“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.” – Brian Weiner.
There are millions of books published every year. Among them are the life stories of the rich and famous and the not-so-famous. All of them have one thing in common. They committed to telling their stories on their terms. You can too.
Your book doesn’t have to be a survival guide. It can simply be a story about the events that shaped you. Whatever the focus, your experiences can be of interest to others or touch someone’s life.
If you’re still uncertain about how to get started, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to write a book about your life.
Reasons for Writing Your Life Story
There are many reasons someone chooses to write their life story. Most people use it as a way to document important life events. This helps to ensure their story becomes a part of their legacy and lives on for generations. You may want to do the same.
Will your life’s narrative inspire or motivate others? Then why not write about it? Writing a book about your life can also be a cathartic experience. It allows you to face difficult memories and maybe even resolve them. If you’ve achieved a lot despite your struggles, it’s a great way to share your successes.
Maybe you started thinking about writing your life story after a significant event. During your journey, you learned so much about yourself and life. Now, you want to tell the world about it.
Despite all of this, you may still ask yourself, Should I write a book about my life? Reflect and think about your life story. Whether your life is a series of interesting events or one that involves an unusual upbringing, you have a story to tell. The reason why you want to share it with the world might be a personal one. You’ll need to decide.
How to Start Writing a Book About Your Life
Deciding to do it might be the easy part. Figuring out how to start writing a book about your life might be more challenging. However, these steps will help.
The first step is knowing whether you will write a memoir or an autobiography.
What’s a Memoir?
A memoir is an account of a specific life event or a span of time within your life. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is an excellent “story of my life” example. It recounts events that occurred in her childhood between the ages of three and 16.
What’s an Autobiography?
An autobiography tells the story of your life up until the present. Most autobiographies are in chronological order. However, the introduction could focus on a specific period that stands out. This helps to grab the reader’s attention.
Agatha Christie’s autobiography was published after her death. She left writings that chronicled her life up to the age of 75. If you’re wondering how to start a story about your life, examples like this can be your guide.
If you keep a diary or you’re in the habit of journaling, this can be a great place to start. If not, write down the events of your life. Choose a significant one for a memoir. If you’re writing an autobiography, it might be best to start chronologically. Enlist the help of family and close friends to help jog your memory. Photos can also help.
Writing your own story will involve a lot of soul-searching and commitment. You’ll need to have the time and mental space to start and stick to it. But once you do, the momentum should propel you to the end.
Steps to Writing a Book About My Life
You’ve gathered your journals. You’ve also written your thoughts on some of your more important life events. Now you’re wondering, What are the other steps to writing a book about my life? The following will help:
Create an Outline/Structure
An outline provides you with a format of how you’ll tell your story. It’s usually based on the narrative structure and details:
- The setting for your story
- The characters in your story
- The plot of your story
- Your story’s conclusion
All contribute to making your story enjoyable. However, your plot will encompass the rising action, climax, and falling action. It’s what keeps readers from putting down a book.
Completing the elements of your outline will require extensive research. When thinking about your setting, let your senses take you back to your childhood — the sounds, smells, noises, etc.
Photos will provide you with a visual of your setting. They’ll also remind you of the people you may want to highlight in your story. Once you know the characters your story will revolve around, ask for their permission. You may have to use different names and write a disclaimer.
Your family, close relatives, and friends can also help you fill in the blanks of the parts of the story you don’t quite remember.
Include Important Elements
These elements can be both positive and negative. It will include emotional events that help to humanize you. Remember, no one is perfect, and this will make your story realistic.
In recounting events in your life, you now have the advantage of hindsight. This can help you convey your thoughts at the time and explain what led you to certain decisions.
Give Your Story an Appropriate Ending
Your life will go on. However, for your autobiography or memoir, you need to provide your readers with an ending. It should be one that reveals lessons learned from your experiences.
Some additional tips on how to write an autobiography book include:
- Write in first person
- Read other memoirs and biographies
- Take time off after you write your first draft
- Proofread and refine it and get input from family and friends
The editing process can be intense. You can choose to do it yourself or hire someone. Remember, there will be many drafts before you get to the final one.
Hire a Professional Ghostwriter
You’re certain you want to tell your story. Yet you keep asking yourself, How do I write a book about my life? This might indicate that you can’t see yourself doing the steps above. And that’s okay.
Despite now knowing how to write a book about your life, you can choose to have someone else do it for you. Hire a professional ghostwriter to write a biography. A biography is the story of your life written by someone else.
You simply provide the writer with the information. What’s great about this is that you don’t even have to write it down. Ghostwriters conduct a series of interviews. They’ll ask pertinent questions and will do the research needed.
It’s a great option if you’re not confident about your writing or you don’t believe you’ll tell the story well. It’s often easier to focus on recounting events than writing about them.
Ghostwriters are versed in:
- Keeping the language of the story understandable
- Studying potential audiences and writing with them in mind
- Using strategies that tell your story in the most meaningful way possible
They’re also unbiased. This ensures your story doesn’t come across as a romanticized, unrealistic version of you. Instead, they will tell your story in a way that honors your experiences.
A Life Story That Truly Reflects Who You Are
The task can still be daunting despite having a guide on how to write a book about your life. You’ll need to commit the time and energy to see it through. Unfortunately, it may take even longer if you’re not a natural storyteller.
But you don’t have to be. The writers at Storysavor can tell your story for you.
If you’re interested in preserving your life story, consider working with a professional biography writer . We’ll ensure your story is impactful and truly reflects who you are.
Schedule a call today to learn more about our services and how we can help you share your story with the world.