Have you ever thought about writing your life story as a book? Do you have fascinating events in your life to tell that you know would make a bestselling book? Of course you do! And the world needs to hear your story.
I can tell you first hand, as a two-time author, there is nothing better than seeing your own book in print. And when you have the opportunity to actually see your book on bookshelves, it is an absolute dream come true. So what’s stopping you?
Perhaps you don’t know how to start, or maybe you don’t have the time to write it, or maybe you think you don’t have the talent. In this article we’ll discuss guaranteed ways to fight these excuses and get your story told!
Why your story needs to be told
My grandfather, Professor Horatio T. Strother, also an author, died before I had an opportunity to meet him. I wish to this day he had written his life story. I’ll never have the chance to hear it from his own mouth and I urge you to seize the opportunity, to pass on your legacy to your loved ones.
My best friend Benjamin. often talked about wanting to write a book too. He was a funny remarkable guy, but died 3 days before his 26th birthday. He never got a chance to write it. We just don’t know when we’re going to go, so please trust me when I say this: people need to hear your story. And your story, your legacy deserves to be told.
How to get started
Very simply from the beginning, you ask yourself a series of questions such as: 1) What were some of the most dramatic interesting things that happened to you or your loved ones in your lifetime? 2) Who were some of the most influential people who changed your life forever? 3) What did you learn from those experiences?
After asking those questions, you answer them. Whether you’re using a pen and pad or a computer to do it, you write until you cannot write anymore. This is not the time to get to the point. This is the time to elaborate and go on and on. You can always edit later. As an author who can write a draft of a book in under two weeks I can advise you to never judge or edit your work while you’re writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s grammatically correct or if you have misspelled words. Keep writing and don’t stop writing to read what you’ve written. Write until you have nothing else to write about. This is the first draft after all. It’s not supposed to be perfect at all. It’s supposed to be bad. The best writers in the world know that rewriting is where the magic happens.
When you have completed the entire book, you might be surprised at how long it is and how interesting it is. But the real trick is to find out what other people think about it and I’m not talking about your best friend or your family. I’m talking about picking three of the most negative critical people you know (and we all know at least one of those). If that person says the story moved them and was interesting to them, then you know you’ve got a great story. And if they have “comments” don’t defend your writing, put your ego away, take notes on what they said and consider making changes to your book in order to make the story more interesting. Even the critical people represent the reader. But in the end listen to your instincts and even if the whole world says they don’t like a certain part and your gut says to leave it in then listen to your gut.
When you’ve made changes to the story based on your feedback and your intuition, then it’s time to get your book proof-read by a professional. You can find one such as Judy Schuler (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can do it for a reasonable fee or you can also do a Google.com search for editors.
What if you don’t have the time?
Do you have time to watch TV? Then you have time to write! If you can get up 30 minutes earlier or stay up 30 minutes later than you usually do, you can write for at least a half an hour a day. It’s amazing what you can accomplish. You will be able to write at least 1 page a day. Likely you’ll be so motivated you’ll want to write more than one page a day. In a month that’s 30 pages. In a few months you’ll have your whole book done.
But what if you can’t write?
I know, I know …you figure you were given other talents, just not the ability to write. Well … if you can talk, you can write. What do I mean? You get a micro-cassette recorder, which you can purchase for as little as $20.00 and you simply talk into it. Just answer the questions discussed earlier. Later you can type what you’ve recorded or hire a stenographer or someone to transcribe what you’ve said. You can find someone by placing a small ad in your local paper, or on Craigslist.com, or going to your local college or stenography school.
The easiest way to write your story is to hire a ghost writer. There are many writers who would love the chance to write your story and get published. You can find ghost writers in the same places you looked to find a stenographer or look for a writer’s group. Make sure you hire a qualified writer. Choose a writer who’s been published or whose writing you enjoy reading. And make certain that you get along with the writer and that he or she understands and is truly fascinated by your story.
Many people dream of writing their life story, few people actually follow through with doing it. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for the perhaps thousands of people that need to hear it and whose lives may be touched by hearing your life story.
The question is: once your book has been written, how do you publish it? In the next article you will learn exactly how to publish your work and how you can see it in bookstores.