Writing Books/how to start


I was wondering how one would get started writing an autobiography?  I have tried many times before and just can't get it to flow so it doesn't jump around so much.  

Dear Sandy,
Thank you for your question. You can write your memoir in chronological order, in order of what's most important, or it can skip around. There are no definite rules. One way to get it to go chronological is to make an outline of your life that goes year by year or decade by decade. In your outline, list the different places you've lived, the schools you went to, and so on.
You could also write it out of order, then put it in order. If you make a timeline of your life, you could write the events in whatever order you want, then paste them together in chronological order.
Write it just like you were writing a letter to a friend.
Writing your memoir is good for your close associates, as well as family, and future generations of your family.
If you want to reach a larger audience, then you need to turn your autobiography into a novel. Memoirs do not have a wide enough appeal for publishers. However, if you can spin a plot out of your life story, it could reach a larger audience. At my site I have posted the Fiction Writer's Workshop, which will show you how to plan a plot, scenes, characters, dialogue, etc. See:
It's good to write your memoir first, then decide whether your life story would make a good novel.
I hope this helps.

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


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.

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

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

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

Awards and Honors
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.

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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.