Using the medium of print, audio or even professional-standard documentary film, personal historians gather memories and anecdotes to preserve the stories of ordinary lives.
4 Reasons Why You Should Write an Autobiography or Personal Memoir
Mike Oke has worked with Horton on all her books. He launched Bound Biographies 21 years ago, when printing was laborious and costly. He says demand has risen fast lately thanks to advances in self-publishing technology, and a long-standing popular interest in family trees.
But personal histories are different, he says: "People get so tied up following yet more branches of their families but I say first write what you know about granny, or your father before they disappear. His clients have included a chimney sweep and the chairman of a bank, who ordered 17 copies of his life story. He prefers to act as a consultant, confidant and editor, asking questions that inspire subjects to write themselves. Other historians and biographers write based on interviews, or ghost-write autobiographies. Oke speaks from his car en route to a client's funeral.
His black tie is never far from the front of his wardrobe, but there is solace in the capturing of lives before death. He was inspired by the funeral of a friend to set up his business aged 29, originally based in Oxfordshire. The market there is bigger still. Many pay big money for films as well as books. Some credit the rise in popularity with the greater ease with which now-ageing baby boomers talk about themselves.
But Oke balks at the suggestion that these are vanity projects. Horton, who travelled alone to Australia last year and will visit St Petersburg next May, is the daughter of a surgeon and a nurse.
She never married. Her third book is the story of her family. Her first focused on her own life, while the second was a collection of her academic work. After that coin toss, she became a leading anaesthetist, ending her career in Hong Kong via Edinburgh, London, and, in the late s, Nigeria.
How to Structure an Autobiography
Younger relatives, friends, colleagues and even her cleaner have read her first book and, while she is matter-of-fact about the emotional aspect of her writing, she admits to finding it therapeutic. It has been a rewarding and cathartic adventure. Some of my memories I haven't shared before. I never told my mother about my boyfriends but now I've described them all. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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9 Tips For Writing Your Autobiography
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Writing an Autobiography – 5 Tips to Help You Tell Your Fascinating Life Story
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Depending on which your decide, your audience may be looking for different things. Your friends and family may simply want to read about important, tragic, or humorous moments in your life, while a wider audience may be looking for a moral or message in your tale that they can attribute to their own lives. People are mainly interested in celebrity names, so if you're thinking about writing an autobiography you need to ask yourself: 'Why my life?
What's so interesting about me? Unless you're a celebrity or a household name, you will have to think very hard about what in your life is worth writing about if you want to publish your work for a wider audience. Swift recommends thinking about social context when you're writing: "You might not be a celebrity, but maybe your autobiography could contribute to the wider social history and fill in the gaps that others could not.
In ' Orpington the Autobiography of a War Baby ', Michael Proom tells the tale of "growing up in a Britain that no longer exists" in order to emphasize the "differences in the society of the post war years to that of the society that we live in today.
- What to Consider Before You Start to Write;
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- Autobiography Your Guide to Writing Your Autobiography.
- How to Write an Autobiography: The Secret Tips to Finally Get Started • Scan Your Entire Life;
- What Is an Autobiography? (And How to Write Yours).
As tempting as it may be to embellish a few particularly embarrassing moments in your life, you must remember to stick to the truth. Your autobiography or memoir is fact, not fiction after all. Though changing names or locations to help protect the privacy of the people you're writing about is acceptable, you shouldn't censor your own feelings or motivations regarding them. If you don't feel comfortable with revealing the whole truth, perhaps writing an autobiography or memoir is not for you. Be nice, but remember, while the people you write about might recognise themselves in the text, the majority of your readers will not.
Don't compromise both the plot and your integrity in order to make the minority happy.