- Step 1: Start randomly Jot down the memories that remain most vivid in your mind -- even if they don't seem significant. Chances are if you've remembered them all this time, they are the memories that are most meaningful to you.
- Step 2: Review your notes Review your notes to see if there is a theme to your memories. Many autobiographies have one.
- Step 3: Organize your thoughts Figure out how you want to organize your story. You don't have to start at the beginning; you launch the book with a defining event, or even start with the present, and then go back in time. Or organize your life story according to themes.
- Step 4: Talk to loved ones Talk to friends and family members to fill in memory gaps and to gain different perspectives on your experiences.
- TIP: Be aware that the stories you include about others could adversely affect your relationship with them. Consider changing their names to protect their identities.
- Step 5: Be descriptive Once you start writing, write descriptively. Don't just chronicle the major events in your life; transport the reader with vivid accounts of how everything looked, smelled, felt, and sounded. Include dialogue: Snippets of conversations can really make memories come alive.
- Step 6: Be honest Above all, be honest. An autobiography won't ring true to your readers -- or be cathartic for you -- if you don't bare your soul.
- FACT: Actress Drew Barrymore wrote her autobiography, Little Girl Lost, when she was 14.
You Will Need
- Conversations with loved ones