This is the eighth installment of our serialisation of our upcoming book The Recordalife Guide to Creating Your Memoirs. Every post will be a section from this book, which we will make available at the end of the serialisation.
Now Create A Timeline Of Events And Happenings
Time is the one thing we all have an equal share of. We all have 24 hours in our day. Therefore, we should all utilise time in a way that will allow us to shape and record events and happenings in our life.
The creation of a timeline of events and happenings should be done in a positive and sequential order that reflects the direction of your final draft. This does not happen by simply sitting down and writing anything but actually following the steps in this guide designed to help you to maintain organization focus.
You can create a simple timeliness by writing each year of your life on a page and putting down the main events that took place that year. Or as in the picture above create a box for each year in a document. This will then act as a simple list of life events that you can use to then write the main texts of your memoirs. It is incumbent upon you, as the person writing the autobiography, to make sure that you create a broad and highly detailed timeline. This does not happen overnight.
This is why first we want you to make your memoirs to give you a rough outline of events from childhood to adult. You can then take this information and go backwards from your most recent memories all the way to the ones you can barely remember as a child.
We’ve already discussed the importance of listing the events of your childhood and how they shape your thinking. Keep in mind that your timeline is a generalised outline of your life and does not have to be highly accurate but somewhere within the ballpark. This is why you may need to embellish certain memories and create them in such a way that they hold to the general theme of your life and support your final conclusions that readers are looking for.
Again let us stress the importance of honesty, as much is possible. but you also have a story to tell and that requires a bit of flair and some imagination on how to impress readers.
The timeline should reach into the past and pull out teachable and learnable moments from the experiences that you’ve had.
Some people who’ve written autobiographies completely rewrite their childhood and adult memories so that they are much more congruent and reflective of the reader’s wants and desires.
This is not necessarily a bad thing but is a way for you to focus on key events and nuggets of learning that will drive your readers to the same conclusions that you have.
This will also set readers up to purchase additional related products and services if it means that they support similar viewpoints and want to become more like you.
This is a form of organisational structure that leads to the correct narrative and also the right conclusions that people should reach that will benefit you and your written material.
Remember that the key point is to shape and mold the focus of the content that you are providing readers so that they reach not only similar conclusions but have the same emotional reactions that you did.
So when creating your timeline, you must take into account logical reasons for people to reach certain conclusions and then support them with words and photographs that allows them to experience the same highs and lows that you did in your life.
Never forget that your main goal is to entertain and inform and that’s what keeps people turning pages even if the narrative is all about you.
In Part 9 we will look at techniques for reviewing your past life events in the context of who you are today and what you want to get across in your autobiography – almost “reverse engineering” your life.
In the meantime, Recordalife provides services that take care of writing your memoirs for you, making it easy and enjoyable – we interview you using our proven method, and capture your memories and history, and record them into wonderful keepsakes in the form of full-colour hardback books and ebooks, and audio CDs and MP3 files. We love chatting with people about their lives, so if you have any questions or need advice, please do Contact Us for a friendly chat.
You can also see a sample Life Story chapter by clicking on the link below, to get a good idea of how your memoirs may look in a professionally-designed, edited and printed book.
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