Our memories are unique to us and, arguably, define who we really are. A memoir is the best possible way to safeguard and preserve them - for our benefit and also for our family and, who knows, even a wider audience.
A memoir is not, necessarily, a chronological account of your life. It should be more a recollection of the events that - for diverse reasons - have meant most to you and can be retold, ideally, as stories about those events and the people and places involved.
David Rolfe - founder of Memoir Services - is a BAFTA-winning writer, producer, presenter and director of over 100 documentaries and programmes featuring all walks of life including prime ministers and royalty.
During a process of retrieval memories that once seemed to stand on their own may suddenly become connected. You are, metaphorically, climbing a gentle incline to a crest that will enable you to look back and see things laid out before you as in a landscape with its various features and landmarks. Their relationship to one another can, suddenly, become clear - even revelatory. These are the moments that can generate the all-important “reflections” on life and add the real value to the process and to your memoir.
Within your confidential and personalised pages we will create for you there will be a series of strategically designed "prompts". These are designed to stimulate your memory of the various stages of your life. With each prompt, there is a dedicated note pad for you to jot down the thoughts and memories that come to mind. No need to go into detail at this stage. Keep it simple. Just hit return and what you have typed will immediately be sent to your own email. You'll never have to worry about re-remembering! Your memoir is being captured in "bite-sized" sections as you go along. Often these recollections may be quite random. It doesn't matter. You have "captured" them.
Once you feel you have captured in note form the key elements of your story your Memoir Services interviewer will give you opportunity to recount at whatever length is necessary to capture the complete story with all the additional nuances and reflections that will have come to mind since that memory resurfaced. The brain and memory work in tandem in the background when you are not even trying to remember. You will surprised at what comes flooding back in phase 2. This is all captured in your completion interview and simultaneously transcribed. Your interviewer - an experienced journalist - will have familiarised themselves with your notes and structure the interview accordingly.
You take out a subscription that enables us to create your own dedicated and secure site. This will be password protected and exclusive to you for as long as you need it. There is a setup charge of £150 reduced to £90 for Marella clients during this introductory phase and thereafter a monthly charge of £10 for the duration of your personal reminiscing and note making. That can be as short or as long as you wish or need.
The only computer skills you will need are being able to type into a text box and saved to your personal email for safe keeping. You might wish to form your own group among friends or family so as to be able to encourage each other in the process. For every individual you introduce to our services and who completes their memoir we'll send you a congratulatory bottle of champagne.
As an online member you will get secure and personalised interactive pages totally exclusive to you with the full Guide and its associated interactive memory stimulations. These include a personal on-screen notepad so that even the most passing of recollections or thoughts can be captured easily and never lost. This can be vital. There are no distracting advertisements - just pure advice, unique tools for memory stimulation and, of course, the Guide itself. These password protected, secure pages can also provide the facility to contain your completed memoir should you wish. Your interviewer will send you a safe link to upload any photographs you wish to include.