I remain a bit occupied these days. I’m writing my story, i.e. the story of my life. It isn’t a hobby for me—it is a blend of passion and introspection, and I love doing it. It calms my mind and helps me reflect on how I have lived so far. However, getting started with writing, my story wasn’t easy. I was very apprehensive at first. Though I have reasonably good writing skills, there was a serious doubt about whether I could be honest about my life. If you have often wondered about why or how to write a biography, read ahead.
Real Life Doesn’t Always Have Happy Endings, Fairy Tales Do
Real life stories aren’t as well scripted as a movie’s storyline. The difference lies in not chasing a perfect ending. Let me explain this. A movie script usually provides a closure. It is very likely that the story has a happy ending or a conclusion that appeases the audience. However, this isn’t the case with real-life stories. Here, the storytelling platform isn’t preconceived. There is no plot to create. We take upon life as it unfolds.
Predicting doesn’t apply to our lives. For some, writing their biography can become intimidating because of this. From childhood, we have been fed a notion that stories should have placating endings. As a result, writing your life’s story might seem impossible at first. To write your autobiography, accept that it isn’t going to be as balanced, well-plotted, or happy as a fairy tale.
Writing Real Life Stories Can be Soulfully Healing
Most of us don’t have the courage to script a story that reflects our true identity. In fact, it is probable that in many chapters, you might have to blame yourself for something that went horribly wrong. This is why I believe that writing your biography can be healing. It is like having a candid chat about your true self with a psychologist.
An autobiography can be totally unapologetic. You can choose to provide a reason for your actions that led to disastrous results or not. I have chosen the path of being brutally honest. I believe that real life stories in which the narration is straightforward and doesn’t shy away from regretting or accepting mistakes is more engaging.
The Zen mind is decluttered. I believe that frustration, regrets, and grudges are among the most common negative emotions that people carry. They cloud the mind and lower the overall quality of life.
At various stages of writing my life story, I discovered that sometimes I was just a sidekick, sometimes the hero, and surprisingly, a villain too. This has helped me reconnect with myself. Many thoughts that were weighing on my conscience now don’t bother me too much. The entire process is like an outpour of my emotions. Writing down the apprehensions that you had locked in a part of your mind can dissolve the anxiety and self-doubts.
When writing your biography, you don’t need to present a reason about how you look at life. In some chapters of my life story, I have painted myself as the willfully honest protagonist and often as the fallen hero who needs to change.
Now that you have understood the healing touch of writing your life story, I am going to answer the second question—how to write a biography and succeed at it?
Develop the Habit of Writing
Look at writing as a habit you should cultivate and not a task. Don’t commit too much. For instance, your goal can be writing just one page every day. It can also be an entire chapter over the weekend. Plan your schedule and try to be regular in writing a few pages every week. Try to stick to this habit during the initial weeks. Gradually, the process will start absorbing you.
Carry on Through the Pain
Being forthcoming about your closest friends, family, or the most intimate secrets isn’t easy. At times, self-introspection can be overwhelming. Expect this as a part of the journey. Every time you feel stuck, take a few deep breaths and carry on. If needed, take a break for a day or two but don’t quit.
First Just Express, Manage Later
During the first few weeks of writing, being methodical might prove impossible. It is difficult for a first-time writer to be careful about linking the chapters and maintaining the flow of thought. Initial emphasis should be on getting the expressionism right. Later, you can allocate time to categorizing or comprehensively editing the story. Be open to correcting yourself and making lots of corrections.