Skip to main content

Episode 38: Why You Need To Write Your Life Story


Why You Need To Write Your Life Story with Joanna Dolan

When Joanna Dolan’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors started asking for family medical history, Jo realised how little they actually knew about it all.

The family believed that Uncle John died from a stroke and that Aunty Kath had cancer of some kind, but no one was really certain because if they asked around, some of the older family members disputed those beliefs. So what was true?

Then she began to realise just how much information and experience is lost when someone passes and just how interesting and exciting it would be to hear what happened to someone in their own words. What was it like to be in a Workhouse in England in Victorian times? What was it like in the trenches of WW1? My Grandad was a tank sergeant in the D-Day Landings, what was his experience?

While you may not think your life is very interesting, your descendants, friends and relatives will.

Why You Need To Write Your Life Story with Joanna Dolan

The other thing she realised is that there is no one truth: no one is right, we just all have our own experience and understanding of every situation and that in itself is priceless. Five people may be involved in a certain event and they’ll all tell the story of what happened differently and every one of those stories is true, even though they’re all different to each other.

They can type it themselves or they can speak it and get it transcribed.

Find out:

  • Why writing things down is so powerful for the writer (and it’s not about telling other people!)
  • How Jo’s platform works
  • Why some information is crucial for your family
  • Why every time you remember something, it’s the first time you remember it
  • Who gets to see what you’ve written?
  • What happens if you don’t know where to start?
  • What happens if you don’t want anyone to see the things you write but you still would like to record it all

Listen to the podcast and find out more about the work Jo does, how you can connect with her to do this yourself and why it’s such an important to do (plus the answers to heaps more questions!)

Jo began to establish a platform where people can go and write their life, simply get down all (or some! Maybe just the juicy bits!) of their life experiences.

About Today’s Guest Joanna Dolan

Owner and Founder of Righting Writing

Jo is a professional editor who works with clients from around the world to ‘prettify their prose’.

Jo’s eldest daughter, Kate, died of melanoma in 2010 and since then Jo’s become more interested in the healing power associated with being seen and heard through telling our own stories.

Jo believes that our life stories are important insights into how we see the events around us unfolding.

She’s also a keen supporter of cancer charities and has shaved her head twice to raise funds.

Connect with Joanna:



Book A Coffee Date with Joanna

Joanna Dolan