The first step in writing an autobiography is to decide who will be reading the book. A family keepsake requires a different level of writing skill than a book that will appeal to the general reading population. Most often, successful autobiographies are written by famous or infamous people. There are some exceptions. If your life has been extraordinary in some aspect then you might consider writing a book marketed to the masses. For example, Children of the Storm: The Autobiography of Natasha Vins was written by a woman whose family lived in the Soviet Union and struggled for religious freedom. Her life story offers a window into a world that is interesting regardless of whose life story is being told. Also worth noting is that Vins also writes children's books. This points to her drive and ability to write, both important qualities to possess when considering whether to take on the considerable task of creating a professional quality autobiographical book. Being old is not a requirement to authoring an autobiography. Consider The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The defining characteristic of a great autobiography is that the author's experiences are interesting enough to form a compelling story.
Nonetheless, every life is a story worth telling. It can also be a very good first venture into the craft of writing. It is easiest to write what you know. A story about yourself would fit that bill to a tee. But even for those people not looking to test their writing skills, there is merit to taking the time to write a first-person narrative of your experiences. It will offer your great-great-grandchildren a window into a world that will likely be interesting to them no matter how well it is written because it is their roots. Also, genetics play a significant role in our lifestyle choices. Should your offspring find themselves on a path similar to yours, it would be very meaningful for them to read about a relative who suffered similar bumps or had a knack for the same craft. It's a gift that will last generations.
This tutorial is a step-by-step instruction aimed at getting anyone started in writing an autobiography - whether it ends up a professionally published book or a treasured family aireloom.
Step 1: Create an Outline