Many people consider writing a book? I have to do something about how many there are who (want to) write their life story so that their experiences and thoughts are not lost. They might think ‘Whoever writes, stays’ and they are quite right about that. Some 5000 years ago there were already people who had recorded their stories. The first to do so were Sumerians who entrusted their stories to clay tablets; in cuneiform script.
We also know of course the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians who recorded information on compressed papyrus leaves and in the carved or painted versions in temples, tombs and other buildings. We are talking to Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollionthanks for being able to read those hieroglyphs. They discovered an Egyptian / Greek dictionary; the Rosetta Stone.
The oldest ‘book’ found so far, only six pages thick, was written by Etruscans around 2,500 years ago . It was a very expensive edition because it was written on 24 carat gold! The Chinese were the first to publish a printed book on paper; in the year 868! They then made use of carved wood characters. Anyway, a few thousand years later the book has still not disappeared and it even seems to be gaining in popularity day by day.
During the workshops on writing that I give, the same topic usually comes up: “What to write about?” Most participants would like to know how to write an autobiography, but what do you write and what not? Suppose that after your retirement you can make enough time to start writing, it is still no easy task to describe more than sixty years of life. To help, below are some tips to help you determine what to describe.
Music and your Life
For many people, music plays an important role in life. To me, the song from John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is of a lot of meaning. It was and is an influence on certain experiences in my life and way of thinking. For example, you can write about an area of your life using music or singers that have had a lasting or temporary impact on your life. You may associate a lead with a particular experience that has impressed you, your state of mind or evokes memories.
Which People have Influenced your Life?
You can also think about writing your biography based on people who have influenced your life. Think of how you met people and what this did or does to you. You can think of people who have been decisive for the various choices you have made in your life, the role they played in this. You can also think of historical figures, teachers, caretakers, children, friends, relatives, business contacts, etc.
Which Books have Influenced your Life?
People who like to write are often people who read a lot. My former language teacher who is not associated with Vox Ghostwriting encouraged me to read a lot. They pointed me to writers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Boualem Sansal with his 2084, and scientists like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and Rupert Sheldrake. People whose books have shaped my way of thinking and acting. Link the lessons from books that have stayed with you and the effect they had on you.
Highs and Lows
You can also limit yourself to certain moments in your life, such as the highs and lows that you have experienced and the lessons you have learned from them. One will be able to explain business successes with examples, where another will describe lows that have taken a turn in life that you would not expect. In my case, I used both parts in my book about walking the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. Another might want to use the moments in life as an expat. Ever emigrated? There must be a good story about the reason, adjustments and life in another country.
A Life Full of Adventures
Every person experiences exciting things in life. One such as a professional soldier, police officer, tour guide, firefighter, doctor, nurse, mountaineer, seafarer, (bus) driver and so on. You can always tell something about what you have experienced, the adventures you ended up in as a traveler or with which you ended up without prior notice.
You will have understood by now that you can describe an autobiography as a successive timeline; from birth to now or vice versa. Working thematically can be a good start and if, for example, you want to use all five tips, you can always combine them later into a beautiful whole.
Finally, one last tip. Take a look around albums with childhood photos. Seeing an image often also evokes the memory of a particular incident. Make use of it!