Writing an autobiography (also known as a memoir) can be a really great experience! However, when you first begin it can seem like a rather daunting process. That’s why I’ve written this article – to show all out there who are interested just how they can write an autobiography that will be cherished for years to come. I will be outlining an easy to follow, step-by-step process that can be used as a template to help you get your work planned, drafted, created and published in as brief a time possible but with the best results.
Step One – Decide Who You Are Writing For
This is extremely important as there will be a huge difference in your writing if you are creating your autobiography for the general public compared with writing it for friends and family. If you are going to write an autobiography for the general public then it needs to be written in a more formal style and deliver more in terms of style, action and story. However, if you are just writing for those closest to you then a more intimate, informal style can be used that would likely be more similar to a letter.
Step Two – Pick The Stories You Want To Tell
In all honestly, nobody wants to read an autobiography that features ever minute detail and aspect of the writer’s life. Instead, it is much better to pick the most important events in your life. A good tip here is to choose events that had the largest impact on the rest of your life or ones that taught you important lessons. Another approach that is possible is to pick the single biggest event in your life, write about that and then flesh out the rest of the autobiography by writing about the effects that this event had on you.
Step Three – Draft The Memoir
Start writing down all the events and experiences you wish to write about in your autobiography, in whatever order you think of them. Make sure not to embellish anything too much as it will remove the credibility from your writing. Once you have the events written down, order them chronologically and start linking them together to make a coherent piece of writing.
Step Four – Finish The Writing
Once your draft is complete, go through editing and proof-reading absolutely everything, checking for punctuation, grammar and spelling errors. Also check that your autobiography has been written in a compelling style that will make its readers want to continue reading, rather than boring them to death! Make sure every event has a beginning, middle and end and that you have written in a style that makes sense. To test this read your work aloud and if it does not appear to make sense then go through and rewrite it. It would also pay to get someone else to read it and get an opinion from them as to whether they enjoyed what the read and whether they could see any mistakes.
Step Five – Publish It
This can be one of the most difficult aspects of the entire process! If you have suitable equipment at home such as a laser printer, ring-binding machine and you are willing to sacrifice the time then publishing yourself can be a good option, especially if you are trying to save money. You could also take your work to a printing company who will do the publishing for you. Because this can be quite expensive you should definitely get quotes from various different companies, as well as compare samples of their work.
Once your autobiography has been published you can then distribute it around your friends and family. If you have been more ambitious and planned to release the book to the public then start small by seeing if local bookshops will accept copies of it. With a bit of luck you could wind up on the New York Times “bestseller list”! I hope that by reading this article you have learned a bit more about how to write an autobiography, and that you have taken advice away that you can put to use to further improve your writing.