A workshop in Levin is helping people preserve their own stories and life experiences in print.
The "What's Your Story?" class is the brainchild of Kāpiti woman and author Dr Angela Robertson, who wants to show people how important and easy it is to start writing down memories that she says are priceless.
"Everyone's life is unique and worthwhile. Everyone has a story to tell," she said.
"Writing our personal story evokes memories of the important people in our lives, our experiences, achievements, our hopes and dreams.
"The process is enjoyable and liberating. Don't wait until it is too late. After all, if you don't write it, who will?"
It could be family history, personal history, or recalling a perspective of an important event in New Zealand's history like WWII or The Beatles Tour.
The workshop started with a free introductory class last week,
continuing with weekly sessions on Tuesday.
There was a journey that had led to Robertson's latest writing class. It began when she held entrepreneurial workshops for people aged 50-plus to support each other, recognising that they had great ideas and a lot to offer.
It led to a collection of stories that formed a book called Life On Our Terms, aiming to show how enriching life can be for people in that age demographic by sharing stories of people and what they had been able to achieve later in life.
Dr Robertson wrote a follow-up book called Celebrating Life On Our Own Terms during the Covid-19 lockdown and realised that everyone from all walks of life needed to be encouraged to write about themselves, their family or their history.
"Some are writing about their mum or dad or an event or memories of an event ... in a way, every story is about our shared heritage," she said.
"People study their genealogy but haven't got their own stories written down and this is to encourage them to write their own stories.
"Writing can be quite lonely and it's about showing people how to overcome those hurdles. It's really important we capture those defining moments in our lives."
Robertson said when writing about a personal experience the author "gets to taste it twice - once when they are living it and then again when you are writing about it".
Robertson said the experience itself could be uplifting.
"It's a positive thing to be doing. It doesn't have to be a big fancy book and win awards."
The workshops are being held on Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm at Te Whare Mahana in Bristol St, Levin.
To register phone Vic on 06 368 1195, or 021 311 686, or email firstname.lastname@example.org