w Leah Dobkin | Legacy Letters | Soul of a Port

How are Legacy Letters Created?

Letter writing is a lost art form, but it doesn't have to be. Leah Dobkin helps revive this old art form while strengthening ties between the generations. She helps clients write Legacy Letters. Legacy Letters are tailor-written, and vary in length and design. They are based on informal recorded interviews, either in-person, over the phone, Skype, or a combination of all three. Leah carefully listens and confidentially records, and, then, writes your stories and what you want to say. All you have to do is talk and review what she writes. It is a collaborative process, but you have the final say about what goes into the letter. The result is a unique letter or book that pulls together, clearly and interestingly, everything you wanted to share with your children and grandchildren, but may not have.

Here are the steps to creating a Legacy Letter with Leah Dobkin:

1. Inquiry
We talk about your personal goals for the project. We discuss the style, length and format of your Legacy Letter. l can provide resources such as sample letters, outlines, thought provoking questions, helpful literature and web sites related to Legacy Letters. I will also provide feedback and answer your questions.

2. Refinement
After you have had a chance to review resources and refine what you want, we determine the number and length of interviews, time commitment and timeframe, the look and length of the letter, preferred content, and the cost to produce the Legacy Letter. Interviews are generally one to two hours long.

Costs can vary depending on the length, type, and time required to conduct interviews, and write the Legacy Letter. Together we will determine the number of hours required to complete the project, and subsequent cost. Click here to see What are the costs?

3. Signed agreement
If you would like to move forward with the project, I will draft an agreement based on our conversation that includes the goal(s), the product description, the method, time frame and reimbursement schedule. You will review the agreement and make any needed changes, sign it and send it to me with an agreed upon deposit.

4. Lift off
You will complete a questionnaire that will help me draft an outline for your final approval. Once the outline is finalized we set a schedule for conducting the interviews. Interviews are conducted in person, phone, e-mail, Skype or a combination of these methods.

5. Collecting Information
You will collect items that will stimulate your memories, and help me understand what is important to you. Any combination of old photographs, letters, family tree, mementos and recipes can help stimulate memories, and could be included in your Legacy Letter.

I will provide pertinent questions that will also help develop content for the letter. You will select the questions you prefer that I will use during the interviews. You will also create a basic list of people, places and significant events you want to include in the letter to help demonstrate who you are and your values. We will review this list when I create a draft to double check that all the key content is included, and we didn't forget anything that is important to you. Then we will have our interviews, which will be informal and a lot of fun.

6. Pen to ink or fingertips to keys
I will have our recorded interviews transcribed by a professional transcriber with your permission. All recordings and e-mails will remain confidential, and they are shared only with your permission. The recordings and the transcription can be made available to you and any family member.

You review the draft letter based on all the information described, above and make any needed changes. Then, I will incorporate these changes, finalize the letter, and print it on high grade, acid-free paper and mail it to you.

The entire process is designed to be an enjoyable and reflective experience. Your Legacy Letters will weave together everything you wanted to share with your children, grandchildren and other loved ones, but never did. It will be clearly written in your voice.

Click here to learn why you should hire a professional.