Could You Tell Your Life Story in 400 Words?

Could You Tell Your Life Story in 400 Words?

Recently I was on Facebook and saw the profile of a cousin who lives far away who I haven’t seen since I was twelve years old. I “Friended” her and then sent her a message.

What followed made me laugh aloud. She messaged back that it was great to connect again after so long and then she asked, “How are things with you?” It had been forty-three years since I last saw her! How does one fit the answer to that question in a chat box on Facebook?

It’s possible. Even if your answer is about 400 words long. Imagine summing up the events of your life from the age of twelve! In doing this you draw upon only the highlights, collapsing entire chapters of your life into a single sentence. An exercise like this gives you a clear perspective on your journey. It was a fascinating experience.

Many years ago as an exercise in writing I decided to tell my life story. I opened up a blank document and started typing. It was fun–and eye-opening. We live in fast-changing times. My baby photos were in black-and-white, the houses and cars in the photos look so old! So many things in the world were different then. I recognized that in telling my life story I was also sharing something of history. And in reading the story I’d written I was able to recognize the poetry in my life, the perfect symmetry of it. I noticed that there were stories connected to each place I lived, places which were the perfect setting for what had transpired there.

I have always been living a story. And I am writing it even today.

Not everyone blogs or writes books, I know. But we all have stories to tell, interesting stories that deserve to be heard! Could you sum up all the years of your life so far in 400 words? Want to give it a try? Go ahead, the comments will take it, we have plenty of tea and coffee and all the time in the world here on the porch!

Have you ever reconnected with a long lost cousin/friend on Facebook? What would your response to this question be: How are things with you?

Photo credit: Bill Strain

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?