Writing from Life: Discover the ideal writing style for you and your life story | Elizabeth Bezant | Skillshare

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Writing from Life: Discover the ideal writing style for you and your life story

teacher avatar Elizabeth Bezant, Writer and House-sitter

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 54m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. 2 -The Questions To Ask Yourself

    • 3. 3 - Autobiography

    • 4. 4 - Family History

    • 5. 5 - Personal Essays

    • 6. 6 - Fiction Based On Fact

    • 7. 7 - Articles

    • 8. 8 - Journaling

    • 9. 9 - The Project

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About This Class

Autobiography, family history, journaling… there are many writing styles you can use to share your life story. The question is, though, which style best suits you, your story, your life style and what you’d like to achieve from the finished product?

This course covers the six most popular life-writing styles.


  • what each one is,
  • examples,
  • tips,
  • why you might use it,
  • the pros and cons,
  • what you can do with your writing once you’ve finished it.

Use the many years of experience I’ve gained as a writer and writing coach to avoid finding yourself halfway through your life-writing and wondering how on earth you're going to finish it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elizabeth Bezant

Writer and House-sitter



Hi, my name’s Elizabeth Bezant and I’m an internationally-published, freelance writer and writing coach, currently house-sitting full-time across Australia.

For the past two decades, or so, I’ve had a wonderful time inspiring and informing writers (in person, in print and online).

Over the years I’ve had a diverse range of articles, stories, columns and educational features published in countless magazines, anthologies and newspapers across the world. The ones I’m proudest of were included in: Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Living Abroad, and Grace magazines; America’s Chicken Soup for the Soul, Chocolate for the Woman&rsqu... See full profile

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1. Introduction: So you're going to write about your life. If that's the case, there really are four important questions you should ask yourself before you start writing or before you get too many words on the page. Hi, my name is Elizabeth present and I am a writer and a writing coach who specializes in writing life stories. So which way of writing did you pick? Autobiography, family history, journaling, personal essays. There really are a wide variety of styles of writing that you can pick one, pick from, and each one is as valid as the next. The question is though, which style of writing really suits your story and your writing best? And that is what this course is about. It covers a wide variety of writing styles and formats. It covers the pros and cons of each. It covers the final product and what she can do with your writing once you've completed it. Plus of course, it does include the four vital questions and how they'll impact on your writing. And a small project at the end to help clarify everything covered in the course. So if that sounds like the kind of thing you're interested in, stay tuned and I'll meet you on the other side. 2. 2 -The Questions To Ask Yourself: Welcome back and congratulations on deciding to write about your life. No mean feat. And I'm sure an interesting story to tell. Over my years as a writing coach, I've traveled around Australia are fair bit. And it seems to me that the majority of questions I get asked have always been about writing a life story and primarily how to finish a story once you've started it. Because let's face it, most people, when they think about writing and live story, they think autobiography, which of course is an awful lot of pages, an IEP for more words. So it's not a short quick project that you can do over the weekend. It's a larger project that needs a lot of focus and a lot of determination to keep going. But their natural factor, but many ways you can write about your life and record your story. They all take the time that an autobiography takes. There are intact ways that you can write about your life that are a weekend project as opposed to writing autobiographies and family histories that take decades. The choice is yours, of course, bat. The choice also really needs to be based on a few simple questions that reflect on what you're writing, why your writing, and your choices on how you write. And that's the first lesson that I want to cover here. So question number one. Why are you writing about your life? Are you writing about your life to leave your story for future generations? A common reason for writing about your life, because of course, we all want to be remembered one way or another. And as time goes, it's easy for bits and of our story to be forgotten, which I guess is why a lot of people start writing about their life when they retire? No, totally does it keep them busy? But he was also a time in their life when they realize how important it is to record everything they've been through and how life has changed around them. Because let's face it, if we look at life today, it's very different from how it was 50 years ago, 80 years ago, just as it will be in 50 years time from how it is now. So part of the reason for recording your life is also to remind them of how life is. And then of course might be you want to write about your life so that you can share everything you've learned. Perhaps you've been through some experience that you think would benefit others to know about. And in many ways, the best way to share that is through writing about your life, not necessarily the whole of your life may be just a few years, a few decades. But by putting it into a perspective of how you learned and what you experienced, it makes it easier for the other person and the readers to absorb the lesson that we're trying to teach. And now the reason that you might have chosen to write about your life story is because you like writing and your story seems as good a story is any to write about. And in actual fact, as writers, it's often mentioned that the best thing to write about is what we know most. So I guess it's tends to reason, therefore, that we want to write out our lives. Plus of course, a benefit of writing about our lives or simply enjoying writing is that it gives us something to do, something, to focus on, something to keep our brain active. A long-term project or a short-term project, which I think these days is always important, especially to keep the mind active. And another reason you're writing about your life might be because you love genealogy. Because you've been looking back over the generations to find out who's related to whom, who lived where, when, all those kind of things. You might have a whole family history drawn out in front of you and think, well, the best way to share that and to record all the research that you've done is an actual fact to write it all down in a book or in some kind of written form. Or maybe you are choosing to write, bounce your life because it seems a good thing to write about. And because he wanted to make money and be published, we only have to look at bookstores or libraries, or online stores to realize how many books are written about people's lives and what they've done. Hugely, of course, it appears that the books are written by the famous people who have lots of money or the infamous people who don't have so much money usually, but not always. But there are stories out there written purely about everyday people. Not always books. Often the stories and articles are written in magazines. But again, it is a valid reason for writing about your life. And finally, maybe you're writing something like because everybody else is writing and because everybody else tells me to which, yeah, is it a good reason in itself? But may not give you quite as much motivation in writing your story as it would if it was something you truly wanted to do, something that you focused on, something that was important to you. But then of course, it's possible that all those people out there who are writing and saying you should be writing your story. Now, I write, and once you start putting the words on the page, you absolutely love it. Either way, the first question you need to ask yourself is, why are you writing about chore line? The second question is, who are you writing your story for? And this relates as much to who is your ideal reader, who is your target market, and who are you writing for? It's tempting to say when asked this question, but I'm writing for everybody because my stories really good and it's worth reading. Which may be true. And it certainly would love it to be. But when you're writing, it is important to know who you're writing for so that you can actually target that reader and write what they want to read. So are you writing for your family? Are you writing for the general public? Are you writing? Hope to get your work published by a traditional publishing house, as in the kind of place where you would send off the manuscript and they would print your work, sell your books, do the whole thing, and just send you royalties? Or are you writing it purely because she liked writing and you don't really care if anybody reads it because your enjoyment comes from putting the words on the page. So, who are you writing for? Who is your target market? This varies because if you're writing for publication, you have guidelines in the way you write and the way your work is Presented. Whereas if you're writing for yourself or you're writing for your family, there's no need to provide for that specific market. You can spell the words you want to spell your punctuation doesn't have to match exactly the punctuation we can't required by the publishing house. You don't have to have the same wordcount that are publishing house or a magazine require you can write long stories, you can write short stories, you can write anecdotes. It's entirely up to you. But unless you know who your target market is, you don't know what kind of lighting is required. So that is the reason that question is so important. Then we come down to the next question of, how much time do you have to put in to writing your story? Is this a project that you're willing to put 10 years into writing? Is this a project that you're willing to write every morning or every evening? Is this a project that you're willing to put an hour in every day to write indefinitely? Or is this more of a project that you just want to write over the weekend? Maybe you're going away on a retreat somewhere and we want to sit down in the corner under a tree and just write what you want to write and record your stories. Maybe your recuperating. And we've been told to stay home for six weeks and you go, well, I'm going to go board if I don't do something. So I'm going to write my story. Or I mean, there were so many options. If you write him for publication as an ongoing business, obviously that's going to be different. From writing stories for your grandchildren. And chances are, it will also have an impact on how much motivation you have. Like I say, when I was traveling around and doing workshops across Australia, a lot of people came to me because they were struggling to finish that autobiography. Because keeping yourself motivated for years is a big thing, which I guess is partially the reason why a lot of people join autobiography groups or writing groups, whether they're in-person and online. Because they go somewhere, they have to write that can't get out of it. And that's the beauty of going to a group and work and with others. But also there's the possibility that if the person had decided to write in a different style, they'd be so excited about writing each story that the Peano problems with motivation, or perhaps they trying to write a family history with all the logic and the details when really all they want to do is write stories. As I said earlier. How you write your story is as personal as the story that you're writing. And it's important to get that organized into, get it clear in your mind what you want to do before you start put in the words on the page or have too many words on the page. Because it helps with the motivation and enables you to finish the project tempi proud afford to freedom. And the final question that I want to ask you is, what do you hope to achieve by writing your life story? Which sounds similar to why are you writing it, but there are some variations. What is it that you hope to achieve? Is it purely that you want to legacy to be left so that people don't forget how wonderful you are. Is it that you want to have your work published so that your name is out there and you get paid for doing what you want to do. Is it that you've got all this research and information you've gathered over the years about your family and your families, family and new genealogy. And you want to collate it. The advantage of knowing why you are writing and what you want to have finished when you finish writing project is that it gives you something to focus on. It gives you something to aim for. And again, it enables you to write a way that suits what you want to finish up with. I mean, let's face it, wouldn't it be awful to write your life story thinking it would be great for your grandchildren, only to realize when you finish that the words you've used way too long for them to understand at the age they are, or perhaps the wording you're using might have been familiar for you when you were growing up, but the younger generation have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. If these days that happens, you don't have to be too old to use the wrong words, but it's something to bear in mind. So there you have it. Those are your four important questions. So maybe it's time to make yourself a kappa and sit down with a notepad and come up with the answers to the poll questions. Why are you writing about from life? Who is your target market? How much time have you got to put into writing about your life and what is the final product that you want to achieve. Coming up next, I will have different ways you can write about your life. The different styles, the different formats, how one is different from another, and how each one might suit your writing style and the finished product and want to achieve. 3. 3 - Autobiography: Welcome back. And here we go with some information about autobiography writing. As I said earlier, writing your autobiography is the most common way that people write about their life or parts of it. And it doesn't in theory have to be about your whole life. Just the important, interesting minutes. In some of my past courses I've had people say, I want more examples, give me more examples I wanted to list and understand exactly what you're talking about. So for that reason, I've decided that I want to share with you one story that happened away ago in my past and how it would be written differently for each style of fighting the town. But covering the story is basically about a rabbit that decided to adopt us when my children were small. And if it was written for an autobiography, this is how it might be red. It was a warm spring day early in October. But when I first met Houdini, although at the time we hadn't given him his name. It was one of those days when I had more writing deadlines than inspiration. And as I sat staring vaguely out the window, I was surprised to find him staring back at me. I'd never been particularly keen on animals. Not since the two dead rabbits and three dead goldfish of my childhood. But as Houdini intermittently stared at me, I saw no reason to run him off. I checked him regularly throughout the morning, but a few hours later when I returned from relationally bowl of soup disappeared in search of sweet grass. I assumed. Most of the times when we think about autobiographies, we think about the glossy heart banks that we see on the bookshelves written by famous people who have interesting and they're written stories to tell on that captured the imagination. And that everybody wants to read, or in theory, laughter to make the publication of that book justified to cover the costs. But teaching know that the average autobiography includes over 50 thousand words. It could go up as high as 80 or a 100 thousand words. But 50 thousand words is a good starting point. And if you want to get an idea of how many pages, 50 thousand words is, well, that is a 100 pages double-spaced. Can you imagine that many pages coming off your print, off the printer of your computer. That's a lot of work and a lot of time. Obviously if you're writing for yourself and for your family and you're thinking of self-publishing your work, it really doesn't matter how many words you put into your autobiography. But if you are looking at going to a traditional publishing house, as I said earlier, somewhere that you send off your manuscript. They like it. They edited, they proofread, did they publish it and promote it and give you a royalty? Then you do have to be aware of the guidelines that they require for your manuscript to fit within. The advantage, of course, is that if you choose to publish your work yourself, is that you are guaranteed that it will be published. Or at least more guaranteed then if you sent it off to a publishing house. Because so many stories do get rejected and you might have to send it to a variety of places before somebody accepts it. These days, it is possible to just have a computer program that you put your manuscript in and it will produce a book for you. And that is really simple and straightforward, that has changed so much over the last 20 years. And then once you have your story in book form, you can either printed out or you can download it, or you can put it on a store that will print out the book for you. Or you can make it into an e-book. As I say, many varieties. Who knows dependent on when you're watching this course hits possible. There were even more options out there for you. The question is though, why would you choose to write your life story in an autobiographical form? Simple way, only one. Because you want to shake your entire story. You don't want to share snippets of it. You don't want to share the first few decades, the last few decades, the important bits that quiet bits in-between, the important bits you want to share the entire story, which of course in many cases is exactly what an autobiography years to. You enjoy writing and have plenty of time to do it. In other words, the idea of having such a large project ahead of you is inspiring and creative and provides the excitement that you want. I mean, let's face, it wouldn't be wonderful just to sit down and write whenever you want to write and focus on that. Another reason is you're looking for that long-term project. You want something to keep your mind for a long time to come. And finally, the other main reason that you're looking at writing your autobiography is because you want to have a go at writing your autobiography. You want to have a go at having it published. You want to have a go but getting it published, you want to have a go at creating it yourself. You want to see your whole story in a book. So simply put, because you want to write your autobiography or simple clear ideas. And hopefully enough to get you thinking about why you've chosen to write your autobiography. The benefits of it. Again, quite simple really on the whole. Number one is it's a complete sequential in-depth record of your life. Starts when you are born. Finish when you've finished writing it. You might have more than one autobiography. You might write one every decade, every couple of decades, because hey, that's the way that suits you best. You might continually add chapters on the end. Either way. That is one of the reasons because it is a complete story of your life. A to B. Another reason is because It's easier to read. Because let's face it, most of us find reading a story or a story like book easier to read than constant facts? I don't think that's true of everybody, but I think it's true of the majority of people. Stories that are easier to understand there were easier for us to put our self in the middle of that, easier for us to imagine what if these things happened in our life? Another reason might be because it provides everything in a conventional book format, something that we've had around us for generations. Books have always been there, whether they were hand written at the beginning or whether they were traditionally printed towards the end? Yes, we're moving slowly on towards eBooks, audiobooks, and downloadable things. But a book format has been around forever as far as we can remember. Another reason for writing your autobiography is simply because it requires little research, you know that story beyond trying to remember whether it was your holiday in 1989 or your holiday in 1987 or whether it was when you were on the bus number 99 or boss Number 27, it's information that, you know, chances are you have reminders floating around your house that will enable you to put together the story that you want to tell and remind you of the information. Plus of course, there are some excellent packs of writing prompts out there that will trigger the memories. So yes, it works well, it's a story, you know, and as I said earlier, we write best what we mostly know. Having covered the benefits, Let's have a look at the negatives. And I'm pretty sure by now you will know my first negative when it comes to autobiography writing is, it is a long project. And perhaps that's not actually a negative, like I say, for some people, that would be the main reason for writing it. But for most people, being able to keep yourself focused and motivated. For all that time, takes an awful lot of doing and requires some planning ahead, as in joining a writing group, setting yourself a regular writing routine or those kind of things. So not in theory a proper negative, but definitely something that needs to be considered and fitting in along with that is the fact that you might occasionally be find yourself getting incredibly frustrated, drained, and find the whole thing quite tedious. It doesn't mean it is, but again, it's something that you as a writer need to be aware of. Especially if you're writing purely for the fun of it. Which I guess in many cases is why people often tend to write an autobiography that is not their whole life. It is a section, the important bits and less words. So less time for, um, focus. But tying along with that aspect of finding things tedious and draining is the fact that quite often when a person writes about their autobiography, it can be very hard to define what information to put in and what information to leave out. Now obviously, if you're writing your story, you're writing it from the first-person you writing. I did this. I did that. And it is just your story. There might have been other things going on in the world, but they are not as important in this style of writing as what you did. And this is part of the challenge of found with a lot of people, is that they get so engrossed in painting the whole picture that there's more information in there to distract the reader away from your story. We don't need to know that the House four or five down from your house had a blue door. Unless it actually has something to do with a story that you're shaving in your writing, just as we don't need to know what date Mr. or Mrs. B. Got married unless it relates specifically to you being there or some aspect of your story. We don't need to know what color cat the neighbors had unless it relate specifically to your story and some aspect or way. It's so easy for your story to get bogged down with extra information and to distract the reader. And it may improve your chances of getting your 50 thousand words on the page. But does it improve your story? Does it relate specifically to what you did and how you live your life? Again, it's not something that everybody has a problem with. It's not something that everybody finds themselves doing as they write their story, but it is something to be aware of. But there you go. Now that you have my list of pros and cons for autobiographical writing. One more thing to consider. What can you do with an autobiography? Once you've finished all those words, once you've printed off all those pages and edited them and proof, read them, the whole thing. What can you do with them? Well, as we have mentioned already in this lesson, it is possible to send it off to a publishing house, providing you fit their guidelines and provide him I like it though is the chance that they might publish it for you. Another option is that you really don't want to go that way and you want to self-publish yourself, which means you organize the editing, you organize the layout to you organize the publishing, you organize the promotion, you do everything, and even the settling. That way. Of course, you do get more money from your cell hopefully. But there is the possibility that unless you have a huge range of people out there who are eager to buy your book, that you won't make more money. Because even though you get her high percentage cell of each, there is the possibility that you will sell less. On the other hand, you might put the story together purely for your family. We did this one year for a grandma and put together her autobiography that she'd been writing for years. It wasn't the entire autobiography, but it was the important bit that she wanted us to know. It was her story that she wanted shed. So we put it together and it became an 80th birthday present and every poverty in the family received copy. Yeah, it's a great gift. It's something that's wonderful. And if you're doing it for your family, it works well. You've got the freedom to publish what you want, how you want to include what you want. Now, there's more freedom. Another option might be purely that you put together your autobiography so that you have a record of your life, something that has all the details in that you want to remember so that you can use it as a basis for more writing that you do for different kinds of writing, for shorter stories. Something along those lines, it might be that you are enjoying the challenge of writing your story from woe to go. And now you want to do more with it. In itself, a good enough reason for purchasing the words on the page. So there you go. Does that answer some of your questions on water and autobiographies, what you can do with it, why it's different from others? Does it give you more ideas whether it suits your style of writing and your story? Hopefully it does. Anyway. Next, I'll be looking at writing your family history, so please stay tuned and I'll see you on the other side. 4. 4 - Family History: Welcome back. In the previous video, I was mentioning how often it's easy to include too much information in your autobiography. You're including too many details, too many distractions. So that picture is too big for your reader to follow your story. And which is why a lot of people choose, instead of writing that autobiography to actually write their family history. Family histories tend not to be written from first-person point of view. It's not just one person's story. It's everybody's story. It's the whole family's story. It's what's happening around you. Again, there are boundaries to how far your story spreads, but includes more information and more of a lifeline than just that one person's. In many ways, it's like comparing an article on a topic with a short story that touches on the topic. Both have their place. Both have readers who love reading what is written. But one is more left-brain when the other one is more right-brain, one includes more information, one includes more personal descriptions. Cosine, both have their place, both a different, and it's important to know which one you want to do before you start, obviously, because it changes what you include. If you love facts, then it's possible that the family history is more suited. If you love writing and reading fiction, then chances are the tool though your autobiography is true, your style of writing will suit that more than the family history. And to keep those people happy who's saying they wanted more examples? Here is an example of how the preview. Here is an example of how the previous rabbits story might be included if it was included in a family history, chances are somewhat limited because obviously there's a lot of information going into a family history and whether it would write highly enough to be included is a personal thing. But if it was, it would be something along the lines of Elizabeth lived in the suburbs with her family and turn occassionally visiting rapid. So a lot shorter, only, not even a whole sentence compared to the previous last pattern graph. So why would you write your family history? Well, as I've said before, if you love research, if you love facts, if you've done all the research and you want somewhere to put it, It's a great way to write a book. It's a great way to record all the information, to collate it for future generations so that everybody knows who was related to who and who did what and who would wear. Because there's nothing worse than a family progressing. And as the generations pass on. Not know who was related to who this person go off toward where each country did this person live with? What age did they die, and when was their birthday? Yeah, there were a lot of things, pieces of information that we and our generation take for granted. But we'll two generations down the track, know that information provided and they think it's of interest, of course, which of course we all are. It's easy for information to get lost, especially with the world becoming easier place to travel. People traveled the world, generations, split, families is split. Not always somebody there who keeps the information together. And this is a genuine current reason why family history is so important because it does collate all the important information. And if you love to in the research, what better way is to write it and store it. It's certainly easier for future generations to read a book to find the information rather than to have to go out and source the details themselves. Another reason that you might want to write the family history is because you don't want it written in flowery prose or, you know, you want the whole story of everybody. This, this, this, and this, this is what happened, then you want those details to be known to be correct? There is no leeway in what date, what day, who was where? Who lived, where, who married who? There is no date. There is no variance. These are the specific details they can be relied upon. They are exact. And now the reason is because you don't want your story to be just about one person. You want it to be about family. And by writing this way, you include everybody. And it works very well. It gives a general picture, a general painting of how things are. And finally, a lot of people like family histories, because they want to learn about the family. They want to know about their past. And this is the fun of the project. You have a reason for doing the research, you have an outcome to plan towards. It's like people who love being investigators. They want to go and find out why this happened to so and so and why this happened to so and so why did it happen here and not there? If you have that investigator and flare, this is a great opportunity to use it and a great reason for using it. Well, there you have it. A handful of reasons why you might want to write your family history as opposed to any other way of life story writing. Now, I suppose you want to know the benefits. Yes, there are more good things. One of the reasons is that because it's a book of facts, people who previously felt that they can't put together a book about lives because they're not creative. Can in fact, what they might have thought was a negative before is actually a positive. Not everybody can write factual information, articles, books fluently. It takes a certain skill and certain ability. So if you're that kind of person, then this style of writing is perfect for you. Another benefit is that if you've done all the research, it's a great way to store the information together. It's a great way to collected. Another benefit is that if you like, as I mentioned earlier, being an investigator and sorting out things and I'm doing puzzles, finding the answers. This will be fun. It could enable you to unearth secrets that have been hidden in your family for generations. It couldn't enable you to find out the reasons why a situation between two families blew out of control. It could enable you to find out why people get on with people, why if somebody moved away, there was so much to it. You can find the reasons why these things happen. You could be the one who solves the lifetime of curiosity infrequently. Then finally, a really valid and good reason is that because you want to write about your life, you truly want to write about your life. But it's too sensitive and too personal for you to be able to share that story yet. But if you write the family history first, it enables you to edge forward slowly. It enables you to touch on topics. And by writing your family histories enables you to be open to writing your autobiography or writing about your life. So by writing one, you are closer to being able to write the other ways. You might never have been able to write about your life otherwise, by approaching the logical factual side of family history writing, you are able therefore, to approach the creative, personal side of autobiographical writing. Hand now to the negatives. If that's the way you want to label them. As with an autobiography, a family history is an extremely big project. Again, it can take years. But there is the possibility, of course, that because you've been doing your research, that you have all the paperwork on hand. And that is the time-consuming aspect of it in many respects because once you have the details, putting the words on the page can often be a lot easier. Not always, but can because it's logically introduced information. But there's no two ways about it. Even if you have the information in front of you, it can still take years. Certainly many, many months of extreme focus, but it can also take years. There's also the possibility that even after many years of research on countless hours, look to find an answer that you might not ever find. What you're looking for. You might never be able to find out if your great, great talent on your father's side, whose name was Kathy? Spelt her name with a K or a C. Was she actually born in 1922 or was it 1921? You might never be able to find these details. And despite the fact that many people, they would be overlooked, it is possible that they might navigate to. And there is the need to accept that once you've completed your work and you've written all those words and maybe published it, you might finally come up with the answer. And you just have to accept that that detail in that book, which may be only you know about, is wrong. Again, minor point, but it is something that I'm seeing Nagar way of people and it does bother them. Another thing that might make it the writing of the book less fun is the fact that if you want to know details of previous generations or why did generations, and you actually approach people in your family or friends that were involved, they might not be as eager to find the answers as you. They, you might ask somebody a simple question and hope that they can give you an answer over the phone immediately. They might say, I've just got to go and check that with so, and so I've just got to go and check my books, check milliliters, check my references. And yet after a month or two, they still haven't got back to you. Because like I say, people work at different speeds, people have different priorities. So that's another aspect that you really need to be aware of and be ready for. Not necessarily negative, but something that you need to be aware of. People work at different speeds. And whilst that one simple question may be, all that's in your head, that they live in this road or was it this road South? That might be all you're thinking about? Because that TO YOU holds up your whole story to somebody else. It's no big deal. There were no rush. Why would they rush? But it doesn't mean anything to them. And it requires an understanding of both sides basically. And it's an aspect, but it doesn't need to be considered. It may never happen. And everybody might work at the same pace as you. If you can find a way rounded example, find the question is you want to ask before you go into h, the need them. Well, that works well. But if you can, if you want your answer straight away because everything else ways upon it, it could be a challenge. So you've written your family history, it's all put together. It's all sorted the words all on the page. And let's say for example, you have your 50 thousand words in front of you and you're a 100 pages double-spaced. What are you gonna do with it? What can you do with it? Well, firstly, it's worth reminding yourself that it creates an excellent and everlasting record of your family. No matter what you do with it, you have that family history. You can do with it what you want. But having all those details together, that is the main thing, that is the achievement. So that whether you choose to just lead them for future generations in manuscript form, whether you choose to put them into book form, whether you choose to approach a publisher who might be interested. You may even choose to break them up into small sections and publish them regularly. You might choose to put it together and use it as a special gift, as with the autobiography, as a celebration of an event of a year of a time for your family, for the village, for the town, and make a huge deal out of it. But on the other hand, your main goal for writing it may be simply that you want to bring the family together. You want them all to be reunited and to know who the other people are. This is the benefit, of course, of a family history over an autobiography because it encompasses everybody, not just one person. Well, there you go. That's family histories. What did she learn? This, that appeal to you? One of these people who loves researching, who loves solving problems and, and going around investigating things and finding the answers. If so, this is quite possibly the style of writing for you, providing your open for a longer project. If you're not, there will be some ideas further on in this course that might suit you more. But up next, we have personal essays. I know it sounds like something you might do at school, but I promise you it is way more than that. So see you on the other side. 5. 5 - Personal Essays: You know, those short heart felt emotional stories that you often read in magazines or books and anthologies. The ones that talk about people who have overcome the aunts, who have found themselves, who have made a difference, who have triumph over evil. The ones, the stories that inspire you that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. Well, I can almost guarantee you that every one that you have read is a personal essay. They are short stories written from the point of view of the writer. So I did this, I did that. And they focus specifically on a story or an event that pushes home the message that they're trying to cover, the message they want you to go away with. This form of writing is something that I've done a lot of. And in actual fact is quite possibly the style of writing that I've written most over the years. I've also been lucky enough to have people contact me and tell me how much these stories meant to them. I even had one lady who was sitting in a shopping center on the other side of the world reading my story in a magazine. And a friend came out to her and said, Why are you crying? And she said, it's the story. The story is making me cry. And friends said, well, why don't you stop reading, then you stop crying. Now I've got to finish the story. I want to know how it ends. And that's the kind of thing. You read a personal essay and it attaches to your emotions. You are right there in the story with the person who's writing, achieve feel what they feel. You hear, what they hear, you are part of it. And whether that story makes you laugh or cry or thinking, I can take on the world. It doesn't matter. The point is that story is the heartfelt, emotional story that makes you feel you can do anything, which perhaps when you think about what it does and how people can filled you can understand why enjoyed writing them so much. But these stories, they focus on only one specific event. An event that encompasses and adds power to the message that you want to share. All of them are true stories. And the great thing is about the, the great thing about these is that the word count is limited. You're not looking at the 50000 words. In fact, I believe the majority of stories that I wrote were between 900 words and 1200 words. And in which case, the challenge was getting the story into those words. Because nine times out of 10 I would end up with 2000 words and then have to cut it back. But the great thing is that by writing that you're sharing your story, which is true. You are sharing a part of your life. You are having an impact on somebody. But also it's a writing project that only takes a weekend. It's achievable no matter how busy your life is and no matter how much motivation and focus you have. And because it's the style of writing that I do most I hope you will forgive me that the example for this style of writing is slightly longer than the previous examples for the autobiography in the family history writing. But it's necessary to include the whole story, otherwise you don't get the impact. And hopefully I saw an image of him before I really saw him. He's innocent eyes staring in acme. Has I lifted my gaze to meet his. We set they're either side of a full length family room window for several minutes. Each of our bodies moving gently in time with our breathing entity belong to why was he here? If I moved, would he disappeared down a whole just like Alice's white rabbit, unsettled guy turned back to my work, occasionally cast in the unexpected stranger or sideways glance. Eventually though, I wondered off for a cup of tea and he hopped off from more exciting view. Two days later I saw him again sitting happily with his nose poking out from under a rather woody die Ozma Bush. Within a few more days, he was becoming a familiar visitor to our window, although he was yet unnoticed by my children. This was something I hope to drag it out as long as possible because I had no doubt of their reaction. And answering the inevitable question would once again leave me trying to justify my personal fears with parental reasoning. But by the end of day three, the question did come after an exciting charge skipped in from school. My mom, there's a rabbit in the garden. Can we keep him? Once again, my predetermined response kicked in pits and not all they're cracked up to be swing heart. They take a lot of looking after. I don't mind. Came the first voice employed by her older sister. I really don't think it would be a good idea, sweetheart, besides, this rabbit is obviously somebody's pet and there'll be looking for it. Then trying to add weight to my case, it wouldn't be fair to keep it. But what if a dog or a cat catches it? I paused at that question. I knew as I did that my battle was lost. It was supposed that was followed by an hour of watching my children sneak and race around the front garden until they managed to pick up the rabbit. Their excitement as they sat in the enclosed fairy garden, stroking and offering the animal dandelion leaves was unmistakable. Do you want to hold him mom, they called knowing what my response would be. Straight faced. I shook my head and kept my safe three meters and one wall distance will need to try and find his own. As I said, as I watched the girls so comfortable and loving around the ball of white for my mind was forced to recall a memory long blocked out by distance and time. I saw myself aged eight, watching a Hans Christian Andersen movie on Christmas Eve with my brother and sister, until I was gently guided from the room and let outside. There with my booted and goes deep in snow. I watched the lifeless body of my webinar being taken from the hat she shared with blacking out the rabbit. I remember little else about that Christmas except how digging in the frozen earth had hurt my arms. Shortly after y t's death, black, he had run away, never to be found. There had been no more pets in our house after that, except for a short series of goldfish That seemed to last only a few months before being discovered early in the morning floating in there fish tank. I gave up on the pits at this point. After all. Who would want something that required constant feeding, cleaning, and then as you become attached to it, little burial plots as well. Are you sure you don't want to hold him, man, floated the little invoice through my thoughts, he won't hurt you. I looked at the rabbit again, realizing for the first time that except for a small patch of black fur near his tale, he looked identical to YT coming girls, I call them reply. There's just enough time for you to wash your hands before to me, it took several days before I gave into my daughter's gentle coaxing to stroke the rabbit now named Houdini, because of his happy to escaping from his room to greet everyone on the front lawn. At first, I had surprised myself as I'd instinctively held out pieces of carrot and the garden fence for office, but then that was still safe. I might be close to him, but there was a strong wooden barrier between us to protect me. Slowly, less effort was put into finding Houdini is family. A couple of bags of rabbit food appeared and straw was putting his mate to hatch. There were no more offhand warnings about the fact that his real owners might still turn up having a PECC around the house, seeing the most natural thing to us by then, the girls needed little reminding to keep their promise to take care of him. And Houdini and I spent many hours down contentedly at each other through my office window. That was until last month when Houdini is real owners finally arrived on our doorstep. There were no sad faces when he left no to farewells because we had known all along. He was only ours for a while. Besides, from the moment the girls caught me sitting on worn Houdini lazy nibbling the grass beside me. We all knew that a totally different and more positive discussion would follow any further requests for us to have a pet. As you see, one complete story, sharing a message in a way that is possibly easier to understand than most other styles of writing because it is written from a personal point of view as to the reasons why you chose story this way. Well, simply, firstly, because it's a great way to share a story. Although it is possible that I am slightly biased, which has led to me writing so many of them. And it is a simple and straightforward. And Greg, wait to share a story and a message much better than parents being told that they should be more considerate about their children's needs to have a pet and the need to overcome their fear so that their children can get pet and all those other things. Since the same thing, but in a softer, friendlier, more personal way. Another aspect is that personal essays focus on the big events in your life. No, big as in monumental, but big as in life-changing, emotional, the ones with more impact. And if you are only going to be able to write a few stories about your life, aren't they the ones you want to share? And they'd the one she wanted to be remembered for, aren't they the ones you want family and friends to know, well important to use so that they show who you truly are. So add that to the fact that it's a project that can be completed in hours or a couple of days. And you have a good reason why people enjoyed writing personal essays. As to the benefits. Well, as a writer, it's great because you're only writing one project at a time. You only have to focus on one event, you only have to visualize one event. You only have to look at a few thousand words. So it's more achievable in itself if you have a busy life or have a tendency to need more motivation, which many of us do. And there's also less chance of us getting distracted by other things that need doing. Which of course also many he refers to in these busy days. Because there's so much shorter. You also have the opportunity to perfect them, to get them how you want within a shorter amount of time. If you're writing a family history on your autobiography, once you put the words on the page, you can then spend weeks, if not months, going over those words, trying to get the exact right word to phrase your sentence correctly. Whereas with a personal essay, you'll have less words to play with, less that you have to get right. And because of that, it's easier to focus on your project is completed quicker. But You only have to focus on a certain amount which gives you the satisfaction of finishing your project quicker. Satisfaction is definitely something that shouldn't be underrated it any writing project that you're working on. You also have the fact that if you have the short stories, as I said earlier, that focus on the main parts of your life. You can write one at a time and join them up later. You can still end up with the whole of human life put together in a book, in a collection. But this way you just focus on one at a time, which means it's always finished. If you don't get your whole lifetime, still leave a legacy. You still have the stories there to show who you were and what you deep. It's up to you, of course, which order you write your stories. But basically, every one of those stories is part of your life. And because of that, you can collect them later and have a true autobiography style book if that's what you want. Then finally, if you're somebody who wants to make money from your life story, personal essays have a definite advantage. Firstly, because they are not a big book that will cost a fortune to publish, like a family history on autobiography. A publisher is more interested in them. Then add to that the fact that publishers of magazines and anthologies and collections need a regular turnover of short stories. Then I think it's quite clear that it's a more publishable piece of writing. You just have to make sure you know how to write that style of writing to make the most of it so that you present it to the publisher in a way that they want to receive it, in a way that suits their publications. So they'll look at it and go, That's what I want. Or they'll say, Have we got one from someone? So because I really like their stories and I'd like to put one in there. Next issue. Yeah. It is all about approaching your market, knowing who you're writing for and knowing why or writing. At least in this case, when you want to earn money from writing your life story or aspects of it. After saying that it might sound like I have no negative views and personal essays. But there are some. Firstly, not everybody is comfortable with expressing emotions. Not everybody wants to trigger it on other people's emotions. And that's fine. Like I say, everybody writes what they want to run it. But being able to write from an emotional point of view to actually let fourth parts of your life, parts of who you are and have it printed to people. You don't know if that's the way you choose to have it printed is something you have to be able to do. You might feel comfortable sharing your hopes and fears and silly things you've done and the reason she cried and what you love with your family and friends because hopefully they know that already. But you might not feel comfortable sharing it with the general public. And if that's the case, but you still like the idea of writing personal essays will then just go for it, publish them the feed yourself, share them with your family and friends. There's nothing that says they have to be published across the world. As I said before, another negative is that you do need to know how to write these stories. Otherwise, sometimes they can feel like it's just a waffling story. Like ST. it's like telling a joke and getting the punchline wrong. You know, it has to be balanced. You have to know what you're doing. You have to know who your market is. If you get that, well, it doesn't have the impact. And you might be better off writing your story as a short story as opposed to dragging it out and put in the emotional aspect into it. But once you've got that, then you're definitely on track. For that reason. It's also important that if you choose to write this down, that you do some research on other people who've written this style before you go out and read the glossy magazines that include these kind of stories or go to the websites that regularly update these kinds of stories. If you read enough of them, you'll be able to understand what impacts on you how a story needs to be told to have an effect on you. What works, what doesn't, obviously they're not all going to be the same. And what affects you is probably what's best for you to focus on when writing yours. But like anything, we only if you want to write personal essays, it requires a bit of research and perhaps a few online courses to find out how to make the most of your voice and your stories. So once you have a personal essay, what do you then do with them? Well, as I've already mentioned numerous times, you can submit it to a publisher, make some money, perhaps share your story. You might even become a world renowned writer, famous for those wonderful story she share. You might alternatively choose just to write the stories for your family and friends. You might collate them altogether in a scrapbook with pictures and photos, you might choose to collate them in a self-published book or print on demand book so that they can see you as you are, as you want to be seen. Alternatively, you might want to write them purely at this point so that you can work through personal issues so that you can progress emotionally. So that you can become the stronger, more insightful being that you want to be. A lot of people write about things for no other reason than to clear the emotional, mental, physical blockages that they have in their life. And personal essays, this style of writing is, they're really great for that kind of thing. Primarily, of course, because you are sharing your emotions. So it kind of conflicts with one with the other. You might want to write them to share your emotions. But if you don't like showing your emotions once they've written, you might want to burn them. Whatever works. But that's different aspects entirely, I guess really because we're currently talking about you writing your life story. And in nine out of 10 cases or even 99 cases out of a 100, you're writing your life story because you want somebody else to read it. At least one person, whether it's this generation or next, doesn't really matter. So burning your story really doesn't count. But it is an aspect that you might want to consider if you feel that that would help. On the other hand, once you've completed all your stories and you still want to write about your life. You've still got so much to share. Personal essays are a great basis for writing your autobiography. To me, I've always thought that an autobiography is like a beaded necklace. You have all those big beads and in-between them, then you put all the little beads to join them up to me. If you compare that with an autobiography, the big beads at the big events, they are your personal essays. So you've got one here about meeting your partner. You have another one here about getting married. You have another one here about your first child. Or traditional stuff, I'm sorry, I'm being conventional. One bead, your personal essay on meeting. Your next bead and personal essay on being married. Now you could put those together, but they jog a little bit because you need a few more details, join them. So you fill in the details. And then you have that part of your stories told because you've got the main things written already. Definitely an easier way to go. Maybe a slightly different writing style. But the majority of it is already written. Certainly a lot easier than starting from scratch. Well, there you go. Personal essays, as I promised, nothing like old-fashioned English homework. And also nowhere near 50 thousand words. Definitely an aspect to consider and an important alternative for those people who want shorter projects. Stay tuned now for fiction based on fact. 6. 6 - Fiction Based On Fact: Fiction based on fact, or as it's sometimes known faction is, as the name suggests, it is a story of fictional story with its basis in truth. So it might be your life story with the boring bits left out and amazing extra bits protein. You might take the standard everyday person and make them more into the culturally expected start making more handsome, more dashing, richer. You might live in a palace instead of a cottage in a small village. Instead of being an everyday housewife, you might make yourself out to be a beautiful princess. But it's not just the people, it's the actual story. So you might make it that instead of winning the lotto and an extra $5, you might put in there that you 15 million and how your life changed. Instead of saying that you had one or two pets, you might have a farm with animals everywhere. Instead of getting a parking ticket, you might have robbed a bank. You see where I'm going with this. It's your story, your experiences, but they're made bigger. Or if you want to look at it the other way round. It's a creative writing exercise, a fictional story, but you're using the emotions that you gleaned from your life. Which is why It's called fiction. Based on fact. And let's face it, it seems quite a logical way to approach a creative writing project. Because as I said earlier, writers are often found to be writing about what they know best. So if we were to take the rabbit story example from earlier, it might read something along the lines of yours. I asked. The little boy nodded cause in the ginger curves that cascaded around his ears to rock back and forth. Holding on tightly to the bundle of white furry my hands. I stretch my arms forward over the fence and towards the boy. You'd better take care of him that night. I said, as the boys Seidel closer to the fence, the dwarf rabbit was docile enough, but already the weight of carrying him was caused in my rarely exercise arms to ache. Most houses in my street didn't have a fence around them. So this had been the last one I visited. After all, if there was a strike peddling your garden, wouldn't you normally assume it came from a garden free offenses. As the boy finally relieved me of my fluffy it Cargo, I saw a face appear at the front room window. Moments later, a wavering voice followed by a young woman came out the front door. Thank you so much for returning him. That lady said smiling at me before turning to the little boy, make sure you lock him up tightly this time Tim. This time, Tim's cause swung from left to right as he ran up the driveway through the carriage and into the back garden. I hope Houdini didn't cause you to many problems. That woman said, returning her gaze to me. It seems that no matter what we do, he's still finds a way out. Now that story obviously didn't have any dashing heroes in it or any rich, beautiful princesses. But it did have the fiction or story based on the fact. And of course, the benefits of this is that if it is your first fictional story, than basing it on something that you have some knowledge about, always makes things easier. There's also the fact that sometimes when people are writing about their life, they feel like it's boring. Why is it different? My life is the same as everybody else's. Why would anybody want to read it? Which in most cases is not true, but it is often how we feel about our life. I think primarily because it's what we know. So it's the way things are for us. But if you want to embellish story to make it bigger and better than definitely, this is a way to go. You can be whoever you want to be and you can use your story as the basis. So the benefits of writing your life story in the style of fiction based on fact. Well, every store it can now be installing, there is no doubt that what you put on the page will be exciting and thrilling. And everybody will go from reading the first page right through to the last page without wanting to stop. Another benefit is that by writing in this staff, it might give you the confidence to share your story that perhaps you might have found was too personal before. Perhaps you really want you to write about your life, but you didn't want everybody to know the details. And this works well because you can write it in a style that you are not the person, the main cabinet tree. You are not the hero or the heroine, but the plot is still dancing around your life. It's also possible that by writing in this style, you can make your story more realistic, which sounds kind of weird when you think that you're putting a lot of creativity into a real story to make it realistic. But sometimes that is the way it goes. Some stories do appear like they are honest and true because they've had a fair mantle creativity woven into them. This style of writing is also great because you can come up with numerous stories that based on the events in your life, they might have similar plots, but different people. They might have one main character who appears in a series of books. But the plots very slightly. Although the character main counter still has your job, still lives, your livestock still works through the same emotional upheaval as you do. In fact, if you look at some of the best sellers out there at the moment, a lot of the main characters are using the information the writer has from their everyday job. Again, we come back to write what you know best. And if you've done all that study and all that research for your life, why not use it to add depth and interests to your stories? So you, there you go. Those are the benefits. As to the negatives. As always, there are a few, which is why everybody doesn't like the same kind of story. The negatives are that because you're writing creatively on your life. Sometimes the people who are in your life are included in your story. And if they're included in your story, if you change their character, sometimes people might not be so happy. There might be certain amounts of recriminations because you've made this person who is lovely and has a small minor trait in real life into an ogre in your story. And they're going, I know that it's me, it's got the traits you're writing about me. That's mean. Or they might sue you, dependent on how popular your book becomes. So it's important to make sure that if you are including other people in your story that are based on real life, that it's obvious that they are not the same people. So make the people different enough. Of course, if you're making them the dashing hero, you can probably get away with a few more things, but it comes down to the same thing. You really need to consider the feelings of other people. If you're including them. Wait, that is not a 100 percent true to their life and their personality. Another thing is that you may want to consider a pen name, an alias using writing under a name that is not yours. Partially for that reason above, and partially because if it is a story that you're not comfortable writing as an autobiography, you may want to protect yourself and distance yourself from what you're writing. Not something that bothers everybody, but again, something you may want to consider. So what would you do with your story or short stories? Might, should finish them. While obviously, you can keep them to yourself. You can share them with the family. But having a variety of short stories, you may also want to send them off to publishers. And there's always more chance of getting a short story published in a magazine then though, is to get to a full story published or full novel published by a publisher. Again, this is simply because if you're looking at getting short stories published in a magazine, in, on a website, on anything that requires an ongoing turnover of stories. They're going to be looking for more, they're going to be publishing more. If on the other hand, you choose to write a complete novel. Again, we're back to the 50000 words or over. Then you might want to submit it to a publisher. Or again, as we've discussed earlier, you may want to publish it yourself or put it through a print on demand system. All of which work and all of which suit different markets. But since we're only covering here the different ways of showing your life story. Don't want to go into too much detail about those because that would be a whole video on themselves. So this is your option if you're looking at fiction based on fact, which like I say, it's sometimes called faction. There were a lot of benefits to a lot of advantages. But it's a blend of truth and creative writing. And you can make these stories any length. They can be short stories, they can be novels. The choice is up to you, just as what you choose to do with them is up to you. So next we have articles. See you on the other side. 7. 7 - Articles: Most of us are familiar with articles, short, informative pieces of writing that convey a message and contain lots of information that is relevant to a particular topic. Usually they're found in magazines, newspapers, used as content for websites, those kind of things. There is no room in an article for creative writing. And in many ways it's like comparing an autobiography, but the family history. The difference between those two is the same as the difference between a short story personal essay with an article. But that doesn't mean that the lines between the two current blur occasionally, for example, you might read an article that includes an anecdote about somebody who had something relevant happened to them. Or it might include a personal experience. But on the whole, most of the information included in an article is fact, is researched, is details, is statistics, that kind of thing. Which means if we then looking at the previous story are examples story of the rabbit that was wondering around our garden. You wouldn't want to replicate any of the writing styles that were included in the previous formats that I've covered. Instead, she might prefer to write about why rabbits need to be fenced in. The importance of a strong fence in a suburb. You might want to write about how to find a lost pet owner. The importance of children having a PECC of their own. All these kind of things. They're all relevant. They've all on that same topic, but they are factual. They include information. They might even include how to construct a perfect Rabbit Proof Fence. They're all the same. Like I say, they all include relevant information, but they are formed around the topic of a rapid escaping and arriving in somebody else's garden. Throughout my life, I've written a selection of articles that have been published in newspapers and glossy mags. And the ones that were most popular were always based on my life because I had an intrinsic interest in that topic. So for while I was a regular feature article writer for a glossy magazine in England. And the stories that I was focusing on where people emigrating from England to Australia, of basically people emigrating anywhere. The reason that I chose this and perhaps the reason why I had the advantage over other writers is because at the age of 21, I did emigrate from England to Australia. I am a grated on my own. And got married over here with limited family around me. So I was familiar with the emotions, I was familiar with the concerns, I was familiar with the hiccups and the interests and what drives that person to emigrate in most cases. So my knowledge of emigrating was vital in my opinion to my articles. So although in many cases you might think an article really doesn't contain anything that relates to my life story. It is not a way of sharing my life story. It can be dependent on the way you approach it. And a lot of people prefer to write articles that include the information and that research rather than showing their story specifically. Even if they do choose to add in anecdotes from their life or from those people who were anthem. And now the reason why some writers would prefer to pick this style of writing? Well, again, there is a regular turnover of articles needed by printers and publishers. So there is more chance of getting your work published if that's the way you want to go in newspapers and on websites and magazines. And there's also a good chance of you getting paid for those articles. So if you are after money, It's definitely a way to look at things. Although as with everything, there is no guarantee that your work would be published, it's a case of making sure that you provide what is required and following the publishes guidelines to increase your chances, but there is a chance of getting your work published. And now the reason why you might choose to focus on articles is because you simply want to break into writing factual articles. And again, we're back to that standard old phrase, right? What you know best. So it's a great way of starting, a great way of having confidence in your writing because you've experienced it and you know what you're talking about. As opposed to going out and having to research completely new information on completely different topic that would take you longer. And that you would have to put yourself in the middle of to understand truly. Another reason could be, but writing about the things that have happened in your life as an article feels like it would be of interest to our wider market. Which again comes back to if you're looking to get your work published in some way, manner or form that you want a wider market. So if you write it this way and you feel that more people would be interested in it? Well, that's definitely something to consider. Another reason could be purely because you want to see your work in newspapers and glossy mags. And this is one of the best ways to do it. Yes, personal essays are popular, but articles tend to have a wider range of people look into publish them at the moment because things always change. But unless you aware of specific markets that once your personal essays, they do tend to be a wider range of publications that are looking for articles. Then finally, we come down to the fact that like a personal essay, this is a short complete project. It is one that you can complete within a week, maybe a weekend. It's not like writing factual information in your family history. Because there again, we're back to the 50000 words. An article can be short. It can be 100002 thousand words, 5000 words. And if you've already got the information and you are just putting it in a format so that it's easy to read, then obviously that's going to be smoother, quicker and easier. And again, might just come back to the major challenges, actually condensing all your work in to that word count. But like I say, if you're looking for a short writing project that includes information that was relative to your life. An article works well because you can start at one week and you can have finished it the next week. And then you can move on to the next item that you want to focus on. And you don't have to have this whole thing lingering in your head the whole time because you've had the success of starting and finishing. And as I mentioned earlier, with so many distractions in life, that is a definite bonus to a lot of people. A concept I guess the rates at the top of the list of benefits of writing articles, it's finished. The less chance distractions you tend to lead and less motivation. And you can start it and finish it in a shorter timeframe. Then of course there's the benefit of it enables you to reuse any information and research that you've gathered for previous projects. My case, when I was constantly writing about why people emigrated, there was a thin veil of information that got woven in, not in every article, but it was an underlying, it was accepted. If you're writing for a variety of magazines and publications, of course, it doesn't matter if you obviously include the information and research and statistics that you've had beforehand, Providing them relative to the topic that we're covering. For example, if we go back to my articles that I wrote on emigrating from England to Australia, I might have found out something like how many people emigrated in the past decade. And I might also found out how many people emigrated in the decade before that and how many people were expected to emigrate in the decade ahead of where we are. At. The information that could well be interesting to people who are reading an article on emigrating. But it wouldn't be if interest and it wouldn't be repeated if I was writing my family history. Like I say, you can interweave the information if it's relevant and reuse your research or the other benefits on the list, come back to if you choose to get your work published. For example, there's more chance of you making money from writing articles. They're inviting a family history. There's more chance of you being published and being asked to write more articles fits more chance of your work being read by more people. Of course, none of these are definites. But if we look at the statistics and the research, it does prove that there is more chance of these things happening. There are some negatives though, just in case you were thinking are great, I can write my articles, I can make a fortune. Never have to go to a nine to five again. Firstly, because there are a lot of articles being published, there is also a lot of competition. So if that's the way you are choosing to go, you do need to do your research on how to write an article. You do need to do is search on what specific publishers are looking for. So once you've written your article, what are you gonna do with them? What is the outcome? You can of course submit them to newspapers, websites, glossy mags, newsletters. In fact, any publication that has a specific interest in what you're writing about and what you're covering. You could read your articles and make your own podcasts. You could create your own website and use it as content on that website. You could start up your own online blog. You could do a regular online video covering the information. All of these work well at getting your work out there and getting people to hear what you have to say. But pretty similar to you sending your work to a traditional publisher as opposed to self-publishing. If you choose to produce your work in this format, then you are the one that does the legwork. You're the one that puts it in the format that you want it to be heard or seen by your, the one that has to promote it. You're the one that has to do the quality control. You are the one that has to interact with any readers out there. A lot of people love involving themselves in social media and such things. And if that's your kind of thing, plus you like writing articles, this could definitely be something to be interested in. You can also make money from it that way, it might take a bit longer than sending an article, often getting paid immediately. But there's also the opportunity that you could make more money from it than you ever could. As an article writer. Again, that's providing that, that's what you want from your writing. So there you have it. That is article writing based on your life story or the events in your life. Next up, we have generally. 8. 8 - Journaling: I have no doubt that everybody who's watching this video has a clear idea of what journaling is. And just for the record, although I'm saying journaling, I'm also including blogging, which is journaling online for other people to see. But journaling in itself has been around for decades. It's been around for centuries. We all have heard the stories of people centuries ago keeping a journal, writing down their innermost thoughts, sharing the actions of their day and they were experiences because that's the way they wanted to express themselves. Back then. Of course, journals were shared less. They included lots of information that wasn't considered appropriate to share in person these days though, a lot of the behavior that wasn't acceptable then is done without a blink of an eye. So people don't always have the concern about showing the journal as they did then. And these days also, of course, it, instead of being purely written by hand, it might be written on the computer. It might be posted online. It might be the basis of an actual website or a column in a newspaper or a publication through a wider variety of places you can put your journal, posts or your blogs. That's how things have changed, but the essence is still the same. The essence of a journal is to write down your personal thoughts, your views on things that are happening around you. And to clear your head in many ways of the things that are going around there that you want to share and move on from or to clarify. So a journal is to include information about your life, your thoughts, and your feelings. Not everybody wants to share that, but, and a lot of people are more than happy to. Now if you're wondering where the little written example is of a bout our rabbit friend. I didn't include it. Sorry. My thoughts here were that I'm sure you're all pretty clear by now. If you're writing a journal, the thoughts would be basically along the lines of, hey, there was a rabbit in the garden today. I didn't look at me. I looked at him. I wonder where he lives. I hope I don't have to go out and meet him. I hope that children don't see him. But if they do see the rabbit and suppose I best put some thought into how I really feel about getting them a pet. Be that kind of thing. Everybody is different. Everybody has their own way of thinking through things. But journaling, like I say, is a personal thing because usually it's not going to be seen by other people unless you choose for it to be seen by other people. As to why you'd keep a journal? Well, different people keep them for different reasons. The fact that it does give you a reliable record of what happened when is an added bonus, as is the fact that you get to play with different ways of writing and different techniques. And the fact that you can go back of what happened in a day. We consider your thoughts, reconsider people's actions, and replay things in a way that might give you more confidence about facing the next day. Or it might clear your head, event or thing that's bothering you. So great way of expressing emotions without the risk of upsetting anybody else or forcing them to listen to your concerns. Are the benefits from keeping a journal, are that you have a regular writing time, you create a habit. So there's more chance of you always writing, to keep writing, and to continue your project until you make an actual decision to finish it, as opposed to just not getting around to it. There's no doubt that regularly writing something improves your skill. So you have that. There's also the fact that by writing regularly, not only are you improving your writing, but you're keeping a regular record of what happened when. So that if you should ever need to refer back to things to find out relative dates or who said what to whom first or when you first came up with this idea or what happened on this day in your holiday, you always have a reliable record that you can look back at. Another benefit is there were absolutely no restrictions on what you write. You can write as much as you want, as little as you want. You can swear as much as you want. You can be as polite as you want. You can use short hand, you can use modern day abbreviations. It doesn't matter because you are writing it. Unless of course you are choosing to block it, in which case you may or may not have to tidy things up a little bit. But if you are writing purely for yourself, you can put on the page wherever you want and you can draw pictures if you want. It really doesn't matter. You can put quotes in there from famous people and get them wrong and you won't need to get their permission to write that quote. You can put lyrics from a song in there. And you don't have to get permission from the person who wrote the liver cyst. You also have the freedom to express yourself in a way that you might not feel comfortable express and to other people. Writing a regular journal will enable you to clear your head. It can help you work through challenges. It can enable you to see the whole picture. And for that reason, it might make you feel more confident about what you're doing and Increase your enjoyment in your life. Simply put, if you are somebody who's able to continually write a blog or a journal, if you are able to keep that routine going, then of course, another benefit is the fact that you are providing an excellent legacy for when you're gone or for anytime that you choose to share it. It's a great way to show how life has changed, how viewpoints have changed, and what's going on in the world now that was different from them. Which I think is always an extremely interesting comparison because we take for granted what we have today. But it was not the same even 50 years ago. I mean, I keep thinking about the fact that I'm really, I consider myself not that old, but I grew up with a black and white TV that was the size of a large carton that only had two channels. I physically remember when we got to the third channel. And that channel had ads, but the other two channels were only programs. But they're all black and white. Now, today, we can watch programs on TV wherever we like, on whatever we like, and we don't even have to watch TV, we can download them. There were platforms out there that enable us to watch a film anytime we want to watch it, as opposed to having to wait until the TV is kind enough to schedule are watching it. Or unless we choose to go into town, paid for tickets and watch a movie at the cinema. I mean, this is just one example of how life has changed. But it's easy to forget. It's easy to get overlooked. And by journaling, you definitely are not going to overlook it. I mean, you weren't with any kind of life writing, but journals specifically because it is a day-by-day process of what you're recording. And my final thought on the benefits are that because it's just for you. You can write it whenever you want. There is no pressure to write it at nine AM every Saturday morning. There is no pressure to put a 1000 words on the page every Friday afternoon. There's nothing like that. You write when you want. It's not only a case of writing what you want, but it's, it's also a case of writing when you choose to. And I mean, There's also that wonderful thing these days with technology that if you are journaling, Yes, The main thing is that you are recording daily and the tradition is that you are writing the words on the page. But in actual fact, because it doesn't matter what you're sharing, you can actually, in most cases, record what you want to put in your journal by talking to into a piece of technology. Whether it's your computer, whether it's your phone, whether it's some other recording device. You can have an audio copy of your thoughts and your life events. You can then always transcribe it into them printed matter, but you have that option, which for those people who want to record their life but aren't convinced the writing skills are up to it or aren't convinced that their hands will enable them to write. Or perhaps because they don't have what they feel is required to put the words physically on the page. You do have the opportunity to simply talk into a piece of technology because it's not going to need proofreading. It's not going to need editing. And other things would, if they were going to be presented to a publisher in manuscript form or if they were going to be printed or put somewhere. A definite benefit for those who like the idea of writing, but don't trust their ability in writing. And funnily enough, despite the fact that a whole load of benefits, I could only find one negative to keeping a journal. And that is that you have to work on it in most cases daily or at the very least each week. So you have to have a routine. A lot of people love routines, but a lot of people also hate the routine. They feel bad if they don't do what they're supposed to do on the same day at the same time. Which can make the keeping of a journal drag. It can take the fun out of it. And that's not something you really want. But it is the big reason why a lot of people do not journal and do not keep them block. I think perhaps it has something to do with personality type. I loved the concept of journaling. I've never managed to get past about three weeks, two weeks, three weeks after that, there's something better to do. I'll do it tomorrow. And then days tend to slide. And in the end, the thing, it's just not worth the effort and write it some other way. So this is not really a bent. This is not really a negative. It's more a case of something to be aware of. But if it is in your character to keep a regular routine, writing time, and to keep a journal or blog. What are the things you can do with it? Well, you can use it as a great basis for everything else that you write. I sent simple to the point, isn't it? As I mentioned earlier, it provides a reliable record of your life, of your thoughts, of the thought processes of the way you looked at the world. So for that reason, it's a great thing to refer back to if you should be choosing later on to write something that is more for other people to read. It. Be great way to include anecdotes from your diary into an article that you choose to write on the topic or. You're thinking of doing a personal essay and you can put nothing exciting ever happens in my life. I've never had those moments where I think are that is so insightful, I must share it. If you have a journal, you have this great opportunity to flip through things and go. That was what happened. Yeah. Or if somebody says, Dude, you remember when you did that, that would be a really good story. And, you know, I don't remember that at all. I have no thoughts about how I felt. Nothing. But if you've got a journal entry or a few, it's a great way of coming back to it to think about it, to put it into perspective, and to have an outline for any kind of writing that you choose to go for after you've written your journal. Another thought is, of course, that by being able to refer back to watching for attendance specific times, it enables you to take those anecdotes and use them in a different way of recording your life. And I'm talking here not so much lighting, but I'm talking about if you choose to keep her scrapbook where you put the photos in the events, you can actually take an event that you've written in your blog and, or diary and put it into that scrapbook. It'll backup the picture that you've included. It'll express your thoughts. It'll give more insight into who you truly are and your thoughts at the time. Whereas if you were writing an anecdote or something that happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, one year ago. Your way you looked at now would be different, I expect from how you've looked at then. So by taking the anecdote from your diary, by taking your views and your thoughts. It is more realistic, it is more genuine, and it is more authentic. It shows you as you truly are, which is the whole point of writing a life story. On the whole. Then perhaps the biggest reason for keeping a journal and the most traditional reason for keeping a journal is the two composite down through the generations, which is a great legacy for anybody who chooses to read it. And in many respects it relates back to the previous thing I was talking about, where it shows who you truly are. It shows your personal growth. It shows how your viewpoints of change. It shows how you've adapted to life around you. So it is in itself and more insightful record of your life than any other way of writing. And this is quite possibly because you are writing for yourself. You don't have to wipe from market. You don't have to think about whether other people will be upset with what you've written, your, including your innermost thoughts in most cases. And what better way is there to show who you truly are and how your life has affected you. So there you have a journaling that last in my list of the most common ways to write about your life or right, based on your life. Next up, we have your project. So stay tuned and I'll see you on the other side. 9. 9 - The Project: First up, congratulations on finishing this course. Well done. I hope you found the information it contained helpful and that it's giving you something to think about or at the very least, his confirm that you're on the right track and that you've chosen the right way to write about your life and the events it contains. This project is basically going over the questions that we started off with at the beginning and to help clarify the difference between the different styles of writing so that you'll always be sure the pros and cons, which style suits shoe, and which project is best suited to your writing and your lifestyle. So here we got four questions to ask yourself. Actually five, but four are the main ones. Number one, why are you writing about your life? Number two, who are you writing your story for? In other words, who is it that you really want to read your work? Number 3, how much time are you willing to commit to writing this project? Hours, days, months is number 4, is what is the one main thing you want to achieve from writing about your life? So those are the four questions. The fifth question that I alluded to earlier is, now that you have all those answers. If you go back over the videos of this course, what is the one style of writing that appeals most? That fits all your answers? Because obviously that's a great place to start fighting about your life. And it gives you the reassurance of knowing you're on track. And you've picked the best style of writing for what you want to achieve, for what you want to write about and for your writing style and your lifestyle. Well, there you go. That is the project for this course. If you found this course interesting, if you found the answers helpful in the informational, insightful, or anything along those lines, I would love to know what you think about this course in the comment section. And if you care to give me review, that would be even more wonderful. But in the meantime, as always, have fun with your writing and thank you for sharing your time with me.