I have just finished writing three articles on helps for writing an autobiography: Getting Started, Autobiography Characteristics, and the importance of writing your autobiography.
I failed to mention the most important thing: to write.
Don’t wait to you write perfectly well. Get going.
Your writing will improve as you write.
Pick up a pen. Now.
But what should you write about?
Here are some helps:
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Your first boyfriend or girlfriend.
Your parents quirky habits.
Who did you sit next to in homeroom? What was that person like? Were you friends?
Your favorite ice cream flavor.
Your first car. For me, it was a VW Bug. Rust and primer. But the babes loved it.
About your kids.
Your family vacations. What did you do on the long road trips? Did you play games? Read books? Sing songs?
How you met your husband.
Talents. Do you play piano? Can you paint? Whistle really well?
Just start writing. Things will fall into place.
Don’t freeze in the face of writing something. Forget the conventions and write.
Of course, you have to have rules. Otherwise, all writing would be incoherent. But rules are meant to be broken. The truth is that most writers break rules consistently in their works.
Write as you speak. People often tell me that I write like I speak. This is a good thing because my personality can shine through.
Don’t worry about spelling things correctly. If you’re writing on the computer, the spelling checker will pick up most of your mistakes. If you’re writing in a journal or a piece of paper, just keep writing. If you’re writing ideas that you will transfer to an autobiography later, don’t fret over misspellings. You can catch them later.
Write for you first. Don’t put an imaginary proofreader on your shoulder.
You have to be willing to write poorly at first. Nobody spews perfect prose onto the paper. Good writing is struggled over. Great writing is excruciating. Start poorly.
Get lost in the writing, in the ideas, and the experience.
If you go blank, make a list. (I touch more on this in a subsequent article.) Lists are magical. Look at the list above. I’m sure ideas have already started.
Get started. Write now. You can do it