The Memory Book Company: Capturing Memories
Sarah Lott, life story writer and creative reminiscence practitioner explains her business, The Memory Book Company
What is the inspiration behind what you do?
I love talking with older people and have a fascination for domestic history. I have a degree in psychology and have been a writer for over 30 years. Nine years ago, I was introduced to a wonderful lady who was 103 and I wrote her story. She loved our sessions together and was so proud of her book. I’ve been writing people’s life stories ever since!
How has your business changed since you started writing life stories?
I wanted to learn more about dementia, as some of my clients were in the early stages of the disease, so I trained to become a creative reminiscence practitioner. I now also give talks and hold workshops about life story writing and coach people who are writing their own memoirs.
Why do you think it’s important for people to get their family memories written down?
We all lead busy lives and it’s so easy to put off talking to elderly relatives about their memories. Sadly, once our loved ones are gone, their family stories are lost. This really came home to me when my own dad passed away suddenly. Life story books also become a precious reminiscence and carer resource if a family member develops dementia.
Memories make us who we are and, when I’m writing life stories, I like to use lots of photos and create a narrative that really captures every personality.
Who comes to you for help?
My clients are varied. Some want to capture the life story of a parent or celebrate the life of someone they’ve lost. Some want me to create a book they can pass on to their grandchildren or to help them write their own biography. Others might be living with a terminal diagnosis or in the early stages of dementia. I feel very privileged and I love hearing people’s memories. There’s no such thing as a boring life story!