How to start writing a book about your life

How to start writing a book about your life

How to start writing a book about your life is a topic of discussion that the world cannot neglect.


Because every life is a unique story waiting to be told.

According to Hans Christian Andersen, “Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers“.

The truth is that sharing your life experiences through a book can be an immensely fulfilling journey.

It can be an autobiography, a memoir, or just a personal narrative.

Either way, it’s a chance to share your wisdom, inspire others, and leave a lasting legacy.

But where do you even begin?

I am Angella Wynn, a 7X best-selling author, book writing coach, public speaker, life and spiritual coach, and voiceover artist.

In this blog post on Books2Wynn, I will help you get started with life story writing, from finding your voice to using effective storytelling techniques.

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Here’s a tip for you:

“A person’s complete life story is unknown to you, therefore never pass judgment on them arbitrarily!”

But knowing people’s life stories is impossible unless they tell them.

Again, most of us think our life stories are plain boring.

We are led to believe that a book on life stories needs to be something exotic and have an element of accomplishment.

Yet, you would be surprised to know that most people read life stories they can relate to.

While the life stories of celebrities get a lot of attention, life story books written by ordinary people doing ordinary things are just as fascinating.

According to a study by Bowker, memoirs and biographies of non-celebrities are among the fastest-growing categories in book publishing.


It is because every one of us has a legacy to leave behind, and impactful legacies don’t need to touch billions of lives.

Even if your influence is modest, your story can profoundly affect a few people.

Again, writing your story can resonate with people who don’t even know you, offering them solutions to their problems or inspiring them in ways you might never imagine.

Your life story is unlike anyone else’s; it deserves to be told in a way that’s as unique as you are.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and turn your life’s chapters into a compelling narrative that resonates with readers far and wide.

ALSO READ: 10 Steps to write a book with no experience!

Understanding the importance of your story is one of the first steps in learning how to start writing a book about your life.

There’s a common misconception that life stories must be extraordinary or accomplished to be worth telling.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

As Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Your experiences, no matter how ordinary they may seem to you, have the power to resonate with others on a profound level.


Because every life is a narrative of triumphs and trials, growth and setbacks, joy and sorrow.

Sharing your narrative will help you allow others to see the world through your eyes, providing them with valuable insights and perspectives they might not have considered otherwise.

Did you know?

73% of readers search for books that improve their understanding of themselves and help them overcome personal obstacles, according to Pew Research Center .

Your life story can serve as a mirror for readers to see their challenges and successes because of its distinct viewpoint and genuine voice.

Writing a memoir is similar to carefully studying each piece and seeing how it fits into the overall design.

The memoir market has grown by over 25% in the past five years, reflecting a growing appetite for real, relatable stories.

This shows you that readers want authenticity.

People are drawn to books that discuss actual people, their feelings, as well as their experiences.

Everybody has a legacy to leave behind, and it doesn’t have to be enormous to have an influence or make an impact.

Even though your legacy is small, the people who come into contact with it and resonate with your story will be profoundly impacted.

Therefore, writing about your life adds to the diversity of the human experience by providing relatable and educational books for others.

Our lives are like gold mines, filled with experiences that have shaped who we are.

Yet, in our daily activities, we rarely pause to appreciate the hidden treasures within us.

Personal reflection, as author Susan Sontag once said, “is a way of making connections across the discontinuities of time.”

This means that Personal reflection is the secret to waking up the dormant stories inside us waiting to be shared.

So, in learning how to start writing a book about your life, begin your reflection with a spirit of curiosity.

Just like an archaeologist sifting through the layers of your past, jot down significant events you remember, big and small.

Did a childhood friendship teach you about loyalty?

Or perhaps a challenging job transition instilled resilience?

Statistics show that over 80% of adults report having had at least one life-changing experience.

These “turning points” often become the cornerstones of our stories.

Ask yourself: What moments stand out?

How did they change the course of your life?

What lessons did you learn along the way?

As you gather your experiences, look for recurring themes or events.

Are there patterns in your choices?

Do you gravitate towards challenges or stability?

Perhaps you have a thread of humor woven throughout your life or a deep connection to nature.

Identifying these themes provides a framework for your story, giving it structure and meaning.

Do you understand?

To know why you want to write your life story in the first place, you must first establish your purpose.

Your motivation may be from a wish to leave a legacy for future generations, to heal from past events, or to inspire others.

In the words of novelist Joan Didion, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

Writing can be a healing activity that aids in peacemaking and the making meaning of the past.

Expressive writing has the potential to significantly improve both physical and emotional health, as demonstrated by a study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

This highlights the therapeutic value of verbalizing one’s experiences.

Your writing process will be guided by your purpose, which will also motivate you to finish it.

Again, it acts as a compass, helping you navigate through the various stages of writing.

When you understand your ‘why,’ it becomes easier to decide what to include in your story and what to leave out.

For instance, if your primary goal is to inspire, you might focus on the challenges you’ve overcome and the lessons learned from these challenges.

On the other hand, if your aim is to leave a legacy, you might include detailed accounts of family traditions, significant milestones, and personal values you wish to pass down.

In his bestselling book titled, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen R. Covey gave the advice to “begin with the end in mind.”

This highlights the importance of purpose in staying on track and producing a narrative that resonates with your intended audience.

Any house you want to build requires a strong framework; otherwise, it may crumble under the weight of the building itself.

The same holds true while drafting your life story’s outline.

Writing down significant events and topics that have influenced your life is a good place to start if you want to arrange your thoughts properly.

This approach helps you see the wider picture so you understand how each element of your story fits into the whole.

Anne Lamott, in her timeless advice from Bird by Bird, emphasizes taking it “bird by bird,” meaning to tackle each small part one step at a time.

This piecemeal approach can prevent the process from becoming too much to handle.

So, you can create a timeline to visually map out significant events in your life.

In as much as this technique helps you improve your storytelling, it also helps you draw meaningful connections between different periods of your life.

Once you have a general structure, you can now break your life into chapters or sections, each focusing on significant events.

We can take each chapter as a room in a house, with its own unique purpose yet contributing to the overall design of the house.

You can begin with your early years, detailing formative experiences that set the stage for later developments.

After that, move on to adolescence, capturing the essence of your growth and identity formation.

Young adulthood might highlight your educational pursuits, career beginnings, and significant relationships constituting your most transformative years.

Mid-life chapters can reflect on achievements, challenges, and turning points, offering a deeper understanding of your journey.

Finally, the later years provide a chance to share reflections and wisdom, tying together the threads of your life into a cohesive narrative.

Starting your life story can feel like staring at a giant white wall.

It’s normal to be scared—what if it’s not good enough?

Here’s the truth: Your story doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be yours.

Your life can be likened to a precious box filled with shiny trinkets and dusty relics.

Everyone tells a part of your story, even the messy ones.

Don’t worry about making them sparkle yet.

First, get them out of the box!

Writers often talk about the “first draft” as a “hot mess,” – a jumble of thoughts that can be shaped later.

Studies even show that writers who focus on getting their ideas down first end up with better stories in the long run.

So, silence the voice telling you it’s not good enough, grab a pen (or your laptop!), and let your story flow.

After all, the most powerful stories are often the most real, the ones that capture the ups and downs of life itself.

I understand that telling your whole truth can feel scary, probably because you might worry people won’t like it, or you’ll sound boring.

But here’s the secret: being real is what connects you to your readers.

When you’re honest, even about the tough stuff, your story resonates better with others.

It shows them you’re human, just like them, and that they are not the only ones with similar experiences.

Of course, you have your favorite memoirs.

Maybe it’s the story of someone who hiked a whole mountain range by themselves, like Cheryl Strayed in “Wild,” or a childhood that wasn’t picture-perfect, like Jeannette Walls’ “The Glass Castle.”

These stories stick with you because they’re real and human.

Again, studies show that people connect better with stories that feel genuine.

So let go of the notion of perfection, express your actual emotions, and be your true self.

It’s the honesty that makes your story special.

Our memories can get a little blurry with time, making it difficult to remember the exact sequence of events.

This is where the help of your loved ones comes in handy.

Speak with them to help you sort out the facts.

They may recall specific events you’ve forgotten or present fresh viewpoints you hadn’t thought of.

You’ll discover that your story becomes more accurate and deeper by including them.

Don’t give up if you run into trouble writing and are unable to stimulate a certain memory.

Just make a note of it for future reference, then continue.

You can keep up the pace and complete your story more quickly with this method.

Starting to write your life story is a significant step, but refining it through rewriting is equally crucial.

Writing is rewriting—it’s a process of continuous improvement.

As you go through your draft, look for ways to enhance clarity, coherence, and emotional impact.

  • Polish your prose: Tighten sentences, eliminate redundancies, and ensure your story flows smoothly.
  • Enhance details: Add vivid descriptions and emotions to make your experiences come alive.
  • Clarify your message: Ensure your main themes and lessons are clear and impactful.

Getting feedback is essential to refining your story. Trusted friends, family members, or professional editors can provide valuable insights you might overlook.

  • Fresh perspectives: Others can offer different viewpoints and catch inconsistencies or gaps.
  • Constructive criticism: Honest feedback helps you identify weak spots and improve your narrative.
  • Professional advice: Editors can enhance your writing style, grammar, and overall structure.
  1. Take a break: After completing your first draft, step away for a few days to gain a fresh perspective.
  2. Read aloud: Hearing your words can help catch awkward phrasing and improve readability.
  3. Focus on structure: Ensure each chapter or section transitions smoothly and supports your overall theme.
  4. Incorporate feedback: Revise based on input from others, prioritizing clarity and engagement.
  5. Proofread: Check for grammatical errors, typos, and consistency in tone and style.
RELATED: I want someone to write a book about my life

This topic on “How to start writing a book about your life” has come to a conclusion, but it’s not a farewell—rather, it’s a “see you later.”

Each life is filled with distinct feelings and events, and only you have the story to share.

Your life has the capacity to uplift, heal, and foster relationships.

Memoirs are popular because readers want authentic, true experiences. People seeking solace, empathy, and inspiration can relate to your experiences, with all of their highs and lows.

Therefore, don’t allow fear or uncertainty to stop you.

Inhale deeply, grab a pen and begin narrating your narrative.

You have the ability to reach a greater number of people than you could have ever imagined with your own voice and life experiences.

need help with writing and publishing your book?


How do you begin to write a book about your life?

Start by brainstorming key events and experiences that have shaped your life, then outline these events in a chronological or thematic order.

What should I include in my life story?

Focus on significant events, personal challenges, lessons learned, and moments of growth or change.

How do I organize my life story?

Create an outline with chapters or sections that focus on different periods or themes in your life.

What if I can’t remember all the details?

Reach out to friends and family for their perspectives and memories to fill in gaps.

How do I keep my readers engaged?

Use vivid descriptions, honest emotions, and compelling anecdotes to make your story relatable and engaging.

Do I need to include everything that happened in my life?

No, focus on the most impactful and relevant events that contribute to the overall narrative and message of your book.

How do I find my writing voice?

Write as you speak, stay true to your personality, and let your unique perspective shine through.

Should I write my story chronologically?

It depends on your preference. Chronological order works for a straightforward narrative, but thematic or non-linear structures can add depth and interest.

How long should my memoir be?

There’s no strict rule, but most memoirs range from 60,000 to 80,000 words. Focus on telling your story fully rather than meeting a word count.

How do I deal with writer’s block?

Take breaks, write regularly, and don’t be afraid to skip difficult parts and come back to them later.

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