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Autobiography Characteristics

   By: Robert Brady

What separates autobiographical writing from other types of writing? The biggest thing to thing to remember about an autobiography is that it should be reflection of who you are.

The number of ways to construct an autobiography is about as diverse as the number of people who write them. However, there are some simple items that you can include in your autobiography that will make it both personal and meaningful to others.

1. Don't lie to your audience (yourself or others)

Before you start writing, you need to decide to be honest. This sounds simple, but it's amazing how easy it is to either embellish the description of events or inaccurately describe your feelings about a given event. Even leaving some things out can be a form of dishonesty. This means that you may have to address things in your autobiography that are painful or awkward for you to address.

2. Find Your Voice

Sound like you. Your audience should see you in your words. Don't try to be someone else.

It's you they want to learn about. Not someone else.

3. Let the Audience Know Your Why

You should have a why for writing your autobiography. In his famous autobiography, Benjamin Franklin included, as an introduction, a letter to his son. In the letter Mr. Franklin explains his Why for writing his story.

In his letter, he identified at least 11 reasons:

He enjoyed collecting stories about his ancestors. In fact, he sometimes traveled to find the stories he wanted.

He hopes that others will get some benefit from his words.

To share how he went from poverty to wealth.

He wants to explain how he succeeded and found happiness.

He examines his life for anything he would do differently.

Revisiting one's life is the next best thing to living it again.

He would like for his story to persist.

He wants gratify himself.

He wishes to tell others of God's workings in his life.

He wants to explain that his success can be reversed.

I'm sure that Benjamin Franklin wouldn't mind if you stole one of his reasons. If nothing he wrote sounded like a good reason for you, then keep looking. I can't stress how important it is for you to find your Why.

4. Know Who You're Writing For

While writing an autobiography can be a very personal experience, it's important to know that unless you destroy your work, someone will probably read it someday. Know this. Think about what you want that person to know. For Benjamin Franklin, he addressed his son. But beyond his son, Benjamin Franklin looked to a much wider audience. And he succeeded. His autobiography is one of the most read autobiographies in the world.

Of course, your autobiography probably won't be read by millions. But who will read it? Your children? Your grandchildren? Their children? Think about that.

5. Choose a focus

How have the events in your life led you to where you are in life? Maybe your autobiography will demonstrate how your life was shaped. Or maybe you want your autobiography to just be a collection of stories. There are many directions to choose from - choose one!

To Sum It Up:

1. Don't lie to your audience (yourself and others)

2. Sound Like You

3. Let the Audience Know Your Why

4. Know Your Audience

5. Choose a focus

By incorporating these traits into your autobiography, you will write your story in such a way that people will want to read it.

Get started!

Look for Robert Brady's additional autobiography reference: Autobiography Characteristics . Autobiography Workshop is a superb reference for writing your autobiography. You are welcome to reprint this article - but get your own unique content version here.

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