- Set a deadline: decide when you would like to complete your book to be compiled (i.e. finish book in six months...by Christmas). Then set mini deadlines between your start and end date (i.e. finish four chapters a month).
TIP: Use a calendar and write down your deadlines. Put it where you will see it every time you sit down to write.
- Choose a title: select a working title for your ebook.
- Make a list: brainstorm subjects to write about. Include topics like: time periods (i.e. grade school, high school, college, etc.), special events (graduations, competitions, marriage, childbirth, etc.), firsts (i.e. first date, first kiss, first time in a plane, etc.), places you've been (i.e. houses you lived in, vacations you've taken, etc.), and family members (i.e. favorite aunt, closest cousin, etc.). The list can be endless. Come up with 30 topics.
- Create an outline: list the subjects you'd like to include in your ebook.
TIP: When you list the subjects you'd like to include, go a step further and write a list of specific episodes you want to include in each subject. Then, take one more step and list specific details about each episode you'll want to include. This will make the actual writing of it EASIER because you're less likely to find yourself sitting at a blank page wondering what to write about.
- Choose a subject: pick a topic from your list you feel passionate about. Perhaps your happiest experience or the worst or the funniest or the scariest.
- Write it down: imagine you are writing a letter to a friend and tell him/her all about it. Describe details. Use dialogue. Convey feelings and emotions you were experiencing at the time. Relive the story as you write. This is your first draft. Don't worry about editing or getting it just right. Let the words flow. If you can't remember certain facts, leave it blank and make a note to fill in later.
TIP: This is not the time to edit. Write whatever pops into your head. Don't worry about rambling...if you do, you may find you have a few chapters in one...you can break them out later. The most important thing is to get what's in your head out on paper. Later, you can decide how it should be revised.
- Read & revise: read through what you wrote, fill in the blanks and revise where necessary. As a guide keep the word count between 1000-3000. Does the wording make sense? Is there some kind of a conflict that gets resolved? Was there a lesson learned?
- Re-read & revise again: put finishing touches on it. Check for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
TIP: Have someone else proofread your story for you. You've probably read it so many times at this point, you may find yourself overlooking typos. A fresh set of eyes will catch them.
- Choose another subject: pick another topic, write, re-write & revise again. Keep doing this until you have all the chapters you would like to include.
- Write your title page: this will appear as the first page when you open your cover. It includes your title and byline.
- Create a table of contents: list your topics in the order you would like them to appear. You could list them chronologically or in categories or mix them all up. You may want to sprinkle happy or comical ones in with heavy or emotional ones.
- Write your introduction: you can explain why you chose to take on this project, how you put the piece together, and/or how you came up with the title. You can also dedicate this book to a special someone if you would like. At the end of the introduction, sign and date it.
- Write your ending: Conclude your memoir with some final thoughts, perhaps a summary statement of your philosophy on life. This does not need to be lengthy but it should be sincere. Then sign it.
- Publish your autobiography: either choose to self-publish or submit your manuscript to a publishing house for publication.
TIP: Consider creating an ebook. You can either use software to compile it yourself or submit your story to be compiled for you.
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