Writing Books/Biography

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Question
Recently, I decided to embark on the journey of writing a my auto-biography.  The only problem is, I'm stuck at the beginning.  I don't really have any book writing experience, and am having a hard time finding resources online (aside from this one). What would you suggest for a FIRST TIME book writer as a means to 'get the ball rolling'? Are there any online resources/books that you could suggest?

Thank You Kindly,

Jeanne' A. Spencer

Answer
Dear Jeanne,
Thanks for your question. There are several levels of writing your autobiography. The first is to write a memoir. You write it in chronological order (or any order that works) and it's written informally, like a letter. This is valuable for you and for your children and future descendents. It leaves a record of what life was like for you. Imagine how great it would be to find such a document written by one of your ancestors.
A memoir is easy to write. Just pick a child, grandchild, or yet-unborn descendent and start writing. Be as truthful and honest as you can, including the hard parts. You may also start with an outline. Start with the year you were born and note down the most important events from each year, then write about them one by one.
If you write for several hours a week, you should be able to finish in six months or a year. You can print your book out for chosen relatives and friends and keep a copy on file in your personal records.
If you feel your story is compelling and you want to reach a larger audience, you must take it to the next leve. That is, you need to turn your autobiography into a novel. This is a lot more work and takes a higher level of writing skill.
At my site I have posted the Fiction Writer's Workshop that will help you get started with characters, plot, scenes, dialogue, etc. See:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
This can become very time consuming and selling it can be a challenge. The novel writing market is very competitive, especially for first time authors. However, it can be done.
A good way to start is to write your memoir. If you decide to go on to novel writing, you can use your memoir as notes for deciding how to structure your novel.
If you want to discuss further, please feel free to write back again.
Sincerely,
Nori  

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Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Organizations
Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Publications
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories


Education/Credentials
UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
Interviews:
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

Publishers:
ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

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