I’ve always been a fan of a good memoir. If you ask me, there is no better way to truly get to know someone and what they are all about. If you’re considering jotting down a personal history of your own, consider including some of these story ideas to better pad your story. Plus, it’s these little anecdotes that truly “hook” your reader!
Before you write a history of any sort, it’s best to do plenty of research. Only this time, it’s a bit more exciting than researching for an academic paper because it’s your own history! Talk to family relatives to learn more about your family history, your genealogy, and more. Now would even be a perfect time to take an Ancestry DNA kit or something similar, if interested!
Now is also a good time to interview those who you’d like to include in the book to get their first-hand accounts of important matters. Come equipped with a recording device, I like to use Otterbox. It’s an app that records (and transcribes) interviews right on your phone. That way, when it comes time to write, you have quotes and any first-hand accounts should it be necessary for your history.
As with any kind of writing, it’s better received by readers if there is some overall theme for the piece. Why do all of these things about you matter? Are these the moments that inspired you to become a lawyer or a doctor? Or are these about your struggles and overcoming adversity? No matter what you go with, make sure it fits your writings.
You’ll lose the reader’s interest if your writings are scattered and disorganized, so set up a way to organize these important life events. Typically, memoirs are told in a chronological fashion to help avoid confusion for the reader.
One of the most important parts of writing a personal history is including all of the moments that align with the overall theme of your piece, no matter how big or small these moments were. Include things like childhood triumphs, traumas, and even unique and funny moments that have contributed to your overall character. Now, I’m not telling you to relive any childhood traumas in which you aren’t ready, but I am telling you to include those moments if you feel able. It’s usually these stories and tidbits that create a lasting impact. Plus, it can be nice to work it out through writing!