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Stuck on how to write about yourself? Try these story starters

Writing about ourselves can be a terrifying and confounding task, whether it’s for an About page, a memoir, or autobiography.

If you’re confronted with the task of writing about yourself, it can be an easier project if you think in terms of storytelling. What are the stories of your life?

Try these story starters to create a list of topics you can draw from to begin your manuscript. Armed with a list of ideas, think about the scenes you could write. Once you have raw material, you can shape it into a finished whole.

  1. What are the pivotal moments of your life?
  2. Who were the influential people in your life — for better or worse.
  3. What is your philosophy?
  4. What are your most striking childhood memories?
  5. What were the highs and lows of your life?
  6. What is your greatest loss and gain?
  7. What are you most proud of?
  8. What family stories or myths informed your identity?
  9. What big dreams have you achieved?
  10. What do you believe in?

Another way to spark key themes in your life is by writing a series of six-word memoirs.

For inspiration, read six-word memoirs at SMITH Magazine, which was started in 2006 by Larry Smith.

Pick several aspects of your life and write several six-word memoirs. The words you compose about your life may be potent prose for your manuscript. Six-word memoirs distill slices of your life and open a door to further exploration.

Feel free to post a six-word memoir in the comments below.

4 Comments Post a comment
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    April 5, 2014

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