Writing stories about your life is different from other forms of writing most people have done. Because it’s so different, when you first begin writing your stories, they may sound stiff and self-conscious as you struggle on many fronts. You have many story ideas, but you may be unsure of the details or the importance of a particular story, and you may not know quite how to put the story into words.
You may struggle with the act of writing, feeling words jammed in your mind, unwilling to flow forth onto paper — a sort of mental constipation. You may feel awkward about your writing, wanting it to be perfect, but afraid you’ll fall short. You may fear that your family now, and certainly future generations, will read what you’ve written and find you dull, boring, or worse. Perhaps they’ll read three sentences, then fling it all aside in disgust!
Take heart! It gets easier with time and practice. When you write regularly, whether two hours a day, or an hour on Sunday afternoons, you’ll fall into a rhythm, and find the words flow more easily, at least most of the time. You may still hit occasional patches of writer’s block, but they’ll seem shorter and easier, and you’ll have confidence that they’ll end.
After you’ve spent dozens of hours pondering alternate wordings, smoother word flow, sentence construction, and similar things, you’ll begin thinking and speaking more fluently, and have less need to edit your writing.
As you reach for crisp, colorful, evocative descriptions, you’ll begin to notice that you puzzle over descriptions for objects around you, even when you aren’t writing about them. You’ll begin thinking and speaking in more colorful terms.
Before long, you’ll think like a writer, and your stories will gain polish. Never fear that they’ll no longer sound like you. As your writing develops, so will your conversation. You’ll begin using more interesting descriptions of things all the time, and find yourself mentally rehearsing smoother ways to put things as you speak.
Writing stories about your life not only records the life you’ve already lived, it changes the way you look at life and talk about it. It may even change the way you live it.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal