10 Tips to write your own story or autobiography

Are you ready to write your own story or autobiography and inspire others? Follow these handy tips to make your message and story come across even better.

1. Start at the beginning

Create a timeline of major events in your life – both the highs and the lows. This will help you get an overview of what you want to share, including your personal feelings and thoughts.

2. Discover themes

Identify the themes that run through your life and subtly weave them into your story. Think of resilience, perseverance, family ties, and more. These themes give your story coherence and depth.

3. Write a powerful book pitch

Formulate one powerful sentence that mentions your target group, added value and the result of your story. This phrase for your book pitch is the basis for your back cover, website, and more.

4. Follow ‘The Hero’s Journey’

Make use of the hero’s journey, a powerful narrative pattern that many stories follow. This pattern includes the call to adventure, challenges, confrontations, and growth. Show how you have overcome obstacles and become stronger.

5. Work from back to front

Start with your back cover that includes your promise to the readers. Make sure this promise is fulfilled in your table of contents. Before you start writing, make a list of bullet points as a structure.

6. Make it personal and embrace vulnerability

Sharing your own story takes courage and vulnerability. Don’t be afraid to show yourself, even in less-than-perfect moments. Also share your challenges, failures and difficult moments. Be courageous and open about both highs and lows, both as an expert and as a person. That makes the story human and inspires others.

7. Connect your story to the reader

Translate your experiences into lessons and insights that readers can apply. Engage them in your journey by showing how your story can serve as a mirror to them or inspire them.

8. Make your voice heard

Write as you speak, with your unique voice. Be authentic and honest. Your story is personal; make it lively and engaging, as if you were sharing it with a good friend.

9. Show, don’t tell

Use vivid descriptions and examples to bring your story to life. Use your senses and allow readers to empathize with your experiences. Not simply telling them what happened, but really letting them feel what you felt.

10. Be a Hero to Others

Many writers ask themselves: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who is waiting for my message?’ You will be surprised how many people you can help with personal experiences and tips. If you don’t, the others will remain in that undesirable situation. So you are not writing the book for yourself, but to help others.

Nelson Mandela said so beautifully during his inauguration speech:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” Marianne Williamson

Don’t doubt who you are and what you have to offer. Your story can inspire and help others. Let your light shine and help others out of their unwanted situations.

Your story or autobiography helps others!

Writing your own story or autobiography is a great adventure of self-discovery and expression. Using “the hero’s journey” as your guideline, you can create a compelling and meaningful story that will touch you and others. Remember that every life is valuable and by sharing your experiences you can help and inspire others on their own path of growth and change. Keep it real and have fun writing!

Need help writing your book?

I regularly organize a live online ‘from idea to book’ workshop that you can participate in for accountability. Are you interested in 1 on 1 writing coaching, do you want to join a writing retreat, or do a writing retreat at home? You will find all the information on the ‘Write your book’ page.

What are you waiting for? Start your heroic journey today and let your story shine!

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don’t reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the ‘Reverse Writing’ method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

Learn all tips & tricks in the live online workshop

Everything you need to turn your idea into a bestseller: practical advice, examples, and inspiration about writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Check out the ‘from idea to book’ workshop.

werboek back front cover - Why you should start promoting your book while you're writing it

Personal guidance

Private writing coaching is a unique opportunity to work on your book with my personal guidance and support. Book a single strategy session or plan a series of 1-on-1 calls. Do you want the best for your book?

A writing retreat in an exotic location?

During the online writing retreat@home or an all-inclusive retreat on my favorite islands or in the French Alps, you will work with like-minded people and get 1-on-1 guidance. The daily workshops help to get started, followed by focused writing time, delicious food, and personal guidance & feedback. Where will we go?

The book ‘Reverse Writing’

Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, the super-comprehensive book ‘Reverse Writing’ and the companion workbook. You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration, and practical tips about writing, promotion, and publishing your book.

Original ideas and proven formats for your next bestseller

A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration, and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my ‘interested in writing’ list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.