An autobiography is said to be a window into a person’s past life. Here we explain how to present facts about our life in a concise form.
Writing an autobiography could be an interesting journey taken to our past. It also gives you an opportunity to relive the best moments from your life. An autobiography is defined as a book about a person’s life written by the person himself/herself. William Taylor first used the term ‘autobiography’ although deprecatingly. According to him, autobiography was a hybrid word. A poet named Robert Southey used the word autobiography, in its current form, in 1809.
An autobiography is generally written in a narrative form. Although writing an autobiography is a challenging job (presenting all the details concisely), it could prove to be a rewarding experience in the end.
Having a good memory is one of the prerequisites for writing a detailed and elaborate autobiography. One needs to have the patience to write down details (memories) as and when he/she remembers them; therefore, it is recommended that you have quick access to a pen and paper so that you can put down facts without losing much time. An autobiography is however, not just a collection of facts about a person’s life. An introspective approach should be taken to relive and experience, once again, the feelings and emotions felt during certain striking incidents. The autobiography example and instructions given below should prove to be helpful. These instructions should help you to write an interesting story that is based on honest opinions.
Basic Autobiography Format
The autobiography sample and the points given below help you understand how to start with the process of writing. The points are explained one by one in the following paragraphs.
The basic information includes details about the person in question and his/her family. Name of the person, names of parents & siblings, and other such details constitute the basic information. The birthplace, birth date, and birth order is included in these details.
Once the basic information is presented in the beginning, details about the person’s life follow in chronological order. Childhood years are generally given more importance because it is the most important phase from the point of development of personality. Achievements in academics and professional life are presented in subsequent sections. There are many who like to share experiences associated with the first salary/earning. Experience gained from the first job can be a turning point in a person’s life. Therefore, by mentioning such experiences, an autobiography can be made interesting. Tragic events (if any) that influenced a person’s life can also be mentioned.
A separate section for mentioning first-time experiences should be made in your autobiography. Here are few examples of such experiences.
First Day of School
First day of College
There are many such experiences that you can include in this section.
Special or striking memories should be included in this section. There many events in our life which we can’t forget easily. The impact they have on our lives is the reason why such memories accompany us for a long time.
People in Your Life
In this section, you should present details about people who have influenced your life. You may speak about your relations with them, the way you conversed and the manner in which they influenced the process of decision making in your life.
Writing an Educational Autobiography
Writing an educational autobiography is one of the exercises which students are asked to take up to reflect upon their past. Such an exercise allows students to express themselves and present their thoughts clearly and concisely. Portraying a person’s educational life through words is the main objective of writing an educational autobiography. Therefore, it is necessary to cover as many events as possible that shaped you as a student.
The autobiography example given below has a simple format. The format used for this write-up resembles that of an essay; it gives a rough idea of how to write an autobiography. However, while writing an autobiography, you should present a detailed account of your life.
I was born and brought up in a nuclear family in Houston, Texas. We are a family of four: my parents, me and my younger brother. The school days offered me a lot to learn. Subjects like science, languages and history were of special interest to me. However, the mechanical process of learning never interested me.
Although I was good at studies throughout my academic life, sports, music, drawing, craft-work, etc., interested me the most. I was more inclined towards understanding the concepts rather than just memorizing them. After graduating with a major in biology, I took up nature photography. It was a decision that changed the entire course of my life. Through this profession, I was able to explore life in its varied forms. Also the knowledge of biology came in handy while exploring the flora and fauna. In a sense, photography has proved to be a catalyst in this process of change which completely transformed me.
My work as a nature photographer offers me immense satisfaction and great pleasure. Freezing the volatile moments with my camera teaches me how to deal with tricky situations in life. Working hard to pursue your goals and keeping a positive attitude are the qualities that help you when you are required to maintain a level-head in times of success and failure. These are the tools which help you overcome the toughest phases in life.
Now that I am in a position to enjoy my work, I would like to and take up new photography projects and explore different regions of the world. I want to work hard and excel in photography.
Tips for Writing an Autobiography
1. Keep it simple. This is one thing you should keep in mind while writing an autobiography. You don’t have to exaggerate events from your life to make them look interesting. In fact, readers are interested in knowing the truth about you. There are so many interesting things which happen in our life.
2. Jotting down points before you actually start writing is a practice which helps freeze the volatile memories, which you won’t be able to recall the second time even if you wish to.
3. You should always write what you wish to write and not what you think is expected from you. Remember that the inhibitions/expectations which create doubts in the mind won’t be of any help while writing. Keeping them at bay should bring out the best in you.
4. Create an outline for your autobiography. It allows you to work on each event or instance from your life systematically. Breaking down the content into sections helps in keeping the readers interested in your story.
5. Take pride in your work. Put your best efforts in your autobiography. If you doubt your abilities you are unconsciously devaluing your creative work. Therefore, you need to write the autobiography without inhibitions and with supreme confidence.
6. Add Spice to your story. People will take interest in your autobiography if you make it an interesting read. Again, you shouldn’t resort to exaggerating events from your life. Just try to elaborate on them to make your autobiography an interesting
Writing an autobiography is a huge task. It requires great patience for putting the facts and experiences in a proper manner. Autobiographies are detailed accounts of a person’s life and therefore, they must be written with great care and responsibility.
The autobiography sample provided in the article above gives you a rough idea of how to write about yourself in an interesting manner. Autobiographies are detailed accounts of our lives which help us remember the happy and sad moments as well. One can draw inspiration from the determination and grit showed in tough times of the past and move on with a positive attitude.