How do I Become an Autobiography Writer?

B. Miller
B. Miller
An autobiography writer working.
An autobiography writer working.

In order to become an autobiography writer, it is necessary to be a motivated person who is capable of working independently, and has something important to say. Of course, it will take more than a good attitude to become an autobiography writer, but becoming any type of published writer requires a great deal of work and persistence. There are no specific educational requirements in order to become a published writer, but some people find that pursuing a college degree in English is beneficial because it allows them to learn a lot about literature and writing.

Many people decide they want to become an autobiography writer because they feel they have something of importance to share about their lives. Because autobiographies are by nature very personal, the information included in the book can be anything you want it to be. It is not necessary to have led an exciting life to become an autobiography writer; everyone has a story to tell; it is just a matter of finding a creative way to share that story. On the other hand, an autobiography with a specific focus on a unique life event may be somewhat easier to sell to publishers.

When writing your autobiography, as when writing any book, it is important to consider the audience as you go. Some people find it helpful to create an outline of the book ahead of time, which can help the book to feel more cohesive. Once the book is written, it is important to proofread it carefully; it is generally impossible to thoroughly proofread your book yourself, so asking someone else to read through it and correct any errors can be very helpful. Not only can this person point out typos and other errors, but they can point out any areas where the writing is unclear. For the same reason, joining a critique group can be an invaluable source of input.

The next step to become an autobiography writer is to submit the manuscript to literary agents or publishers. If an agent will accept your work, it may be more likely to get published; unfortunately, many agents are not interested in working with someone who has never been previously published. Be sure to write an interesting query letter to accompany the manuscript, and to follow the directions of the publisher when submitting the manuscript. For instance, if the publisher only wants an excerpt or a general overview of the autobiography, don't submit the entire thing, because the publisher is simply not going to take it. This process will take time, so be patient and be sure to listen to any suggestions that an editor or agent gives you for improving your autobiography.

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    • An autobiography writer working.
      An autobiography writer working.