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How to start an autobiography

Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Christian theologian well known as a scholar. In the 4th century AD, he wrote a book titled ‘Confessions’ that was an account of his sinful life as a youth. This book is believed to be the first autobiography ever written. An autobiography is the story of a person’s life as written by himself. If you have a book written on your life story, it is termed a biography. If you yourself write the book and narrate the story of your life, then it is known as an autobiography.

Some well-known autobiographies are:

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Why write an autobiography?

If you are a celebrity or someone well known, the world wants to know the account of your life. Even if you are not a celebrity, you may want to share the story of your life so people can know about your life struggles and how you achieved success. An autobiography is not necessarily the story of an entire life. It can be an account of one period of your life, where something significant happened. Autobiographies narrate events that people are not aware of. Most autobiographies have racy content that the public love to read.

Autobiographies written by scientists, businesspersons, celebrities from the world of film and fashion, politicians, authors, sportspersons are popular as people like to know how they climbed the pinnacle of success. Autobiographies can have inspiring stories that motivate others to overcome obstacles and strive to achieve goals. If you have had interesting episodes in your life that you wish to share with the world, you can write an autobiography.

Starting the autobiography

There is no set format to write any book. It all depends on the author and on the public, whowill read the book and decide if they like it or not. There are no norms that govern how an autobiography should be written. You can start from any point and end at any point. You can even write an autobiography as a series with different books dealing with different stages of your life. It depends on how you wish to present your life story.

You can use any of the following ways to start an autobiography:

  • You can write the book in chronological sequence starting from childhood, youth, middle age, and so on.
  • You can start with an interesting episode from your life and narrate it. You can use this as a starting point and move forward. You can include past episodes in between.
  • You can start from the present, where you talk about where you have you reached and what you have achieved. You can then go back in time and narrate your story from the beginning.
  • You can ignore your life story and talk only about your achievements listing them one by one with a narration.
  • You can take different episodes in your life and string them into a narration.

Remember that the first lines you write must make the reader interested to read the book. So, find an opening that can generate interest.