Figure out How to Write an Autobiography
There are three cases in which you need to know how to write an autobiography.
- Firstly, the academic task: sometimes students are asked to create an autobiography to test their ability to structure and correctly present information.
- Secondly, work: most celebrities hire people who are responsible for maintaining their autobiography.
- Thirdly, personal interest: perhaps this topic interests you, and you decided to delve into its study.
Whatever goal you pursue, you need to understand the principles of working with biography, writing methods, and current autobiography templates. Since it’s quite difficult to find the materials you need, we have compiled instructions for you to help you begin your autobiography!
What Our Guide will Help You with
We are aimed only at a positive result and your understanding of this topic. Therefore, below is a list of items that you will be able to do without much effort.
- Create a section with an autobiography, observing all the rules;
- edit existing autobiographies, for example on Wikipedia;
- look for detailed information and follow the sequence;
- complement existing family autobiography;
- share ways to succeed;
- protect the honor of the family;
- keep positive stories that will cheer you up in difficult times;
- learn from your mistakes;
- define your goals and understand how to achieve them;
- strengthen your social status.
The Excerpt from the History of Autobiography
To begin to learn the methods of work, you should take a little time theory. An autobiography originated about 400 years ago, after St. Augustine of Hippo described the religious crisis and conversion in the form of “Confession”. As for the modernity of the genre, the Confession by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is considered the beginning.
The definition of autobiography
The word comes from the Greek language and means its biography. Under the concept of autobiography is meant a consistent description by a person of the events of his own life, including a detailed analysis of some elements. This is a kind of story about periods of your life.
A person who works on an autobiography can embellish the facts or add something from himself. However, as long as the general information is truthfully presented, this will not be considered a violation of the genre. Often, an autobiography is required when applying for a job, so it is to some extent similar to a resume.
The difference between autobiography and similar genres
Unlike a diary, an autobiography is characterized by a desire to think about your life in general or in more detail. It’s as if you are looking at your life from the distance of your past years. Often, an autobiography is also compared to a memoir. However, in his memoirs, the author focuses on the state of the environment, describes images and outlines. An autobiography, on the contrary, means concentration on one’s life path.
Who contributed to the promotion of autobiography
A lot of influential people to one degree or another helped to develop the popularity of autobiography. There were times when an autobiography turned into an excuse or assessment of one’s actions, rather than a dry description. One of these was the story by Josephus Flavius.
The confession of St. Augustine changed the attitude of believers towards the hedonistic way of life to which he was inclined. In his work, he outlined the principles of thinking that changed throughout his life, raised the topic of marriage and relationships.
Although Christians were positive about this method of expressing thoughts, the first autobiography on the part of Islam was written by Abdullah ibn Buluggin only in the 11th century. And in the 15th century, an autobiography appeared in Castilian, written by Leonor Lopez de Cordoba.
If we talk about the Renaissance, it is worth noting Benvenuto Cellini. He stated that each person with significant achievements should set forth the story of his life as an example for the rest. His autobiography is considered one of the best in his era, and a lot of authors rely on it even now. This happens because the author outlined the criteria for writing an autobiography, which is convenient to use.
Of course, the current autobiography, which is usually posted on the Internet, differs from those examples, but the methods, types, and criteria remain approximately the same.
Autobiography: Find the Right Type
At this stage, you probably do not understand why to divide the autobiography into different types. However, the truth is that writing approaches vary by kind. Therefore, this information is especially important if you are planning to write one.
Kinds of autobiography
Although some people talk about a larger number, usually it is stated three types.
- Fictional. This is a novel in which the main character will tell the story of his life in the first person. The story itself will tell about the experiences of the hero. This species includes the books “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Dr. Faustus” by Thomas Mann and “Orlando” by Virginia Woolf.
- Spiritual. This view was created to talk about the religion and beliefs of the author. Such an autobiography is visually divided into two parts, and the meeting with God is the central boundary.
- Memoirs. This view pays more attention to the subtleties of feelings associated with a certain fact or event. For example, Julius Ceaser described his participation in the Gallic Wars. This kind also includes the memoirs of Sir John Reresby.
The Methodology of Working with Autobiographies
In the process of writing, you will have many problems associated with filling a biography and finding the right data. To make your work easier, you’ve written a guide that will guide you through writing a great example from start to finish. You do not have to follow these tips in the same order. However, be sure to read each item.
Feel the right goal
That you would like to write, revealing a life theme of a certain person, there must be an important reason. Notice in life we set ourselves goals that we are gradually moving towards. So with the text: if you know the exact reason, no obstacles can stop you. Also, your mood will be displayed on the reader, and you will be on the same wavelength.
Understand the target audience
Take steps towards the reader. Of course, your loved ones do not need to explain all the events, but the rest of the audience wants to know the details. Therefore, follow the sequence of thoughts and tone of the conversation to establish communication with readers. Only by analyzing your average reader can you convey the idea of your work to people.
Even knowing the theory thoroughly, it is difficult to get to work without analyzing examples. Even the application of typical methods must be seen in practice. Therefore, it is advised to take a ready-made autobiography of famous authors. Some of the best examples are the works of Nelson Mandela, a biography of Steve Jobs, as well as Benjamin Franklin.
Define the central idea
You need to build a skeleton on which to keep an autobiography. In other words, define the main value of the text – moral, physical, academic. Popular topics that have an impact are success stories, family well-being, and moral balance. Imagine you are writing a book and you need to discuss one topic with different examples.
Analyze your life until today
Start as a child and gradually move forward, adding more facts as you grow older. Make sure the dates are in chronological order. Lastly, check to see if the name of the organizations you mentioned in the text has changed.
First, describe periods of life such as kindergarten, school, college, or university. Add information about hobbies or participation in projects. Tell us about work, career growth, and tipping points. Add data about your personal life: friendship, relationships, family. Write about professional activities, food and entertainment preferences, traditions and principles. Devote your life to the reader, like a novel.
Think about a structure
It’s best to add data in chronological order. However, you can create sections, and supplement each of them with the necessary facts. In any case, the reader should be comfortable. When working with data, do not be distracted by other sources of information so as not to make a mistake.
Dilute Dry Facts
Add ridiculous stories or a joke heard from a friend. Do not focus only on facts, think about the attractiveness of the text for a person who is tired of newspapers and reports. Move away from the model of a scientific publication – enter the trust of readers.
Reread and delete the mistakes
Reread the autobiography and make sure that the data is presented correctly, and also check if the sequence is logical. For a better effect, use a side view: ask a friend or hire a professional editor who will improve the look of your work.
To deprive yourself of the risks of declassifying hidden information, write only the truth. Coordinate with friends to help you add stories from life, and be able to have them view your finished work. Thus, you will save yourself from possible blackmail.
Do not be categorical in reasoning, so as not to offend someone’s point of view. Write only in essence, and know the weight of each phrase. That way you can find like-minded people and, perhaps, think about creating common projects.