Want to write your autobiography or memoir? It's easier than you think.

Want to write your autobiography? It’s easier than you think.

If you want to write your autobiography or memoir do these three things and you’ll be halfway there. A bit of thought up front can make this elephant-sized project lighter (and more fun) than you realise.

First, decide which part of your life to write first. You can start at the beginning but you don’t have to. Start with the time you think about most often. There’s no point trying to write something if you’re not committed to it, and no point in writing about your whole life if that’s not really what you want to do.

1. Decide which era.

There are roughly four life stages, child and teenager (birth to leaving education, adult life (twenties and thirties), mid life (forties and fifties) and later life (sixty and up). Pick one, give yourself a few days or weeks to think about the era and jot down keywords to remind you of people, places and events. While you’re at it see if you can find keepsakes from that time.

2. Dig out your keepsakes.

What kind of stuff are you looking for? The books, the toys, and the souvenirs from your childhood. Your birth certificate, photos, news clippings, telegrams, postcards, greeting cards, letters, passports, school reports, exercise books, badges, medical documents, certificates, awards, trophies, paintings and drawings, ticket stubs, programmes, diaries, business cards, address books, appraisals, job offers, clothing, and any other thing you kept because it meant something to you.

Each item anchors you to a place, time, and other people. With the following in mind, select and photograph up to eight of your items. You will include the eight in your story. Make a note about how you came to have ‘it’ (the item), where were you living and working at the time, what happened during the year before and after ‘it’, which people connected you to ‘it’, how you felt at the time of ‘it’, and what you think about ‘it’ looking back now.

Do these three things if you want to write your autobiography.


3. Split your era into three.

Now divide your chosen era into three and name each based on an event that signalled a change in your life. For example, child and teenager could be split into early childhood, primary school, and high school. Or use dates 1962 – 1966, 1966 – 1970…, or the street names of the places you lived. These are working titles for your chapters. Group your notes and keepsakes by title.

Now you have chapters, content, and images and you’re ready to write your story. There’s nothing to stop you going it alone, but Johnnybio has the whole path from chapters to a published biography all worked out for you. Try Child and Teenager free now, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or G+ for our latest tips.


Your autobiography. Choose a chapter to write first, Find keepsakes for your autobiography. How to write an autobiography or memoir.

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