Writing life as a story is akin to a sculpting a statue from a block of stone.You need some way to filter the events of your life so you know what to include and what to leave out. So ask yourself, what is my motivation for telling this story? What do I want to say? And, most importantly, what did I learn from the events that happened that I might share that with my reader.
Seeing your life as a series of growth periods helps to see what you’ve learned from what’s happened. If you can slice your life into a time period when you were faced with a challenge that helped shape you and your world, then you can write that growth period as a memoir.
For those of you who don’t look at life as a series of growth periods, here’s what I mean when I say that. Growth periods can be broken down into three stages. Think of the life of a butterfly: caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly. Or the three stages of your character’s growth: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3. Something happens in your world and you take a mini-journey as you’re changed by it. You enter a new way of being. You make it through the long middle cocoon cycle and in the end you’re transformed. Just like characters in a book. Growth periods can last a day or they can last years.
So write about the events that make up the story you want to tell and dig out the motivation to find the meaning. What does my character want? What does my character need? And, most importantly, what does my character learn?