Tips for Writing Autobiography

There are many reasons why people engage themselves in writing their own autobiographies. One reason may be due to the demands of teachers in their language classes. Public clamor may be another reason why a person would write his/her autobiography. Likewise, a person may write an autobiography for the sake of writing it. Looking at these reasons, we could say that the idea of writing an autobiography may seem self-serving, but if we look at some change-makers in the world history, some have utilized the writing of their autobiography in order to bring forward a cause, or an advocacy. Some notable autobiographies are those of Gandhi, Helen Keller, Benjamin, Franklin, Castro, Malcolm X, Rosseau, and Obama. Other autobiographies have also been used in order to impart one’s spiritual teachings like the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda, the “Autobiography of a Soul” by St. Therese of Lisieux, and Saint Augustine’s “Confessions.” Somehow these religious autobiographies have guided their followers to reach religious fulfillment, while other autobiographies which are political, social and philosophical have also guided humanity in its quest for justice and peace. In this article, I have delineated some tips for newbies who want to write their autobiographies.

Simple Tips for the Newbies

Since you are new to writing and you really want to write your own life story, it would be good to take note of these simple tips to make it easy for you to organize your thoughts in writing an autobiography.

  • First, before you write, you should have an overarching theme which will serve as the general theme of your autobiography. This theme will definitely guide you, especially, in times that you will encounter some writing blocks along the way. You can always revert back to this general theme if you reach a writing snag.
  • After you have decided on your general theme, you can then begin recalling your past by making a list of your relatives, friends, places you have lived throughout your life, institutions and schools you have attended, and jobs you were employed, and noteworthy achievements you have accomplished.
  • Next, you should categorize the different data you have collated. Your categories may include early school days, teenage days, career life, vacations, illnesses, achievements, and many more.
  • After categorizing your experiences and life’s events, you can then write two or three sentences about your experiences relative to the category you have made. You should focus on those life events that are significantly memorable and noteworthy. Start narrating the sequence of the events, and try to write vividly and colorfully, while remembering the texture and nuances of those events.
  • After you have written the series of anecdotes and vignettes that you like to be included in your life story, you can then start polishing and connecting the details, adding up some nuances, and deleting the unnecessary and superfluous details.
  • Lastly, if you feel that you haven’t done a good job in writing your autobiography, you can always consult someone who knows how to refashion your words to make them more exciting to read. A talented writer can readily teach you how to write your story, making your ideas more readable and exciting, while retaining and preserving your original tone of voice.