You know you’ve had an interesting life. Your family probably doesn’t know about many of the most fascinating bits. But they’re busy, and you never get around to telling them the stories when they visit. So, it makes sense to capture those tales by writing your life story.
If you wonder how to get started, here are some steps to help craft your life story.
How To Organize Your Life Story
There’s no right or wrong answer to this. Some people like to start here with lots of structure, and others write about the events in their lives and organize them all later.
Many life stories use a chronological structure starting when you were a child (or your parents’ lives.) Others move from the present into the past as a memory or explanation of “how you got here.”
Some people’s lives seem to have a theme or life lesson. This can be very engaging for readers, but if you don’t think your life has a theme or any great lessons, don’t worry.
Think About Events
You can write about your entire life, but many mémoires are a series of related events over a finite period.
Start with a specific event, and start writing about it. Once you’ve described that event, do the next one. Or makes notes about several events and then fill in the blanks later.
Use clues and cues to fill in the blanks. Tell your stories to friends and family to see if they have any details to add. Go through photo albums or watch home movies to make it easier to describe settings, gestures, clothing and hairstyles. Look at the backgrounds to check the weather and what colour that old Chevy was!
Looking at some aspects of the past might not be pleasant, which can make writing about them hard. But you may find the therapeutic benefits genuinely empowering, bringing emotional healing as you tell your story from your perspective.
Still Stuck? Here’s Where to Start
To start the process of writing about yourself, here are some easy steps.
- Introduce yourself
- Add some background information, good and bad
- Make a list of your achievements
- Add some personal details
- Reflect on your past. How has it shaped you today?
Your story is unique. If you have ever wondered about writing your life story, start today! You’ll be glad you did.