Writing Books/My Life


I am writing a book about my life as I remember.  I was pushed by my mother in law to do so. I can write a lot of things but need help making sure the book flows well. How/where do I get that help? 1st book, no prior knowledge but interesting life events.  How do I get the help I need?

Dear Lauralee,

I must say this first: If you don't have a pretty intense, inner need to write your life story, you shouldn't attempt it; a person just can't be pushed into taking on this kind of personal venture.

Any writing, particularly autobiographym can be enormously cathartic, helpful and insightful to the person writing it, but if you have no interest or desire to do so, you just won't be able to do it. It should (and does) come from a very private and creative space within you; it should feel as though you can't keep yourself from writing. If you don't feel that way, it's likely just not time for you to do this.

Some people who feel they aren't up to writing their own autobiography but have ideas about what they want to say choose to pay a professional ghostwriter to handle this as a work project. This requires a financial commitment on your part, as well as a pretty thorough outline regarding your life, usually in chronological order, highlighting those interesting life events. If you choose this route, you will also need to be comfortable with putting your life story, so to speak, in someone else's hands, and let them use their own words to provide commentary on your life.

In addition, you will need to maintain a pretty close, but temporary, relationship with the ghostwriter, who, at many instances, will have legitimate questions that you will need to answer to bring the project to completion.

I don't want to discourage you or encourage you; I'm trying to answer this from an objective, neutral point of view, but as a writer myself, I just can't stress to you enough that no one can force you to put down words that you just don't have the interest or the "itch" to write, either yourself or in concert with a ghostwriter.

Follow your heart on this one. It's your life, and your life story. That's a precious thing.  

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin

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Catherine Van Herrin


I am an American-born, native English speaker with a BA in English and more than 26 years of professional editing, writing, and proofreading experience. I have edited several books and book-length manuscripts. References and titles available upon request.

For further work or assistance with larger projects, see my profile here, with 190 excellent reviews: WordChannel Professional Reviews, Ratings

I can use British-English or American-English, and I am very familiar with Chicago and AP style.


More than 26 years' U.S. publishing industry experience, editorial (print). I provide crystal-clear, clean grammar; strict attention to style, consistency, flow, logic, accuracy, and spelling, and I work quickly and efficiently.

I do not format or provide technical assistance in publishing books. I use MS Word only.

If I can help you further, contact me at the website above (create a job request) or write to me at ceg33@myway.com. My rate is $0.008 per word. Send requests/inquiries to ceg33@myway.com. I accept currency only through PayPal, with 50% of the total at project initiation; the balance is due upon project completion.

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AA, Liberal Arts, Anderson College, Anderson, South Carolina. BA, English, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Post-graduate concentration: Post-war Irish poetry and early 18th century English fiction, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.

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