What it’s Like to See Your Life Story in a Magazine

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Article by Wendy McCance

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have someone share your life story.  I thought it would be so cool to be interviewed and then to see your own story in print.  I was able to find out just what the experience is like, and I have to say, I’m on the fence about the results.

A few months back, I was contacted by a writer who has written articles for AARP’s magazine, Life Reimagined.  The writer asked if I would like to share my life story for their magazine.  I was thrilled and set up a time to be contacted for an interview.

If you have read this blog for some time, you have probably read my articles discussing what my life has been like over the last five years.  Quick synopsis: Lost a job, diagnosed with autoimmune disease, lost home, had to start over and figure out a way to work with the illness that affects me daily.

I just saw my life story in the magazine.  I was sure I would be excited about the experience.  After reading the article, I was disappointed.  There are aspects of having someone write about your life that I hadn’t taken into consideration.  It didn’t occur to me that I would feel the need to control the article.  It was my story and I felt the end result didn’t do a great job of explaining what had happened.  There was no emotion to the piece, just a bunch of facts laid out that showed the route I took to create a better life.  The part that bothered me the most was that some of the facts, although minor, were not correct.  I wish the writer had contacted me with the rough draft just to make sure they had accurate information.

Back when I had done the interview, I was so excited that I mentioned it to my friends and family through Facebook.  I was torn about sharing the result.  If I didn’t share it, people would have asked what happened with the article.  If I did share it, I would feel embarrassed because the way things were portrayed were out of my control.  I ended up sharing the article with a note saying that some of the facts weren’t quite the way things went down.

Overall, I am glad I had the experience.  Like I said, I think it comes down to a control issue.  I have gotten used to having complete control over my blog.  If I write something that is personal, I have the ability to show emotions in the article.  The facts are all correct  and I feel comfortable sharing the post.

If you would like to read the article that was written for Life Reimagined, here’s the link: http://workreimagined.aarp.org/explore-your-options/amazing-comebacks-we-cant-even-afford-gas/?cmp=SN-LNKD-DS

If you are curious about the way I described some of the events that took place, check out these links about my life story from the archive.

When the Plant Closed.

Everything Happens for a Reason

What Writing has Taught Me

There are other articles, but these are the posts that most clearly define what happened.  Some day I would like to gather all of the posts and put a book together.  It would be a great bit of information to be able to hand down to my kids and theirs as well.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

Latest posts by Wendy McCance (see all)

12 thoughts on “What it’s Like to See Your Life Story in a Magazine

  1. Pingback: 5 Great Methods To Get Even More Blog Traffic | Searching For The Happiness

  2. Hi Wendy, I truly understand your dilemma, but the bottom line is, that your story has culminated into an awe inspiring solution to those who are currently experiencing similar difficulties. We who have followed you from the onset, are proud of your achievements. Hold your head high. Blessings.

  3. Hi Wendy. I can understand your feelings of “hey, it’s my story” and not feeling like it did you justice, but I feel it was very well-written and very emotional. Just sharing your story was amazing – most people don’t want to give that much of themselves. I understand where you are coming from, as I have had editors edit my personal essays, and I feel like it wasn’t written exactly as I would have. Maybe it is because we have control of our blogs by being writer, editor and publisher. Maybe it just brings the point closer to home when we read someone else’s take on our lives. Either way, it was a very inspiring story, and I am so happy that you have come so far in such a short time. Congrats to you and your husband for keeping it all together for your beautiful family.

    • Thanks Lynne. I really appreciate your thoughts. I’m so glad you know what I am talking about when you have a piece of yourself in an article that gets tweaked somehow. It’s just a very strange experience.

  4. I enjoyed the article Wendy and you can be so very proud of yourself. You have overcome so much and I know that even now it’s not easy. I particularly liked how you included the impact your family’s adverse circumstances had on your children and that it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Your children watching you and your husband climb back up will speak to them more than any lectures about not giving up. When I heard the words, “So proud of you Mum” when I had my first article published in a magazine, it was the best gift I could have received.
    You truly are inspirational 🙂

  5. Wendy – if it makes you feel any better, it’s a great story. I didn’t feel like, as a reader, I was missing out on anything. I think there IS emotion in the piece. I can see it as very inspiring for some people. I imagine since you are so close to it, you would have a different response. Be proud of it, I say!

    • Thanks Pam. My mother-in-law was saying the same thing (and she was right there through the whole thing). It’s weird how you can tell your own story with confidence, but feel embarrassed when someone else takes a stab at telling the same thing.

  6. I didn’t find anything unflattering about the article. The writer just focused on what she thought was the most important message for her audience. I do wish American writers would be more aware of words like “gas” though. When I first read the title “We can’t even afford gas,” I thought it was LPG (or it could have been flatuation). Then after reading the article, I saw the writer meant gasoline. Writers should be clear!

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