Most projects, especially writing projects, become less intimidating once you’ve set up an outline or framework. Take autobiographies.
What you need to tame that tendency is an outline. Nothing fancy – just a simple list of the stories you want to tell in the order in which you want to write them.
Whether your autobiography will cover your entire life or just a meaningful chunk of it,
you can develop a useful framework by going over your life one decade at a time,
Begin with the years birth-10. Opposite each decade jot down the highlights and lowlights
of that period. Begin with 3 or 4 specifics, and add more as they occur to you.
Once the framework is in place, you can go through and write about each event listed in whatever order you prefer.
In creating that list, consider the following as starting points:
- houses you’ve lived in,
- traumatic family events,
- life-changing transitions,
- especially exciting events,
- people who have made a difference in your life,
- significant health problems,
- births, marriages, deaths,
- firsts: first job, date, pet, and other firsts,
- Aha! moments,
- spiritual experiences,
… and other highlights and lowlights that had an impact on who you are today.
Once you have that framework or outline in place, writing your autobiography is a matter of telling the story of the events on your list.