How to Start Writing Your Life Story #5
#5 of 5
#1 Your motivation to write about your life is to help people.
#2 Your muse–the face of someone you dearly love who will benefit from reading your book–is in your mind.
#3 Your list of memories and little stories you want to tell is grows longer every day.
#4 Your first attempt at an outline is finished.
Turn on some music—the songs you used to listen to during the time period in which your story takes place. Spray on some of that cologne you used to wear. Get out those old photos, journals, and poems. Feel those old feelings again. Sit down with your lists, post-it notes, note cards, iPhone notes, and your outline. Start writing.
Your story is valuable and worthwhile. It is the story that God had chosen for your life. You do not need to apologize for who you are or where you came from. There was a designer greater than you, your parents, and your circumstances. Give him the credit. Watch, as you dig into those stories, how God will teach you a few things about who you are.
The process of writing about your life will hurt a little bit because it is hard to relive things you’d rather forget. So think of it as telling your story to your muse. Think of it as helping someone who is going to learn the hard way unless you share your story. You are going to hold that person’s hand—just like you needed someone to hold yours.
There is a good reason why you are putting yourself through this. There is at least one person out there who needs to read your story. All you need is to help one person and it is all worth it.
Start at the beginning of your outline and work your way to those gold-nugget stories, what my friend Leigh calls the “candy bar” scenes. Don’t worry about it being perfect the first time around. You will probably have to write five drafts. But don’t let that stop you. You are starting something that takes most authors five or more years to finish. Start now with your first try, work on it a little bit each day, and finish it.
I can’t wait to read your story. And I can’t wait for you to read mine.
This weekend I wrote down some thoughts about my own story, and I thought I’d share some of them with you.
“Really, Goodnight to My Thoughts of You is a coming-of-age story about an eighteen-year-old girl who has put relationships, guys, ballet, her own outer beauty, her best friend, even her own mom, before God in her heart. So God reveals this idolatry to her through a very intense heartbreak that leads to years of self-hatred and depression. This brokenness causes her to shed the lies and experience the truth that when God comes first in her heart, his will for her becomes beautifully clear. Only then does she have the wisdom to choose to love and marry the awesome man God has prepared for her.”
I’d also like to share an immensely encouraging quote from one of my professors from APU who read an early draft of my book:
“I LOVED the book!!! Once I finally opened the document, I couldn’t stop reading.” –APU English Professor
Wow! What an honor to receive that kind of encouragement. Praise Jesus!
It is not a perfect book.
It will never win any awards.
But it is an accomplishment of ten years of reflection, five years of writing, rewriting, editing, sharing, praying, and learning.
I thank God so much for calling me to write Goodnight to My Thoughts of You (available in a few months.) It has been so worth the effort.
And I’m developing some new and exciting plans for my first presentation of the story. It is all in the Lord’s hands.
Thanks so much for reading. God bless you in your endeavors to write about your life.
P.S. I realize that I have only written about getting started and not about the grueling process of writing a book. Let me know if you would like to see some posts about the craft of writing–the actual process.
“My soul clings to you;
Your right hand upholds me.”