Check out these tips from AARP on how to write about your life story, whether it be a memoir, personal essay, or something entirely different. This simple advice can send you on your way to a beautiful piece to share with your loved ones, or a best-selling book to share with the world! Here’s one:
Start with gripping. Best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t begin Eat, Pray, Love with the prosaic sentence “I was born in Waterbury, Connecticut.” Her first chapter began in midlife, with “I wish Giovanni would kiss me.”
Who wouldn’t read on? Whether you’re writing about your high school job at the five-and-dime or your battle with cancer at age 40, start with a moment where your personal story is already beginning to generate heat. That incendiary moment can guide you through the entire writing process: Add only those anecdotes, those memories, those scenes that reflect light back on to the opening.
Check out the rest here. I’ve been talking to people a lot lately about writing personal memoirs — maybe it’s the summer air! — but either way, everyone should do this. As the quote goes by Mary Lou Kownacki: “Engrave this on your heart: there isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’d heard their story.”