Frequently Asked Questions
Jubilee Singers at the Lexington Business College, Lexington, Nebraska, 1909, Solomon D. Butcher. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
How long will it take to answer the questions? You can answer just one or all, so the time it takes depends on you. Only you will know when you're done. Work at your own pace. Some will finish it in one week; others may take a year.
Can I add my own questions? The Remembering Site allows you to ignore questions that don't appeal to you, and you can add your own questions at the end of each chapter. This way, you will create a biography that is relevant and personal.
Are my responses confidential during the writing process? Yes.
Can I keep my biography confidential? Yes. Respecting your privacy is important to us. At the end of your writing, you will be able to decide if you will make your biography available to the public and / or to friends and family. Confidential or not, be honest, reflective, and unafraid to share your hopes, your dreams, your accomplishments, your set backs, your experiences, your thoughts, and your lessons learned.
What if I decide to make my biography available to the public? People from around the world will be able to read and relate to your thoughts, ideas, and experiences. You can make it private at any time.
Is there a limit to the length of any answer? You will find that some questions can be answered in one or two sentences; other questions will inspire you to write an entire page. There is no limit to the length of any answer.
Is there a limit to the length of my biography? No. Some biographies are thirty pages or less; others are 300 pages or even more.
What if I want to change my biography? We recognize that your life will continue to change and so should your personal history. You may change your answers and photos as many times as you would like at no additional fee.
Will my answers be edited? With highest respect for our right of free speech and expression, only in the most extreme circumstance will biographies be prohibited from being published. Of course, inappropriate photos will not be allowed and we have a filtering system that will not allow offensive language.
How will you ensure accuracy and truthfulness of answers? Writers will be personally held liable for any inaccuracies or statements that cause harm.
Is someone available to help with technical issues? E-mail us with any technical questions you have at email@example.com.
Any suggestions on how truthful I should be about other people? Keep in mind that you will decide who will read your biography - just those personally close to you or the entire world. We encourage you to be as open and honest as possible but not hurtful to others. Sometimes you will want to mention the name of the person who may have caused you pain along the way, but it's probably best to mention the hurt without denigrating the person. Then just move onto the next question.
Writing about difficult times. Many people ask, "But what about the bad stuff? How do I write an autobiography that is open and honest but doesn't hurt the ones I love or doesn't damage the ones I might not love anymore?" Everybody has darker moments. Do they belong in a family history?
No one leaves this life unscathed. We goof up. We shame ourselves. Tragedy happens. We've been hurt. We can't pretend life passed by with no potholes or wrong turns.
And yet not every story is for public consumption. You don't get points for pulling skeletons out of the closet and rattling them in your unsuspecting loved ones' faces. But the whole point of life is to learn. If you learned something that might help a family member during difficult times, it might not hurt to pass it along.
I'm worried about the longevity of electronic archives. How can I store my own autobiography? When you are finished with your biography, you will be able to create a paper version right from your own printer, you will have the opportunity to print a professionally printed version, you can make your story available for reading and archiving on our site, create a PDF file to store in your computer, and even store a version on your own CD. That's five ways to store your biography.
How do you know this is going to work? We beta tested the site with The Landing, a retirement community in Lincoln, Nebraska and with women who are interested in sharing their biographies with the world. Based on the growth of our initiative and the wonderfully positive feedback including, "Oh, if this only existed when my father or mother were alive", we feel that are making a contribution:
- To families who will better understand themselves;
- To youth who can read biographies that will allow them to quietly soak in wisdom as they read stories of people around the world; and
- To women and men who will be encouraged to share their wisdom no matter their income, no matter their accomplishments, and no matter where they live.
What about other languages? Will it be available in other languages? While the site is available only in English, soon it will be available in Spanish.