Write YOUR Story

So you want to write YOUR book—well, get prepared for an amazing adventure! There are SO many reasons to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and record your life’s history, and YOUR reason may be one of these, a combination of these, or perhaps something entirely different, including:


  • To leave a legacy for your children, heirs and other family members
  • To record your life for your community or industry posterity
  • To inspire others through the lessons you have learned via experiences you have overcome
  • To work through past hurts and heal old wounds through your introspection
  • To chart a course for your future by remembering and honoring your past dreams
  • To memorialize a landmark event, anniversary or milestone birthday
  • To preserve your memories
  • To embark upon an exciting adventure and life project
  • To complement a DNA or genealogical search


Whatever your reason, today is the day to begin. Don’t wait for the “perfect” time—when suddenly your schedule will clear, memories will flow like a rushing river and words will flow out of your fingers like magic. The time WILL be perfect because you will make it so—by organizing your thoughts, establishing a “game” plan, and allowing your mind to wander back through your memories. And remember,

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb, author



An Autobiography vs a Memoir

Your first thought is whether you are setting out to write an autobiography or a memoir. While it really doesn’t make much difference—heck, they are grouped together in bookstores, online and in libraries—the differences may help you to “nail down” you book goals a little better. 

An autobiography is the story of a person’s life—from birth onward, including details about facts, dates,  locations and events. A memoir is a story FROM a person’s life, whether it be about a specific event, theme, time period or relationship. An autobiography is generally set chronologically, but a memoir could begin and end at any point, or even present sections in flashbacks or in other time-altering manners.


There are different types of memoirs, including:

  • Personal memoir – these are often based on one experience or event, such as child abuse, dysfunctional family, divorce, illness, survival or adventure. 
  • Professional memoir – the story of a person’s job or professional career
  • Coming of age memoir – this focuses on the time period and development from childhood to adulthood. 
  • Spiritual quest memoir – a memoir of a writer’s search for meaning 
  • Travel memoir – focuses on the writer’s experience traveling. Often the writer narrates a story about a personal adventure.
  • Confessional memoir – the writer confesses his/her sins or wrongdoings and how he/she made amends or reformed his/her ways.
  • Political memoir – written by a person who holds public office. Almost all Presidents write memoirs as a form of historical record and to share their experiences. Most Prime Ministers write memoirs of their experiences in political office, as well.
  • Transformational memoir – the story of a person’s addiction/recovery




You may use these questions for anything from a conversation starter to a book starter—either way, enjoy! So what’s next? Well, the possibilities are endless, including:

  • Write all of your answers in this book and place it in a safe place for your heirs to find someday—almost like a time-capsule.
  • Take just one or a few answers and write more—perhaps some question opened up the floodgates of your memories, and you’d like to write more about it. Fantastic!
  • Reconnect with loved ones, go on a trip to research some of your answers, or even simply look through old memorabilia. Hopefully this book is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure!
  • Write YOUR book—whether you do it on a computer, in a notebook, or in published form, writing YOUR book is an adventure and a gift—to yourself and to your readers!

If you would like to publish your book—or would like assistance in gathering your memories into a book (or even ghostwriting it from your notes), please contact me at RedPenguinBooks.com—I LOVE working with prospective authors in preserving their memories through a book, and I’d be honored to take that journey alongside you. Happy writing!

Leave a Comment