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What are the Qualifications for Writing an Autobiography or Memoir?

An autobiography is an account of the series of events making up your life, usually starting from birth and going forward chronologically. A biography is about any person whereas an autobiography is about you.

An autobiography and a memoir are essentially the same. Like an autobiography a memoir is an account of the author's personal experiences. Memoirs usually just cover a period in one's life as opposed to the whole span found in an autobiography.

So, what are the qualifications to write such literature?

  • MYTH: Only famous or notorious people write autobiographies because their lives are more interesting.

    My question is…more interesting to whom? And how can you quantify what is "interesting"?

    Growing up in the suburbs and having the ice cream truck drive through my neighborhood may not be thrilling to you, but the person growing up in the country who has never experienced such a thing might find that fascinating…ice cream delivered to your door?

    But then you ask a girl who lives on a farm where does milk come from and she replies, "a cow". You ask a girl from the city the same question and she matter-of-factly states, "the store". Perhaps the city girl would find the other's experience interesting…you have to get up in the morning and sit beneath a stinky animal, and squeeze out your milk for your cereal?

    Perhaps a bit simplistic but you get the idea.

    • FACT: Items of interest are subjective.

      We all have something interesting to share if our audience is large enough.

  • MYTH: Only famous or notorious people write autobiographies because their popularity will sell more copies.
    • FACT: Marketing GOOD stories sells more copies.
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      There are many memoirs and autobiographies topping best-seller lists written by non-celebrities. The calabre of their story-telling and the effective marketing of their stories is what sells more copies.

  • MYTH: Writing memoirs is reserved for older people because they've lived long enough to have something worthwhile to share.

    Well…how long is long enough? And something worthwhile to share is also subjective. What's worthwhile to me may not be to you and vice versa.

    • FACT: If you've experienced any life at all, you have something worthwhile to share.

      We all have something worthwhile to share if our audience is large enough.

  • MYTH: Writing memoirs is reserved for those with children and grandchildren because there needs to be that family connection.

So back to the qualifications…

We are all qualified to write an autobiography or memoir.
(provided our memory is in tact)

Fame does not matter. Your story, if told properly, would definitely draw an audience. (Have you read any of our featured memoirs yet?)

Age does not matter. Familial relationship does not matter. Read what we have to say about relating to your reader in the Readers Circle.

You don't even need to know how to read and write to "write" an autobiography. With ghostwriting services and audio technology available, virtually anybody can tell their story. See our Resources for tools in getting published.

Write your life story. We'll help you.

It can be a very rewarding experience…for you and your reader. Reminiscing and reliving fond experiences and relationships from your past is fun! You actually learn a lot about yourself through this process.

Everyone has a compelling story to tell! And we're determined to help you tell it!

With many opportunities to submit your story and helpful hints on how to write it, including writing prompts, there's no excuse for staying quiet any longer. Let us encourage you to take action.

Read some of the memoirs published here, and get a taste of what others have written about their lives.

Try your hand at some writing assignments. Don't worry you won't be graded...in fact, you'll most likely enjoy the work!

And if you're really motivated, learn how you can get your book published!

Jump in!



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