• Lynne Christensen

LOVE YOUR LIFE HISTORY

Updated: Feb 10



FIVE GOOD REASONS TO WRITE YOUR BIOGRAPHY

Write my life history, you say? It sounds like a daunting task. So much happens in life and it may seem overwhelming when trying to capture the details, people and events that have shaped your journey. Take heart, there are ways of making biography writing a lot easier. A biography is a summary of a person’s entire life, not to be confused with a memoir that typically focuses on one snapshot in time. There are five good reasons to write your biography and by the end of this article, you’ll understand why many people are making their biographies a key project for 2022.


Reason One: Help Preserve History

You may believe that your life isn’t important enough to make history. The fact is, every person’s life helps to create social history. Social history involves what happens in communities at the local level, and can include things like volunteer organizations, Main Street businesses, weather events, school classroom hijinks, historical events and even a poor barley harvest that occurred one year. Social historians seek to record and understand even the tiniest details about small communities, knowing they play a role in the larger world. Social history is of interest to a vast number of people across the globe. It doesn’t matter if you live in a big city or small town, are in business or not, make the news or simply react to it: the fact is, somebody, somewhere will read your biography with interest. The documents and photos collected during your lifetime are also important and should be preserved using proper archival practices (speak with your local archivist or family history society and discuss collection preservation). Never discount your personal collection of memorabilia; from an historical perspective, we often learn more from people involved in everyday occupations than famous celebrities. Consider fifty or a hundred years forward in time: what technology, events and personal memories do you want to preserve for the future? Genealogists would encourage you to do a good job with this information preservation today. History is about far more than dates, places and names.


Reason Two: Teach Younger/Future Generations About Their Roots

Imagine this scenario: your grandchildren emigrate to a new country and one day, long after you have passed away, their own grandchildren find your biography posted online by an archives organization housing your donation. Your descendants will find it absolutely fascinating to learn more about their ancestors. Biographies are a wonderful vehicle for sharing, including all the correct facts and figures in one spot. The digital age makes this all possible and you truly can share your family history with the world at the touch of a button or two. Help teach others about your struggles and passions; they will find it fascinating. Giving young people a sense of belonging plus an understanding of their roots definitely sets them on a good course in life.


Reason Three: Biographies Make Great Gifts

Ever try to find a gift for someone who already has everything they need and want? Eager to give a unique, meaningful and heartstring-tugging gift? Consider writing a biography. You don’t need to be a famous politician, celebrity or social media influencer to qualify. Your life is important and fascinating to your family, friends and many more people. Wherever you live, you are part of the community. Many parts make up the bigger whole, and your life has contributed to it. Make sure your contribution is documented.


Reason Four: Ensure Accomplishments Are Documented

Most people have accomplished good, if not great, things in their lifetime. It’s important to document achievements, both for the simple sake of recording them as well as to ensure the facts and dates are correct. Your biography will give you the opportunity to ensure that the publication’s content is accurate. It’s your opportunity to set the record straight and add commentary to items that may have not made the newspaper article or the summary speech. In other words, share your successes with your family, friends and community.


Reason Five: Obtain Peace of Mind

Writing a biography will encourage you to go through an organization process, both mentally as well as with your physical memorabilia. You can set about getting organized through a variety of methods either using your own individual process or reaching out to family and friends for assistance. Some people, for example, send questionnaires to their family members to ensure that all the information is accurately captured. Knowing that all of your precious documents and personal photographs are properly stored, recorded and shared in your biography is reassuring. Imagine never having to wonder again if your lifetime of memories will be saved. Take charge of it today and begin your biography.


Some Final Thoughts

Assembling all of your background materials at once is not going to be easy. Make the process more manageable by dividing the work into smaller individual tasks. If you’re like most people, your background materials will be located in combinations of your home and other places, shoeboxes, sticky back albums and archival friendly scrapbooks, online documents, scanned photos, family papers, newspaper articles, letters and Internet postings. Obviously, there are more areas where materials can be located, but this does gives you a flavor of how much there typically is to go through and organize. Not everything needs to be included in your biography; as a person who has lived the life being documented, your role is to examine this information and select what you would like highlighted. Biographies should give a full account of someone’s life; however, you are in charge of the project and can determine how deep the text delves into each subject area.


How do you write a biography if you’re not a writer? Simple. Get your materials organized, including scanning your photos and related paperwork. Find an experienced, empathetic writer to trust with your project. A good writer will ensure there are clear project expectations from the start, have a written contract and agreed-upon milestones between both parties. The best biographies are the result of a collaborative writing process.


Share this blog article with someone who would enjoy learning about how to get started on a biography writing project.


 

Seeking help with your biography project? Contact Northleo Writing Inc. today: studio@northleowriting.com

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