Life story writing: 4 essential rules
Is life story writing on your mind? If so, there are 4 simple rules to follow. A life story or memoir is one of the most compelling and permanent ways to capture one’s life, complete with details of emotions and life events that have taken place throughout the years. Writing your story can be a self-orientated experience, but if you wish to publish it, there are rules to follow.
Here’s how you can make your life story a more enjoyable experience for your audience. Just follow our four simple rules.
Life Story Writing is Not Memoir
Before beginning your story, you must first understand the difference between life story writing and memoir. A life story covers an entire life whereas a memoir focuses on specific aspects of your life, be it a turning point, a devastating moment, and essentially any memory of special significance.
Life story writing focuses on every aspect of your life, much like a history book brimming with in-depth information.
A memoir is a moment so engaging you wish to share it with the world. It is usually something your audiences won’t easily forget. To ensure you get the content of your memoir right, first, choose a theme. If you’re writing about something traumatic, your story should exude messages of resilience, hope and courage.
Or if your story shares an uplifting or inspiring moment, express your delight in a way that triggers an emotional response in your readers.
Focus on Purpose And Meaning
The more you focus on vivid sensory memories and emotions in life story writing, the more captivating your book will be. Again, remember you’re not writing an autobiography—you’re writing about joy, hope, courage and resilience—emotions that encompass every wonderful thing that makes you and your readers human.
Be careful to avoid focusing too much on irrelevant details as they reduce the potency of your theme. If your story is about overcoming a traumatic accident, for instance, talking about a summer festival your best friends went to without you won’t matter to the story.
It won’t be relevant to the situation you’re painting with words, no matter how meaningful it may be to you personally. Limit yourself to sharing those aspects of your life that fit with the wider story you wish to convey.
Honesty Is Crucial in Life Story Writing
While writing your life story you may be tempted to put on rose-coloured glasses and look past your flaws and faults. This is not a good idea. You may ask, ‘Why not? It’s the story of my life, so why shouldn’t I present my best self to the world?’ Well, the downside is it renders your memoir biased and self-indulgent—a turnoff for readers.
Remember, you need to sound human—that means honestly admitting your weaknesses and flaws and showcasing your strengths in a balanced way that resonates with readers.
Writing That Inspires
While the primary goal of life story writing is to help keep your memories alive, publishing it allows your story to become a beacon of hope for many people.
Life story writing requires an open and critical mind, one that can weave a clear message for people to learn from.
Focusing on meaning and honesty ensures your readers get the most out of your story—they’re reading for a reason. Be it comfort or inspiration, this is your opportunity to leave far more than your story to the world.
These memoir rules should help guide you in writing your story, but writing a memoir can be a difficult endeavour.
Get in touch today
Storytellers at share your life story are ready to help. We understand how important it is to keep your memories intact, preserving them for the rest of the world to experience. Allow us to help you craft a book worth reading. Reach out to us today!