My students ask me every time we start a new class, “how do I know where to start my life story?” That’s a good question and it has several answers. One of those ways to start is to write about your life right now. Your life now will soon be history, so you might as well include it in your life story writing. Your life story doesn’t have to be written chronologically starting with your birth. Maybe what happened last week, while it’s still fresh in your mind, would be a better place to start. Why, you ask? Because if you start in a place where the memories are faded, then you might get stuck and stop writing before you build momentum. The key is, the more you write and get involved in the story, the more you will want to pick up that pen and continue because you’re having fun.
Ok, now that you know what you want to write about, how do you start writing about it? The first thing you need to do is to develop a process,a way to approach your writing. If you answer the who, what, where, when, why and how about the subject you are writing about then you have a good outline of the event that happened. With that outline, use your senses to fill in the details and make the story come alive.
Don’t have time to write a complete story in one sitting? Who says you have to? If you keep a memory journal or three ring binder then you can keep all your notes in one place until you have the time to put them together into a story. When you get to the putting it together part, write your stories as if you are telling them to an old friend. The important part is keep writing and making notes about what you want to write about. Soon you’ll have a binder full of stories to share with your family and friends.