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How To Write An Autobiography
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Whether good, bad, happy or sad, everyone has a story inside of them. If you think you’ve lived an extraordinary life that others would find compelling, then writing an autobiography is the best way to share your story with the world. The whole premise of writing an autobiography is to write a story about your life that encapsulates the people, events and milestones of your journey in a way that’s both captivating and entertaining.
Writing an autobiography is not nearly as complicated as you may think, but it requires a level of honesty that will show readers how the events in your life formed the person you are today. It also requires writing skills that will offer more than just a monotonous narration of your life experiences. So what are some things to consider when learning how to write an autobiography?
Accuracy is paramount when writing an autobiography so it is best to create a timeline of your life’s events. Consider this the “brainstorming” phase, so feel free to write down any and everything that comes to mind. The overall objective is to prevent you from writing too much about one portion of your life and ultimately missing the larger picture. This step will allow you to weed through the less important events of your life while making sure you spend ample time on the big “turning-point-game-changing” stuff.
Main and Supporting Characters
When writing an autobiography, the use of interesting characters will play a major role in the progression of your plot. Likely, these characters will comprise a multitude of friends, family members, strangers and pets that will appear in various chapters throughout your book. Thus, it’s necessary that you list out each character in detail – describing each one in such a way that makes him/her relatable and familiar and ultimately brings them to life for your readers.
Having a Message
Your life story can easily get long-winded when writing an autobiography, so determine the overall message you want to portray by telling your story. Are you attempting to make others laugh at the comical events of your upbringing? Do you want to educate today’s youth on the consequences of traveling the wrong path of life? Do you want to encourage readers by sharing the challenges and obstacles you’ve faced and conquered? Once you’ve settled on a message, you can break up your life into topics that surround your message such as stories of your childhood, coming of age, falling in love, identity crisis and overcoming adversities. Ultimately you’ll weave together the most compelling and impactful anecdotes to create an impressionable and heart-felt portrait of your life.
People read autobiographies for a variety of reasons. They may want to gain insight on what it’s like to be someone else; or they may be using someone’s story to find courage and strength along their own life’s journey. As such, it’s important that you reveal truths about yourself and refrain from embellishing parts of your story. For example, if your story aims to help someone beat a drug addiction, then be open and candid about the unpleasant things you did to support your habit. By being vulnerable with your readers, you’ll allow them to connect with you on a level that’s both intimate and life-changing.
Writing an autobiography allows you to leave a piece of yourself with the world. Just present yourself as a whole person, sharing your accomplishments, set-backs and flaws. Doing this will make your story more real and meaningful, and leave a long-lasting impressions with your readers.
Tanisha Williams is the author of two non-profit e-books “501c3 In 12-Steps” and “Simple Internal Controls That Protect Your Assets”. Her desire for more interaction with readers was the key inspiration behind the development of her latest business venture ChatEbooks. ChatEbooks, launched in October 2014, harnesses the strengths of social media in order to help authors and their readers engage and connect within the context of the selling/reading experience.
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