Looking for tips to write a book? Humans have been sitting around fires entertaining each other with stories since before we could write. We have all created and told so many tales in our life that we probably can’t remember them—or at least I can’t. One way you can capture your memories and anecdotes is by writing your memoir or life story. If you’ve been wondering what writing a memoir or life story entails, here are a few tips to write a book:
Outline your life
Who we are is a tricky balance between our genetic makeup, family background, experiences, education, choices and in no small measure, luck. Before you start writing, create a timeline of all the pivotal events and moments in your life. It is also a good idea to develop a mud map to help you identify the recurring themes. While a memoir will only cover a thread or special moment, your life story will cover the milestones, events and incidents in your life—how you experienced them and possibly changed because of them.
You do not have to follow traditional structures, such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood and so on. It is okay to divide your life into what you think are its most important phases and to focus on the aspects of your life that have the most meaning to you.
Highlight the most important events
Every person has core memories that can become defining moments for them. You should highlight these seminal experiences in your memoir or life story, as they are often turning points in your journey. It doesn’t matter whether the moments seem mundane to you. What matters is how they influenced you then, and helped to shape the person you are now. Did the experience change your views, your values, or your trajectory? If so, how? Your reader would love to know.
Pinpoint what needs to be verified
Once you have all the crucial details jotted down, try to note the facts you must verify, such as historical events, dates, places, names and other information. Having a list of the things you need to check will help to make the writing process more manageable. It is a good idea to store all your resources and documents in a folder on the computer or a box so you can quickly access them. Otherwise, you might need to interrupt your writing to hunt for them, and that could disrupt your train of thought.
Sit down and write
After outlining, highlighting and pinpointing what you wish to include in your memoir or life story, start writing. Avoid self-editing along the way as this can stifle your creativity and stop your free flow of memories and thoughts. It is better to write what comes to mind in the first instance, as you have plenty of time to go back and edit. Capture as much of your story as you can before you edit. Keep writing, and don’t look back until you’re finished.
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Learning to write your memoir or life story is no simple task and it will involve days and weeks or even months of painstaking research, drafting, editing and proofreading. But it is an immensely satisfying process once you get started and hit your stride—not to mention when you finish your manuscript and self-publish it.
If you follow these four tips, you’ll kickstart your memoir or life story and hopefully will keep writing until you have exhausted your memory bank.
If you’re looking for help to write your memoir or life story, we would love to hear from you at Share your life story. Please feel welcome to send us a message or call us on 0408 256 381. We have the talented writers you’ll need to create a stunning work of art from your life journey.