9 Tips to Writing a Good Autobiography

March 8, 2023by readywriters

You may have an inspiring life experience, which others can learn from; so, why not put all of those into writing?

Perhaps, you might say you do not have any interesting story to tell about yourself that demands writing an autobiography. That is hardly the case. Truth is, you are more interesting than you probably think. Your personal history, relationships, and experiences are parts of yourself you can share with others.

Consider this thought: No single person has a smooth sail in life from the start to finish; same way none has had or would have a rough sail all through. The only possibility is a mixture of both the good and bad times.

So, consider writing your autobiography. And as you do, also take down these writing tips to help smooth your way to an attention-grabbing narration.


1. Have a Feel for the Work:

Your autobiography won’t be the documented life of any individual. That being said, you can get inspired by reading the life experiences that have already been written. Personalities like Martin Luther King Jnr, Nelson Mandela, Obafemi Awolowo, Abraham Lincoln, etc have ready literary pieces you can lay your hands on as a guide to writing yours. Try them out.


2. Know Your Target Audience:

If you are writing strictly for your family and close circle of friends, then your narrative should convey a familiar personality, context, etc. However, you can add little-known titbits about yourself, especially thoughts and feelings.

Remember that the general public would be grateful if you give details in clear description of personalities, places, events, which they may not ordinarily be familiar with. Use complex word pictures to capture the settings and characters involved.


3. Wind your Autobiography Around a Theme/Concept:

Themes are the unifying lines which help you focus on your autobiography. Think of something that everyone can relate with. You may use any of these to start with: The Rise from Grass to Grace; The Story of a Legend; The Many Turns of Life, Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown, among others.

The essence is to stick to a major theme that conveniently covers your life story and properly spell it out in your writing.


4. Collate Your Memories:

Writing an autobiography is like going back many years and building a story of yourself from the scratch, which may be a tough task. Do not shy away from relying on the account of older fellows in the family, who can indeed give insight. Diaries of events, albums, letters, family heritages, etc are sources of information that can aid your narration.


5. Make It Interesting As Possible:

It is your life story and one expects an interesting account capable of keeping readers attentive through the whole piece. Be descriptive enough but, do not include unnecessary mentions, sentences or phrases that can put your readers off. Your ability to use words to create mental pictures of scenes, events and relationship, will do your life account a lot of good.


6. Adopt a Writing Tool:

There are tons of autobiography templates online that can guide your writing, especially in coming up with an outline. These templates provide a guide on what you should document and often come with specific questions you need to answer to make your narrative complete.


7. Edit Your Work:

Get an editor to check through for errors in spelling, fact, expression, etc. It is also advisable you do not publish straightaway, until you have had a satisfactory proofreading and rechecking that certifies you are okay.

Take time off, perhaps, for a few days once you complete the work before revisiting the piece and by then you would have been a bit removed from that self-attachment, tension, staleness, etc.

Remember, yours is a story worth telling. Good luck!

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