In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, indepedent bookseller Bob Spear talks autobiographies, and why even non-writers should consider leaving this meaningful legacy.
There comes a time in our lives when some of us get the urge to leave a legacy. Who would like to read about our lives? Will our writings pass the Who Gives A SH– test? Perhaps just our families would be interested in our stories. Maybe our friends, or perhaps many people would have an interest in us. What should we write about and how should we write it?
Perhaps you could break your life up into time lines or you could write about topical areas such as my outline of my life below:
Mea Culpa (appology for tricks of memory or lack thereof)
Down on the Farm
Move to Lafayette
Civil Service Years
Writing, Publishing, and Reviewing
Book Barn and Other Businesses
Kids and Grandkids
You can try to create dialog or just tell what went on. You can include pictures and captions to add clarity and interest.
You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or more ideally, a layout program such as Adobe InDesign, Quark, or Publish. Journal programs such as MacJournal can prove helpful as well. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want.
Be positive. Provide lessons learned. Don’t write an expose of your life. Remember, kids may read this, so keep it reasonably clean. Include interactions with others. Mention awards and honors and what they meant to you. Mention what you did not get a chance to do as well as your accomplishments. Talk about who helped you along the way and pay it forward. If you did something worthwhile, did it make a difference in someone else’s life? Write this in such a manner that readers will be proud to have known you. Don’t focus too much on those who have done you dirty. Do explain how you overcame adversity.