The words “autobiography” and “memoir” are often used interchangeably in social situations – (and even on Amazon.com categories!) but the two terms represent vastly different types of work.
What is a memoir?
A memoir is a written story that typically covers a portion of someone’s life. This type of book is often written by “normal” people like you and me, and can start at any point within an author’s life. Historically, autobiographies tend to be dryer material – more factually researched and historical than memoirs, which can have a more emotional edge and a moral to the story.
Should I write my memoir?
As I often say, you are the only one who can tell your story! Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you embark on the journey of writing your book:
- Do you have a story worth telling? If you have a story that others would be interested in – experiences you’ve had, circumstances that you’ve overcome, major accomplishments and the road to achievement – then there may be interest in your story. Oftentimes, the authors whose autobiographies perform best have been told by family, friends, and colleagues, “you should write a book,” for a number of years. Has this happened for you?
- Do you have a story that could help others? I’m a firm believer that if your story has the potential to help others who face similar circumstances to yours, by bettering their lives or personal experiences, that you have a duty to share your story.
- Can your story be told with total honesty (absolutely no embellishment!) and how the readers’ attention? Often times, you’ll find that all of the little stories that make up the big story of your life can be interesting enough without added embellishment. You simply need to look at the language you use to impart your experiences.
What is an autobiography?
An autobiography typically covers the events of a writer’s entire life from birth to present. An autobiographical book typically focused on the total trajectory of an individual’s life and highlights many experiences from a personal point of view in chronological order. Authors typically highlight formative instances from childhood, adolescence, and their adult years. Autobiographies are typically written by celebrities, experts and people of significance, and contain highly researched and verifiable information.
Should I write my autobiography?
If you are unsure about whether or not you should write a memoir, I’d recommend that you ask yourself all of the same questions listed above and that you add one more:
Is your life so significant that someone would be captivated by the entire experience – from the beginning until now?
Additionally, you should consider if the public’s interest in your story is more emotional or historical. Autobiography is clearly the more historical of the two types of non-fiction life writing.
Are you ready to write?
If, after you’ve considered all of the questions above, you believe you have a story that needs to be told, I’m ready to help you start writing and publishing your book. The success of your book – and how relatable it is to your audience depends on how well you tell it. As your personal book coach, I can help you craft your story and work with you when you to write a book that is beyond compare. Don’t let fear of writing keep you from sharing your story with the world!
If you need help to write your book, consider working with me as you write your first book. Details below!