Your Life Story Can Take Many Shapes and Sizes

Flora M Brown, Ph.D.
7 min readJan 9, 2020
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

On the surface it seems writing your life story should be easy. After all, you’re the main character and all the experiences that make up your story are filed in your memory. And yet, most of us struggle with where and how to start.

There are many reasons for that, but two primary ones stand out.

1. You think your life is boring and unlikely to be of interest to anyone else, perhaps not even to your family. I was having lunch with a few retirees when one of them, upon learning I help people write their life stories, said, “My life has been dull. No one would want to read it.”

Yet a few seconds later he added, “Now, if you asked me what it was like to work at Disneyland for 30 years, I could talk all day long.”

“Then that is where you begin your life story,” I said.

TV and Hollywood productions, with all their fast action, music, skilled actors, and special effects, have made many of us believe our lives are boring. That’s absolutely not true. Those fictional accounts are no comparison to the real experiences of our lives.

As you write your life story, focus on whatever times and events you wish, and you will begin to see beauty and meaning in things you once took for granted.

My mother at age 3 with her mother, my grandmother

My maternal grandmother, pictured here with my mother at age three, died a few years later when giving birth to my uncle. My mother and I would love to have known about her life, her values, her aspirations, and more. Thankfully, we have this photo.

2. You are insecure about your writing skills.

“Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’ — which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.”~Maya Angelou

No one is a born writer. Start writing your life story and you’ll become a better writer as you go along. Besides, the content of your story is more important to your loved ones than the quality of your writing. If you decide to publish your story, you can engage the services of an editor and proofreader to make it ready for the public eye.

Flora M Brown, Ph.D.

Author, course creator, and life story coach guiding memory keepers to write about the activities, choices, and beliefs that shaped their lives.