selection

  • 4

    Identify your core story elements

    • Intro to the Core Story Elements

    • Identify your who

    • Who (Characters)

    • Identify Your What

    • Identifying What

    • Identify your when

    • Identify When Memory

    • Identify When Photo

    • Identify When Recipe

    • Identify your where

    • Identify Where Memory

    • Identify Where Photo

    • Identify Where Recipe

    • Identify your why

    • Identify Why Memory

    • Identify Why Photo

    • Identify Why Recipe

  • 5

    Behind the scenes

    • The story behind your photo, recipe or memory

    • What do I Mean by This and a Personal Example

    • Importance of this moment

    • Behind the scenes

    • Digging in to find your emotional connection

    • What are people going to remember about your memory

  • 6

    Tell the story

    • Tell your story

    • Personal notes & what did you forget

  • 7

    Write the Story

    • Write your story

    • happy wordbank

    • negative vocabulary word bank

    • Feelings & Emotions Wordbank

    • adjectives word bank

    • Inspiration Boards

  • 8

    Formatting your story

    • Formatting your story

    • Personal Story Narrative Example

  • 9

    Your story by numbers

    • Fill in the Blank Narrative

    • Narrative Template for Memories

    • Narrative Template for Photos

    • Narrative Template for Recipes

  • 10

    Wrapping it up

    • Wrapping it up

    • First legacy recording