Writing A Biography

I am working on writing a biography about my brother and I am finding it increasingly difficult to get my act together. Me, an English instructor and self-proclaimed writer. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for someone who is not used to writing. The problem is I feel overwhelmed. I am writing about a subject that is extremely important to me and I want to get it right. I don’t want to leave anything out and I don’t want to forget anything, either. I am constantly thinking of new things to add. I have created an outline, and even written my first chapter. But now, I am frozen. I have the time to write, but find myself doing everything but writing. I jot down notes and tell myself that I must get started, that once I get started I will be okay. Yet I still procrastinate. Why?

Here are some tips I have given others:

1. Make sure your subject will be interesting enough for others to want to read.

2. Decide on what order you are going to present your material: chronological, reverse chronological, spatial, sequential, topical, cause-effect, problem-solution, or compare-contrast

  • chronological–time order from beginning to end
  • reverse chronological–time order from end to beginning
  • spatial–fitting the information to fit the design of the topic (example: describing the solar system from the outer planets to the sun)
  • sequential–first, second, third, etc.
  • topical–beginning of career, middle of career, end of career
  • cause-effect–self-explanatory
  • problem-solution–self-explanatory
  • compare-contrast–self-explanatory

3. Summarize and adapt the material to fit your audience

4. Decide on a research strategy

5. Decide where to begin

6. Go for it!

For me, I have done all of these things. It’s the “Go for it!” part that I am having difficulty with. I think is it a fear of failure. But if I don’t even begin, then I am doomed to fail anyway.

So, tonight I will start writing.

I promise.

 

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2 thoughts on “Writing A Biography

  1. You forgot two of them…start typing and ENJOY it! One word at the time. It’s hardest when you write about something personal, but if you begin and see where it goes, it will start forming. You have all the tools and all the talent, now free your mind and just type and you will begin enjoying the moment, and the rest will come. It will take time, but you will get there. And if you need to vent, we are all here.

    Like

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