5 Ways Writing an Autobiography
Can Boost Your Personal Growth
By Juliette Morgan
There are a lot of reasons to write an autobiography. You can write it for posterity, for your family, to make you more alluring, or to make certain that people can what do to (or perhaps what not to). One thing that people often forget, though, is the amount of self-growth that can come out of writing an Autobiography.
That’s a shame, because you really can benefit enormously as a person. The way it can change you, improve you and make you a better person are just tremendous. Here are five examples of how it can do that.
Pause and reflect
The first thing you’ve got to do to write an autobiography is pause and reflect. You’ve got to sit down and actually work through your life – both the bad and the good. Now how many of us get to do that regularly?
The reason why this matters so much is because self-knowledge only comes from inner reflection and an understanding of your own past. And how are you going to get that if you’re rushing through life without a backwards look?
“Those who don't know the past are doomed to repeat it.” -George Santayana. Want to avoid those mistakes? The work on getting the self-knowledge you need by writing an autobiography.
Find out your core values
In a similar way, you can use the writing of your autobiography to really come to grips with your inner narrative and what has motivated you throughout your days. That matters. After all, we’ve all been gifted with a set of ideas, morals and things that matter to us. We’re all motivated and interested in different things. We’ve all got different personalities.
But not all of us necessarily know what they are.
For that reason, finding out what drives you can make you realize the difference between what you thought mattered to you and what actually mattered to you. From there you’ll be in a much better position to utilize your inner strengths and overcome your inner weaknesses. And that is something that all of us can use, don’t you think?
Work through issues
Then there’s the fact that if you take the time to sit down and work out what you’re going to talk about in your autobiography you’re going to have to work through the issues that still haunt you from days gone by. What’s more, rather than just blaming everybody for what went wrong, you’re going to have to work it into some kind of cohesive story, that fits into the narrative of your life.
In this way, it can actually serve as an extensive psychology session, with yourself both as the psychologist and the patient. Do this well enough and you’ll finally be able to put some of the more serious issues you’ve had to deal with in your life to bed.
And that will not just make your past read better in your book, but will also make your future brighter, better and more hopeful. And all that for writing a book!
Discover your voice
To write a book you can’t just think about who you are. You’re going to have to put it down on paper as well. For that reason, you’re going to have to work on how you write. That’s going to happen. Take it from somebody who has written several books. Each time you write one, you will get better at writing.
And not just a little bit either. You’re going to improve dramatically as you plan, execute, find words to describe your soul and think about the whole process of language and words extensively.
It doesn’t just end there, either. To create a really high-class autobiography you can’t do it alone. You’re going to have to find an editor (or several) to help you out. These will critique, comment and complement your work. And though that might not always be pleasant, it will certainly give you insights into how you can get better at what you’re doing.
In fact, get in touch with an editor early. Right from the first ten pages they can point out mistakes that you’re making that you might not be aware of. Then you can deal with those in your first draft and some other editor won’t charge you an arm and a leg to edit them out later.
Don’t know any editor? They’ve got pretty good ones over at Mastergrades so check that out.
Done something meaningful
Writing a book is not a small task. It will take time. It will take effort. And when you’re done with it you will always have that. Even if it doesn’t become a bestseller (which, let’s face it, probably won’t) that you’ve managed to write that book will never be taken away from you.
And with that under your belt, you’ll have more confidence in your writing, in yourself, in who you are and who you stand for. That matters, as we are only ever as strong as our beliefs and our abilities combined. And the biggest failures happen when they’re misaligned.
What I’m trying to say is that if you’re thinking about writing an autobiography then you should. And you shouldn’t do it for other people either. Sure, they might benefit, but that’s something far down the line.
Who you should do it for is you. You are the person who will grow, change and grow in confidence. And that is why you should write an autobiography. That is what you should focus on. If you can do that, then whatever happens your book will be a raging success.
Now doesn’t that sound like the dream?