Write your life story
How to write your autobiography - part 2
Gathering More Memories
So the next thing to think about is the family you were born into. Who were they, what were they like? The more detail you can include the better, both in describing what they were like physically, “He had a enormous moustache which was matted with whatever he had last eaten’; and their character, they were kind, affectionate, or mean, or cruel, and give examples that illustrate what you mean.
Some of you reading this are fascinated by genealogy and so you will have information on previous generations. The sad thing about genealogy is how little you can find out about the character of your late relatives, which is why I say your family history starts with YOU. If you are fascinated by your great grandparents and long to find out more, just think of your great grandchildren and how much or rather little they will know about you if you don’t write down our life story.
I know very little about my grandparents but thanks to some wonderful letters I know quite a lot about my great grandfather, my father’s grandfather. His name was Walter Mitchell and he wrote home to his brother, his mother and his sweetheart, about his adventures in America between 1867 and 1870 when he travelled across the wild west. I know more about his character and his life than my grandparents. So you can see why it is so important to write down your feelings and your observations about your life.
Anyway, on with what you need to do.
As well as your ancestors, and your parents, also write about your siblings and other members of your generation so that future readers will have a full picture of your family and who you come from.
Once you have written about your family then tell your readers about your childhood home and the place you came from. How big was your home? Did it have a garden? Describe the garden. What was the kitchen like? Describe the kitchen and whether your mother was a good cook. Include some family recipes if you know them. What was your bedroom like? Describe it in as much detail as you can. For instance, when I was a child I had an attic room which I loved but there was no central heating and in the winter it was very cold – so cold that ice formed on the inside of the windows and I learned to get dressed for school under the covers. And speaking of covers, in those days duvets hadn’t been heard of, I went to bed between sheets with layers of heavy blankets to keep me warm with my hot water bottle.
What games did you play as a child? Who did you play with?
These are the kinds of questions and many, many, more that I have prepared in my award-winning online system autodotbiography, so that anyone, no matter how skilled or unskilled at writing can create a beautifully written, lavishly illustrated book of their life story.
Once you have given your readers a clear picture of your family and your childhood home, think of other things that might interest them. For instance, what was a typical Christmas like when you were a child? Did you have family holidays and if so, where did you go and what did you do, and did you enjoy them?
Did anyone in your family meet anyone famous or have a brush with history – maybe they didn’t get on the Titanic at the last minute, or they survived the trenches in the First World War, or were rescued from Dunkirk or met the Queen?
Another thing to consider writing about is your birthday. Certainly when I was a child there was no money to buy expensive presents and while my birthdays were special they were not extravagant.
One huge part of a child’s life is school and so the next thing to think about is your schooling. Write about the school you went to. What did it look like? What were your teachers like? Who was your favourite teacher and why? Which subjects did you enjoy? Which subjects did you hate? What was your parents’ attitude to your education? If you went to more than one primary school explain why and describe the new school.
Also, if you went to a nursery school – it is unlikely you will remember much about it – write what you know.
OK, so part two has got you as far as your primary school education. Part three, will take you through your senior school education and college/university if you went, and then on to your career.
Part 3 is here.
If you would like to try a free trial autodotbiography the the award-winning online system that makes it easy for anyone to create a beautifully written, lavishly illustrated book of their life, for one month, then click on the link below.