I’m extra fun with caffeine.

Sundays with family are my happiest days. 

My perfect morning consists of an early morning sunrise, coffee, and quiet time with Jesus. 

I could binge on chocolate, cookies, and “The Office” all night long. 

Grease and Mamma Mia are my jam.

My ideal night is sitting around the fire pit and pool with my girlfriends.

My favorite trip has been to the Big Island, Hawaii, but my dream trip is Copenhagen, Denmark.

I want to say I love living out in the country, but I really enjoy picking up a latte at the Starbucks on every corner.

Get to know Bethie

Our Experience with Storyworth

My grandma wrote a book!!! Yes, you read that right … at 82 years old my Grandma sat down and wrote a book all about her life! Two years ago for Christmas, we shared with my Grandma all about Storyworth and asked her if she would like to write down the stories of her life. She said yes and so for Christmas we gifted her with a subscription to Storyworth.  Only to realize that this was much more a gift for us than for her! It was a true labor of love on her end and we are so grateful! 

Fast forward two years later to this Christmas 2023… We were all sitting cozy around the fire up at the cabin when she gifted us the hardcover copy of her published book. Tears were shed. This is a generational gift that shares not only the story of her life but the stories of our family, the roots we come from, and a  period of history from the perspective of someone I love so dearly. 

In this blog, I’ll be sharing all about our experience with Storyworth, an interview with my grandma on her experience, and her best practices and tips for finishing your own book. 

And, if you use THIS link, you’ll receive $10 off your order!

I also created a complementary BGP guide for you, where I compiled a list of all our questions and gave you the outline we used to make this book. You can download it here: 

What is Stroyworth & How Does it Work 

Storyworth is a subscription that will email you a question every week to write a story about and then after a year (or when you have finished answering all the questions … whichever comes first), it will compile all your stories into a book form. When you are finished writing your stories, you can send them to be printed in a hardcover book. 

Here’s How it Works

→ Storyworth emails the author questions to write about weekly 

→ You can write your story directly in Storyworth or write it on an outside platform and copy & paste it in (which is what my Grandma would do … sometimes it is easier to think if you are not writing in Storyworth directly) 

→ Hit publish on your story and Storywoth will email it to whoever you have added on to your account … so after she published her story each week it would be emailed to me, my parents, and my aunt. This only added to the fun because we would read her stories as she wrote them and hear stories we hadn’t heard before. This started great family conversations during the writing of the book.  

→ Once you are finished writing all your stories, you print your book and send it out to the family. 

My Grandma, as she does with everything in life, did it up right … she chose to make it a full-blown book with a forward, sections, chapters, and acknowledgments. She ended up writing 43 stories for us!! A total of over 300 pages!! 

And she asked me to write the forward and be the one to introduce her book… what an honor!

Interview with Grandma | Our Experience Using Storyworth

While I’m happy to share all about my experience, I figured it would be much more helpful to hear from the one who did the work of writing the stories each week. So, I went ahead and asked my Grandma some of the questions that we had before signing up for ourselves…

What a treat – an interview with the author herself! My Grandma, Judy Grondin …

How did you like using Storworth? 

It was a wonderful tool.  I was given a question every Monday and there was no pressure to answer immediately.  You can take hours, days, or even weeks to answer before submitting the article.  Even after it was submitted, changes could be made and photos added. Editing for spelling, punctuation, and language was extremely easy.  I never had a problem attaching photos.

How much time did you set aside each week? 

Once I read the question, I would ponder my answer before sitting down at the computer.  I have a very busy schedule so I would work on the stories at my convenience.  The best time for me to write was in the evenings.  Often, I would write for three, five, or even six hours at a time.   

Anytime a thought came to mind, I would sit down and write – it might have been something for an article I was working on that week or one that had already been submitted.  I got completely carried away once I sat down at the computer – sometimes it was just for a short time but often much longer.   

I never set aside any given time – I thought about my stories 24/7.

How did you approach writing the story each week? 

If I was writing about a special individual I would start with the full name and birth date.  If it was an older ancestor, I would research my subject from my large collection of family documents and photos. Very often I would ask for help from my siblings or cousin.

As I said above, I started each story with a full name and any dates that seemed important.  I would find pictures for that subject and set them aside even though I knew I couldn’t use them all in the final article.  Seeing the pictures when I was writing brought back memories of people and old events. Once I started writing, I was amazed at how much I remembered and how easily one thought led to another.

What was the biggest challenge of the experience? 

Choosing just the right photo when there were so many to choose from.

What was your favorite part of the experience? 


It was amazing to recall people and events of “Auld Lang Syne” (times long passed).  I love to write, but researching was what I loved the most.  

Often, I spent hours sitting on the floor going through boxes of papers and pictures – looking at many of them through tears, then a smile. I never would have done that if not for this project.

What would you say to someone who is considering writing their own book? 

It’s a wonderful experience that few people are able to do.  I am sure if you write your story, you will feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment that I feel.

Do you have any tips for someone writing their own book?

Don’t pass up the opportunity to do something so rewarding for both you and your grandchildren.

Anything else you would like to share? 

I consider Storyworth a blessing!  

When my granddaughter, Bethie, told me about Storyworth and asked me to write a story about my life, I said yes, but I didn’t think I could do it – in fact, I was sure I couldn’t.

But I did it.  It took me two years, but I did it. 

My book, IT ALL STARTED ON A FARM IN IOWA, has 43 chapters and well over 300 pages.  It’s a beautiful hardbound book – a colored picture on the cover – an easy-to-read print on heavy thick paper – sharp black and white photos.  I hope that it will be passed down from generation to generation.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience – I am very proud of my accomplishment.

The 24 books I ordered were printed and shipped immediately. Wonderful customer service.  A first-class product – a first-class company.

Our Organizational Set Up While Using Storyworth

My Grandma lives out in Sacramento, California and I’m in Gilbert, Arizona and let’s be frank—She is not the most high-tech lady, no offense Grams— So we created an old-school paper system to help keep things organized while we were apart. Then, we could sit together in person and work out any kinks online, if we needed. 

To Keep the Stories Organized I Put Together a Binder 

  • I printed out a list of all the questions we had asked and put that in the front 
  • Then I broke the book into sections
    • We decided we wanted the book to cover everything from her Grandparents to becoming a Grandma herself – you can download our full list of questions HERE.
      • Grandparents & Parents 
      • Childhood 
      • Young Adult Years 
      • Married & Young Family
      • About the Kids
      • The In-Laws 
      • The Grandkids
    • She would print off each story and put it in the section it belonged 
    • It was nice having it all on paper because it gave her the freedom to move stories around, sticky note them, and mark them up, before adding it ‘officially’ into Storyworth for the family to read. 

To Keep the Photos Organized We Used an Accordion Folder 

  • We used the same sections as the binder to label the accordion’s tabs
    • So many of the photos from back in the day are printed and there is often only one copy of it, so it was nice to have a spot to collect and sort all of the photos. Then towards the end of the experience, my Uncle sat with her and helped scan them and upload them into the stories. 
    • However, if you want a better quality way to digitize your photos, I would suggest using Legacy Box. 

Final Thoughts 

I hope this blog helps to give you a better idea of what it is like to use Storyworth and share a glimpse into how we approached writing down all of my Grandma’s stories. Like everything, it’s helpful to hear from someone who has been through it before. 

I am beyond grateful for the life that my grandparents led… it was a life worth documenting. There is so much value in preserving these stories and passing them down to another generation. The way that she lived has and will continue to shape me and the coming generations. And I’m grateful to be able to have all her stories written down. 

This entire experience of helping my Grandma write down her stories has only made me value even more and see the importance of a photograph, being a photographer, helping families document their own legacy through beautiful photographs, and then helping preserve them in artwork that can be passed down for generations to come

Whether you are writing your own story or using photos to document and preserve your legacy, it is a worthwhile task, friend. 

Don’t forget to use this link to Storyworth to receive $10 off your order!

I’m happy to help answer any other questions about our experience with Storyworth. You can email me at bethiegrondinphotography@gmail.com or leave a comment below. 

And, if you are interested in having your family photos captured and preserved in artwork, you can click HERE to inquire about a session. I’d love to chat with you!

Warning | If You Use Storyworth…

Also, I don’t think it would be fit to end the blog without giving you a little heads-up. Consider this your warning … 

  • You will hear a lot of ‘You can read all about it in my book’  during the writing process
  • All photos are fair game to be published in their book… *gulp* 
  • And after the book is published there will be pop quizzing on stories to see if you actually did read the book 

Don’t Forget to Download Our Storywoth Questions

I went ahead and compiled all our questions & my grandma’s book outline and made it a template form for you! You can download it below to quickly set up your own Storyworh account in a way that tells the complete story of either yours or a loved one’s life. 

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I'm an open book in my blogs. I share everything that has taken me from living in sickness, anxiety, and depression to having life abundantly. I don't share for pity or as a way to vent, but rather to encourage other women to live a peaceful and simplified life. I'll only address things when I can look back and with clear thinking decide what has helped me throughout this journey. 

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