What’s the first thought that pops into your head when you hear that regal, multisyllabic word.
If you said something along the lines of “a famous person writing his life’s story,” I don’t blame you. Certainly, that’s what I think of, though don’t ask me to name a single example of an actual, published autobiography off the top of my head.
I can’t. Not when I don’t trust most books marketed as such to be what they claim. Most of them are memoirs. (To see the difference, click here for last week’s Writing Definition.)
With that said, if you’d love to write your own book about your own story from birth to present, you don’t have to be famous. You can be an everyday, average ol’ Joe or Jane with a drive to detail your life’s experiences.
As Innovative Editing’s latest Writing Rule explains, there’s no minimum Twitter following you have to amass to join the WaA (Writing an Autobiography) Club. Just as long as you exist, you can stroll right on in and apply for membership.
If you’ve lived, you can write an autobiography.
Most people think that only famous folks can write their autobiographies. Groundbreaking innovators. History-making politicians and pundits. Hollywood celebrities.
Or maybe you just need something utterly traumatic to happen to you to warrant one?
The truth is that anyone can write their autobiography if they really want to. Your life’s story is worth telling.
Whether it’s going to sell after it’s published is a completely different topic altogether. That depends on so many other factors that it’s barely even worth writing a blog post about, much less a blog paragraph.
If you want a professional assessment of whether your life’s story is sellable, reach out to Innovative Editing with some details.
However, when it comes to merely penning that long-term journey, you don’t need my expert opinion or anyone else’s. That’s up for grabs.
If you grew up in the hood with a single mother and three younger siblings to look after, you can write your story. Which means that my non-famous (and utterly amazing) mom could.
If you’re a certifiable genius from a household of geniuses who went on to become a nurse practitioner up in New England, you can write your story. Which means that my non-famous (and utterly beautiful) best friend could.
If you never felt like you fit in growing up and went on to immerse yourself in the gaming and tech crowds, you can write your story. Which means that my non-famous (and utterly engaging) ex could.
In the same way, an autobiography doesn’t have to be immensely funny, serious, educational, insightful, poignant or shocking. My suggestion would be to pick an overall tone and theme, and stick with them, of course. And I’d also advise you to not make it downright boring.
But if you really want to go with something that hops from emotion to emotion to emotion, or doesn’t display any emotion at all, you’re still not going to be kicked out of the WaA.
Who knows. It could possibly work.
And don’t let any elitist snob tell you otherwise. Even if it's Scarlet Johansson.