There are as many ways to start and autobiography as people on earth. Oh my gosh! Which one to choose? Which one is “mine”? Why am I so stuck?
Because you don’t know that actually you have already started to write it. You started with that letter you wrote to yourself before making an important decision, you started while writing your diary or thinking about it hundred billions times in your head.
So, before you even think about anything else, before you even make a conscious decision that, yes, indeed, you want to write it, just take a breath. And another one. And another one… Pause what you are reading now and take eight long breaths, letting the air go though all you cells and breath out all your doubts. They are not useful for you right here, right now. When you have done it, resume your reading and I will tell you where to start….
Well, here is where you start: you get a folder, or a bag, or a box and you give it a place. Will it need to be hidden? If so, make it very unappealing to the members of your family or leave it at the place of a friend. If it doesn’t, give it anyway a reserved place. It is your work in process and you don’t want people peep in too much. At some point, if you so wish, you will show it to others. However the first and most important reader of your autobiography is your self. Treat your self as a precious and intimate lover. You will have a long walk to walk together!
In that folder, as they come, put pictures, diaries, poems you wrote when you were ten years old and anything that is meaningful for you, anything you want to remember. The picture of your wedding or the toy you gave your first child when was born, the last present your grandmother gave you. Your age doesn’t matter. You might want to write about the first twelve or the first hundred years of your life. If you don’t have the object itself, or it is not practical to put it in your intimate box, then take a piece of paper and you write down either the name, or some written text about it.
The second step, the second, not the first one, is that you take a notebook there you note anything interesting for you to write about your story. Do not think about the beginning of the book, or the story that you want to tell, or when to end it. You don’t know it yet. If some ideas come you write it down and you put it in your box or you write it in you notebook.
When you have done it, just let me know.
How was it for you? Have you enjoyed the process? Have you found it difficult? What emotions came from this exercise?
I am curious to know how you lived this experience! Write to me here, I will reply to you…