How To Write A Book About Your Life, Now

By: Steve Manning

I can't tell you how often people come up to me and say, "Tell me how to write a book about my life." You've got your life story to tell, and you can make it a best seller.

I get goose bumps every time I hear that someone is going to write their life story or biography. Your own personal history could be one of the most important books you ever write. Your family background and heritage has essential information for you, your immediate family and those hundreds of people who are (and will be) your children, grandchildren, great grand children and... well, you get the idea.

When I hear that someone will be writing about their lineage, their ancestors, children, jobs, and lifestyle, I know I'm talking to someone who really knows the value of that kind of information. And my job is to make it as easy as possible. My job is to help you put it in book form so it becomes more than just a diary or a journal.

Everyone who wants to write a book knows they have at least one best seller in them. And the best seller that should come to mind first is your life story. I can’t tell you hlw many people come up to me and say they want to write a book about their life story.

But they get it wrong.

They always feel that just because they’ve lived a life, their life is worth reading about. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of us, even the most exciting and the most celebrated among us, do not lead lives worth reading about. If you ever had the chance to follow your idol through a day in his or her life, you’d be bored to tears by the time you reached the end of the day. Turns out these folks have the same hum drum lives that just about everybody else has.

The difference, however, is that they have pockets, pieces or parts of the day (or week, or month, or year) that are unbelievably exciting. And when you read about these folks, these exciting bits are the only ones you get to know about. Because, frankly, these exciting bits are the only ones anyone is worth reading about.

And so it is with you. Your live is probably a collection of “not much happened today" entries into your diary. But over the years, you’ve accomplished a great deal. When you look back on it, you may have done some things that are pretty extraordinary. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you have.

These are the things you want to write about. Don’t write about the hum drum, people get enough boredom from their own lives. Write about the humdinger. And that’s usually a collection of things that you’ve been doing over the years to accomplish a goal, or reach a particular level of success.

Maybe you’ve survived cancer, maybe you’ve saved enough money to buy a rental property, maybe you overcame depression, or maybe you spend the last few years caring for a child or an adult who tested both your patience and your skills. Maybe you got a great promotion, maybe you overcame an addiction.

And if you haven’t achieved anything in life yet (something I’d strongly disagree with) then pick the thing you’d like to accomplish and start writing the book that profiles how you are accomplishing it right now.

When people read fiction, they want a story and entertainment and escapism.

When people read non-fiction (and that includes your life story) they want solutions to their problems. So provide them with those solutions. Not just the attempts that worked, but also the ones that didn’t work… and why they didn’t work. When you’re finished, you want to hand your reader a ‘manual’ for the accomplishment of that goal. Now, you may call it your life story, but it’s a manual for the reader.

I strongly suggest you not talk about how poor you were unless your poverty has a direct impact on either your situation, or your solution. Maybe you were so poor when you were young that your family couldn’t buy pies at the store so you and your mother made them from scratch. And that was the start of your pie-baking story that is now so successful.

You’ll quickly understand that there is more than one book inside you. You’ve done several things and you’ve done a lot with your life. Make each of these accomplishments the basis of a new book.

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