Do You Have A Story In You To Share?
Humans have been storytellers, well, since we could communicate! At first, the stories were told orally, combined with gestures and expressions. Some archaeologists believe that rock art may have served as a type of storytelling in many ancient cultures.
When we started writing and had a stable, portable media, we were able to record the stories and share them with a wider audience. Stories have been carved, scratched, painted, or inked onto wood, bamboo, ivory, pottery, clay tablets, stones, skins, bones and more, and now they are recorded digitally! Oral stories continue to be created on film, at the theaters, and opera houses around the world as well as on the television.
Some of these stories are well worth the time listening to and watching, others, not so much. But, the stories I'm mainly talking about here are the stories you have lived!
Let's start with the biggie, the autobiography! This is the story of your life up until the present time! There have been some great authors who have written multiple volumes in their autobiographies, but generally one is enough to tell your story. An autobiography is generally the length of a good textbook, so at a minimum, it should be around 55,000 words. But, it can be easy to get it up to the fantasy novel range of 150,000 words!
This type of story can be a massive undertaking and can take you over a year to write! And if you've lived an interesting life, you may be able to get it published, but that is hard! Unless you are famous on the international stage, most publishers will not be interested.
Perhaps the format a lot of us are familiar with is the memoir. And I know a lot of people can become confused when talking about a memoir and an autobiography. They are not the same thing!
As I stated above, an autobiography will cover most of your life. A memoir, on the other hand, will cover just one aspect of your life. Maybe you were the victim of abuse and you rose above this to become a victim's rights advocate. Or maybe you were born into a lower-class family and became the head of a multi-million dollar start-up and you ended up buying your parents a mansion.
While you will, probably, write only one autobiography, you can have many memoirs in you! Because memoirs are generally shorter, they can be written in much less time. Plus, there are magazines out there who may be interested in publishing a compelling memoir.
In the next few months, I'll be sharing tips on how to write your memoir, some tools to use, and how to share it. If you have any questions or tips, I'd love to hear them; leave a comment below, or you can email me directly!