- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- EDIT Edit this Article
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes Hot
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Education and Communications
- Personal Profiles
How to Write About Yourself
Last Updated: July 31, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Lucy Yeh . Lucy Yeh is a Human Resources Director, Recruiter, and Certified Life Coach (CLC) with over 20 years of experience. With a training background with Coaching for Life and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at InsightLA, Lucy has worked with professionals of all levels to improve the quality of their careers, personal/professional relationships, self marketing, and life balance. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 5,604,508 times.
Whether you're writing an essay about yourself for a scholarship, a self-introduction, or a personal bio for a job application, coming up with the right words to capture what makes you unique can feel challenging. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks that can make writing about yourself a breeze. Want some help getting across just how impressive, interesting, and skilled you really are? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about putting yourself into words effectively, complete with examples.
Writing of the Autobiographical Nature
- Who are you?
- What is your background?
- What are your interests?
- What are your talents?
- What are your achievements?
- What challenges have you faced?
- What is your most interesting or unique quality? What word(s) describes you the best? Choose that topic.
- Bad: I like sports.
- Ok: I'm a fan of basketball, football, tennis, and soccer.
- Good: My favorite sport is football, both to watch and to play.
- Better: When I was growing up, I would watch Big Ten football with my dad and brothers every Saturday, before we'd go outside and toss the football around. I've loved it ever since.
- Braggy: I'm the best and most dynamic worker at my company right now, so you should want to hire me for my talents.
- Humble: I was lucky enough to be awarded three employee of the month awards at my current job. Turns out it was a company record.
Writing Personal Essays for School
- Common themes or prompts for autobiographical essays include overcoming obstacles, great successes or spectacular failures, and what you learned about yourself.
- Depending on the assignment, you may need to connect a personal anecdote to a reading or an idea from class. Start brainstorming topics that are connected to that idea, to give yourself a variety of options to choose from.
- Common autobiographical essay cliches include sports stories, mission trips, and dead grandmothers. While these can all make for excellent essays if done well, it is difficult to stand out when telling the story of how your lacrosse team lost a big game, then practiced hard, then won. It has been written before.
- If you want to tell the story of your nasty break-up, start with the break-up, do not start with the star-crossed way you met. You have got to get immediately to the tension in the story.
- When you have an idea of your topic, start writing a "memory list" of specific things that you remember about the event. What was the weather like? What did it smell like? What did your mother say to you?
- Your opening paragraph will set the tone for the rest of the essay. Rather than telling the dull biographical details (your name, your place of birth, your favorite food), find a way to express the essence of the story you are going to tell and the themes you are going to explore in your essay.
Writing a Cover Letter for an Application
- Outline your qualifications and highlight your talents in a cover letter.
- Write about who you are.
- In a cover letter, describe how your education and experience qualifies you for this position.
- Explain how this opportunity will benefit your career goals.
- When in doubt, keep it brief and serious. If you are unsure whether or not telling an amusing anecdote about your friend's bachelor party is appropriate in a cover letter, it is probably best to leave it out.
- "I'm writing to apply for the entry-level position with Company Inc. advertised on your website. I think my experience and training makes me an ideal candidate for this position."
- Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to include your name in the body of the letter: "My name is John Smith and I am applying...." Your name will be included in the signature , as well as the header of a cover letter, so there is no need to put it in the text itself.
- Who you are and where you come from.
- Where you want to go.
- How this opportunity would potentially help you get there.
- Be as specific as possible. It is alright to note that you are "A passionate leader in all walks of life" but it would be much better to write about an example of a time you lead in a surprising way.
- Stay focused on skills and talents that connect specifically to the thing you are applying for. Extracurricular involvement, leadership roles, and other types of outstanding achievement may be important to you personally, but it may be totally extraneous. If you include something, ensure to connect it specifically to the goal of the cover letter.
- Be as specific as possible. If you are writing a university cover letter, it is obvious that you have to have a degree to get a job as a doctor, but how did you come to choose this field? Why did you choose this school? What, specifically, do you want to take away from the experience?
- Be careful about using a cover letter to critique a business. It is not the time to describe the suffering of a particular brand over the previous fiscal quarter, then promising that you will be able to turn it around with your ideas. That might not go over well if you are hired, and then you are unable to live up to the promise.
- Even if it is impressive, a high GPA or class ranking does not belong in a cover letter. Highlight it on your resume, but do not include it in two different places of the application.
- Mailing address
- Telephone and/or fax number
Expert Trick : Save time and effort by creating one generic format that you can use for many different job applications by tweaking the specific content for each one. Start with a general introductory paragraph , then a section or two fleshing out your resume and expertise as it relates to the job, and finish it off with a closing paragraph and a note of thanks.
Writing a Short Biography Note
- Pretend you are writing about someone else. Write your name and start describing that person like a character or a friend: "John Smith is the Executive Vice President of Company Inc..."
- If you are a jack of all trades, say so. Do not be afraid to list "actor, musician, mother, motivational speaker, and professional rock climber" if they all apply equally.
- It is common to list degrees that you have received. Pay particular attention to anything that ties into the work you are writing about. If you have special training, include it here.
- "John Smith is the Executive Vice President of Company Inc., in charge of marketing and overseas acquisitions. He received an MBA with distinction from Harvard and lives in Montauk with his cat Cheeto."
- Do not overshare. It can seem funny to immediately start with "John Smith loves rafting and hates eating Cheetos. He's a total boss" and such bio notes can be appropriate for some venues, however be careful to avoid awkward oversharing. Telling everyone about your killer hangover might be best left for after work talk.
- Stephen King, who is one of the most successful and popular authors in recent history, has a bio note that just lists the name of his family members, his hometown, and his pets. Consider leaving out the self-congratulation entirely.
- Remember that you’re supposed to talk about yourself, it’s the main topic. Don’t talk about your friends or family, even though you may feel tempted to. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- If you are having a difficult time writing about yourself, search online for examples of personal writing, in order to get some ideas and inspiration. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- Don't think about how others feel about you. Everyone thinks from a different perspective. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/how-to-write-about-yourself
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/brainstorming/
- ↑ https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/chapter/narrowing-a-topic/
- ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-about-self-writing
- ↑ https://writingcommons.org/article/using-first-person-in-an-academic-essay-when-is-it-okay/
- ↑ https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/6-unconventional-ways-start-cover-letter/
- ↑ https://english.washington.edu/writing-cover-letter
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/career-goal-statement-examples
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/resume-vs-cover-letter
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/whats-the-ideal-cover-letter-length
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/how-to-format-a-cover-letter-example
- ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/first-vs-third-person
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-bio/
About This Article
If you have to write an autobiographical description of yourself, write down a list of your talents, interests, and accomplishments. Use this list to help you choose one specific topic for your description, such as your academic achievements or your leadership qualities. Use specific, unique details to support your topic, such as being awarded an academic scholarship or the fact that you were president of the newspaper in high school. You can list bits of your personal life, but be careful not to overshare. If you want to write about yourself a cover letter or personal essay, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
Sep 13, 2017
Is this article up to date?
May 1, 2017
Feb 7, 2017
Dec 30, 2016
Jun 3, 2018
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Keep up with the latest tech with wikiHow's free Tech Help Newsletter
Get 50% OFF Yearly and Lifetime Subscriptions this Black Friday
- Features for Creative Writers
- Features for Work
- Features for Higher Education
- Features for Teachers
- Features for Non-Native Speakers
- Learn Blog Grammar Guide Community Academy FAQ
- Grammar Guide
Telling the Story of Yourself: 6 Steps to Writing Personal Narratives
Table of Contents
Why do we write personal narratives, 6 guidelines for writing personal narrative essays, inspiring personal narratives, examples of personal narrative essays, tell your story.
First off, you might be wondering: what is a personal narrative? In short, personal narratives are stories we tell about ourselves that focus on our growth, lessons learned, and reflections on our experiences.
From stories about inspirational figures we heard as children to any essay, article, or exercise where we're asked to express opinions on a situation, thing, or individual—personal narratives are everywhere.
According to Psychology Today, personal narratives allow authors to feel and release pains, while savouring moments of strength and resilience. Such emotions provide an avenue for both authors and readers to connect while supporting healing in the process.
That all sounds great. But when it comes to putting the words down on paper, we often end up with a list of experiences and no real structure to tie them together.
In this article, we'll discuss what a personal narrative essay is further, learn the 6 steps to writing one, and look at some examples of great personal narratives.
As readers, we're fascinated by memoirs, autobiographies, and long-form personal narrative articles, as they provide a glimpse into the authors' thought processes, ideas, and feelings. But you don't have to be writing your whole life story to create a personal narrative.
You might be a student writing an admissions essay , or be trying to tell your professional story in a cover letter. Regardless of your purpose, your narrative will focus on personal growth, reflections, and lessons.
Personal narratives help us connect with other people's stories due to their easy-to-digest format and because humans are empathising creatures.
We can better understand how others feel and think when we were told stories that allow us to see the world from their perspectives. The author's "I think" and "I feel" instantaneously become ours, as the brain doesn't know whether what we read is real or imaginary.
In her best-selling book Wired for Story, Lisa Cron explains that the human brain craves tales as it's hard-wired through evolution to learn what happens next. Since the brain doesn't know whether what you are reading is actual or not, we can register the moral of the story cognitively and affectively.
In academia, a narrative essay tells a story which is experiential, anecdotal, or personal. It allows the author to creatively express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions. Its length can be anywhere from a few paragraphs to hundreds of pages.
Outside of academia, personal narratives are known as a form of journalism or non-fiction works called "narrative journalism." Even highly prestigious publications like the New York Times and Time magazine have sections dedicated to personal narratives. The New Yorke is a magazine dedicated solely to this genre.
The New York Times holds personal narrative essay contests. The winners are selected because they:
had a clear narrative arc with a conflict and a main character who changed in some way. They artfully balanced the action of the story with reflection on what it meant to the writer. They took risks, like including dialogue or playing with punctuation, sentence structure and word choice to develop a strong voice. And, perhaps most important, they focused on a specific moment or theme – a conversation, a trip to the mall, a speech tournament, a hospital visit – instead of trying to sum up the writer’s life in 600 words.
In a nutshell, a personal narrative can cover any reflective and contemplative subject with a strong voice and a unique perspective, including uncommon private values. It's written in first person and the story encompasses a specific moment in time worthy of a discussion.
Writing a personal narrative essay involves both objectivity and subjectivity. You'll need to be objective enough to recognise the importance of an event or a situation to explore and write about. On the other hand, you must be subjective enough to inject private thoughts and feelings to make your point.
With personal narratives, you are both the muse and the creator – you have control over how your story is told. However, like any other type of writing, it comes with guidelines.
1. Write Your Personal Narrative as a Story
As a story, it must include an introduction, characters, plot, setting, climax, anti-climax (if any), and conclusion. Another way to approach it is by structuring it with an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should set the tone, while the body should focus on the key point(s) you want to get across. The conclusion can tell the reader what lessons you have learned from the story you've just told.
2. Give Your Personal Narrative a Clear Purpose
Your narrative essay should reflect your unique perspective on life. This is a lot harder than it sounds. You need to establish your perspective, the key things you want your reader to take away, and your tone of voice. It's a good idea to have a set purpose in mind for the narrative before you start writing.
Let's say you want to write about how you manage depression without taking any medicine. This could go in any number of ways, but isolating a purpose will help you focus your writing and choose which stories to tell. Are you advocating for a holistic approach, or do you want to describe your emotional experience for people thinking of trying it?
Having this focus will allow you to put your own unique take on what you did (and didn't do, if applicable), what changed you, and the lessons learned along the way.
3. Show, Don't Tell
It's a narration, so the narrative should show readers what happened, instead of telling them. As well as being a storyteller, the author should take part as one of the characters. Keep this in mind when writing, as the way you shape your perspective can have a big impact on how your reader sees your overarching plot. Don't slip into just explaining everything that happened because it happened to you. Show your reader with action.
You can check for instances of telling rather than showing with ProWritingAid. For example, instead of:
"You never let me do anything!" I cried disdainfully.
"You never let me do anything!" To this day, my mother swears that the glare I levelled at her as I spat those words out could have soured milk.
Using ProWritingAid will help you find these instances in your manuscript and edit them without spending hours trawling through your work yourself.
4. Use "I," But Don't Overuse It
You, the author, take ownership of the story, so the first person pronoun "I" is used throughout. However, you shouldn't overuse it, as it'd make it sound too self-centred and redundant.
ProWritingAid can also help you here – the Style Report will tell you if you've started too many sentences with "I", and show you how to introduce more variation in your writing.
5. Pay Attention to Tenses
Tense is key to understanding. Personal narratives mostly tell the story of events that happened in the past, so many authors choose to use the past tense. This helps separate out your current, narrating voice and your past self who you are narrating. If you're writing in the present tense, make sure that you keep it consistent throughout.
6. Make Your Conclusion Satisfying
Satisfy your readers by giving them an unforgettable closing scene. The body of the narration should build up the plot to climax. This doesn't have to be something incredible or shocking, just something that helps give an interesting take on your story.
The takeaways or the lessons learned should be written without lecturing. Whenever possible, continue to show rather than tell. Don't say what you learned, narrate what you do differently now. This will help the moral of your story shine through without being too preachy.
GoodReads is a great starting point for selecting read-worthy personal narrative books. Here are five of my favourites.
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen, the author of 386 books, wrote this poetic story about a daughter and her father who went owling. Instead of learning about owls, Yolen invites readers to contemplate the meaning of gentleness and hope.
Night by Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. This Holocaust memoir has a strong message that such horrific events should never be repeated.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This classic is a must-read by young and old alike. It's a remarkable diary by a 13-year-old Jewish girl who hid inside a secret annexe of an old building during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1942.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
This is a personal narrative written by a brave author renowned for her clarity, passion, and honesty. Didion shares how in December 2003, she lost her husband of 40 years to a massive heart attack and dealt with the acute illness of her only daughter. She speaks about grief, memories, illness, and hope.
Educated by Tara Westover
Author Tara Westover was raised by survivalist parents. She didn't go to school until 17 years of age, which later took her to Harvard and Cambridge. It's a story about the struggle for quest for knowledge and self-reinvention.
Narrative and personal narrative journalism are gaining more popularity these days. You can find distinguished personal narratives all over the web.
Curating the best of the best of personal narratives and narrative essays from all over the web. Some are award-winning articles.
Long-form writing to celebrate humanity through storytelling. It publishes personal narrative essays written to provoke, inspire, and reflect, touching lesser-known and overlooked subjects.
It publishes non,fiction narratives, poetry, and fiction. Among its contributors is Frank Conroy, the author of Stop-Time , a memoir that has never been out of print since 1967.
Aimed at Generation Z, it publishes personal narrative essays on self-improvement, family, friendship, romance, and others.
Personal narratives will continue to be popular as our brains are wired for stories. We love reading about others and telling stories of ourselves, as they bring satisfaction and a better understanding of the world around us.
Personal narratives make us better humans. Enjoy telling yours!
Black Friday for writers
Love writing? ProWritingAid will help you improve the style, strength, and clarity of your stories.
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning e-book author with 2,500+ articles and 100+ e-books/reports published under her belt. She also taught 50+ college-level essay and paper writing classes. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com. Follow her on Twitter @jenxuewrites].
Get started with ProWritingAid
Drop us a line or let's stay in touch via :
Make Money Writing Online in as Little as 30 Days
Even if you're a beginner.
Our 34 page guide will walk you through a step by step process to make a full-time living with your writing.
How to Write About Yourself (Without Boring People to Death)
All writing tips.
Grab your free viral personal stories checklist by clicking this link right here . If you don’t get this process right, your personal essays will almost certainly fall flat. Did I mention it’s free?
If you want to learn how to write about yourself, you have to first understand that about 99 percent of the time, writing about yourself is done in a misguided way that will cause no one to want to read your work.
Let me explain…
I’ve talked with many an aspiring writer in my short five-year career. Almost always, the number one mistake I see aspiring writers make is exactly the same.
They don’t want to write for anyone else but themselves . Of course, you should never write about stuff you’re not really into for the sake of clicks , but aspiring writers seem to have this peculiar disease where they think writing what appears to be a personal diary online is the key to writing success.
That’s how human emotions, self-interest, and ego work. As a human being, you have a really hard time thinking about the wants and needs of anyone but yourself. Most aspiring writers don’t lack talent or motivation, they’re selfish.
But what about memoirs and personal essays? There are people who write about themselves quite successfully. What’s the difference between them and the majority of other writers?
There is a way to write about yourself without… writing about yourself.
The Classic Examples You All Strive For
Eat, Pray, Love is one of the most popular memoirs of all time. It’s about the life of Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who got divorced and traveled the world to find herself. There were plenty of stories about her life in the book, but here’s why the book did so well.
The stories were about concepts people related to, not about herself. Eat, Pray, Love is not a book about Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s a book about every woman who feels trapped in their circumstances and wants to break away and go on an adventure.
The person in the story doesn’t matter. Good stories make people identify with them. The character, protagonist, whatever, is a reflection of you.
Cheryl Strayed created a similar effect in her best-selling memoir, Wild. In short, she writes about her checkered past and going on this dangerous backpacking adventure to escape her life. She learns all sorts of illuminating lessons along the way yada, yada, yada. Again, the story in and of itself isn’t the focus, so much as the story relates to people who feel like escaping from their life.
She also wrote an amazing book called Tiny Beautiful Things , which is a compilation of answers in her Q & A advice column, Dear Sugar . Instead of providing answers to reader’s questions outright, she starts by telling some meandering story about herself that relates to the reader’s question. She tells gut wretching emotional stories — sexual abuse, infidelity, drugs, you name it. But she doesn’t just tell the stories just to tell them. She tells the story to first let the reader know “I’ve been here before,” and then relates it to their life in a way that says, “I came out of it and so can you.”
Authors like Gilbert and Strayed go well above and beyond what I see from the typical aspiring writer — random ramblings about their feelings, what they ate for lunch, some bland story about where they traveled to that’s full of descriptive writing but lacks any sort of theme or relation to the person on the other side of the screen.
So how can you learn how to write about yourself the right way? These strategies will help.
Ask Yourself This Simple Question
You have to be brutally honest about yourself when you answer this question.
Would anyone other than you want to read what you wrote?
You have to be able to remove yourself, as well as your emotional investment, and analyze whether you’ve created a relatable story or a journal entry.
Often, in your bones, you know.
If you’re like the writer I described above who wonders why no one reads their stuff , you know why.
People who write these journal entries fall into three camps:
- The delusional – They genuinely believe people should want to read their random ramblings. They feel like they’re owed success. These people can’t be helped.
- The oblivious – Some people actually don’t see what they’re doing. They can be helped, but it takes repeated lessons like this blog post for them to “get it.”
- The hiders – The majority of people know this style won’t work, but they write it anyway because it’s a way to hide from the truth. “Half-trying,” always gives you an out. These writers fear having to exert real effort and still failing. These people have the best shot at change because they’re aware.
Aside from just looking at your work and asking that simple question, there are some other techniques you can use to write about yourself in a way that works. But you have to quit hiding.
Do you really want to do this? If so, the following can help.
The “Story Hook” Opener
If you really feel compelled to write about yourself, but want to educate, entertain, and inspire at the same time, the story hook opener can tie your life together with the ideas or concepts you want to share.
Here’s how it works:
- Come up with the idea for the post/essay – Use brainstorming and mind mapping to come up with the concept
- Outline – Outline the points you want to make in the essay
- Add story in – Create the structure of the post or essay first, then dig for a story from your life that matches the concepts to tack onto the intro
Read Jame’s Altuchers work. He’s a master at this. He almost always opens up his blog posts with a story.
As an added bonus, he makes a point to really really catchy, interesting, or straight up bizarre first lines to catch your attention .
Here are some examples:
- “I had to get 100 prostitutes to like me in 5 seconds or less” – https://bit.ly/2ESXkiT
- “I am mentally ill. And I’m in a mid-life crisis. I’m dishonest. And I’m a horrible father. And I think with my dick.” – https://bit.ly/2Z7wuey
- “I have one bag of clothes, one backpack with a computer, iPad, and phone. I have zero other possessions.” – https://bit.ly/2WLt7MW
Notice how all the opening lines are about himself but are so damn interesting you feel compelled to read more. This is how you integrate your story with your writing.
Draw From This Unusual Source
Fiction serial author Sean Platt credits an unrelated genre for his success as a fiction writer — copywriting books.
Reading books about copywriting, marketing, and persuasion will help you get out of your head and understand that regardless of what story you write, including stories you write about yourself, you are ultimately writing for other people.
That is if you want to have an audience and career . As Robert Kiyosaki says, “It’s called best selling author, not best writing author.”
Often, when you read great copy in something like a sales page, it will include a story about the creator of the product, but you’ll see that the story connects with the reader.
The classic example, “How I went from dead broke on my mom’s couch to running a million dollar company.” It’s cliche and trite, yet devastatingly effective because it tickles all the human emotions.
If you don’t understand human nature and psychology, you’ll never be a great writer.
Copywriters, advertisers, salespeople, all get a bad rap. They’re some of the greatest storytellers you’ll ever come across. They know more about character development and storytelling than your average pompous MFA grad.
Here are some great resources:
- The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
- Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
- “The Tale of Two Young Men”
Do This the Next Time You Read a Personal Account
Many authors swear by a technique called marginalia, which is a fancy way to say “take notes on the books you read.”
With marginalia, you highlight important passages, write questions and notes in the margins, and most importantly try to get inside the head of the author.
Some people go so far as to hand copy the words of great storytellers to absorb their powers through osmosis…or something. Either way, trying to understand the motivation of a storyteller can help you tell great stories yourself.
Read autobiographies and take notes on what you read to find out what’s so interesting about this particular person’s story.
Often these are things like:
- They have something you want and you aspire to be like them (this would translate to you writing stories about what you have that people want)
- The stories they tell are downright insane or interesting (as Ryan Holiday suggests, if you want to be a better writer, maybe you should live a little more first )
- Almost always, you see yourself in the author (I’ve hammered this to the point of redundancy, because it’s very important)
You can learn from great storytellers, but you can also become a great storyteller by…not telling stories.
Just Don’t (For a While At Least)
Often, I have to put new students through their paces and teach them traditional blogging techniques like:
- Creating “how-to” posts
- Writing listicles
- Using the word “you” often
- Opener formulas like “problem, agitation, solution”
- Simple 5-section post structure
- Motivational closes
I do this because I want to teach them the foundations they need to become popular online writers with fans, which is what almost all of them really want.
I purposefully get them out of the habit of writing about themselves so that they can do it successfully in the future.
Now, I can weave in stories about my life into posts and essays. I often do. I could write a mediocre memoir at this point in my career, mostly due to the fact that I learned blogging techniques first.
Why? Well, blogging teaches you a few key things:
- You learn how to work – If you want to become a successful blogger, you have to write a lot. Most aspiring writers who want to write about themselves don’t have the stamina to even do it successfully
- You learn about audience – You learn how to cater to, but not pander to an audience. Huge difference.
- Platform means everything – You can build a platform as “just a blogger” and parlay it into more traditional means of publishing, just ask Jeff Goins or Mark Manson.
By first understanding the mechanism of not only the blogosphere but how people interacting with online writing in general, you will reduce your pretentiousness tenfold, which will enable you to write about yourself effectively.
The Bottom Line When it Comes to Learning How to Write About Yourself
Building a successful writing career is all about learning how to get out of your own way.
That’s 90 percent of the battle.
You can’t write about yourself properly because you’re preoccupied with yourself.
Lowering your ego and humbling yourself will all of a sudden make you a much more effective writer.
Lack of success in writing is almost always due to selfishness above everything else.
Remember, if you wanted to write for yourself alone, all you’d need is a journal.
But you want fans. All writers do. If you want to get them, you should, um, think about them .
- How to Cite
- Language & Lit
- Rhyme & Rhythm
- The Rewrite
- Search Glass
How to Write a Story About Myself
There's an old adage that there's a book in everyone. True, but not everyone is a natural writer. Writing a story about yourself isn't as easy as telling it, but with a few simple rules and pointers, you can do it. It takes organizing your thoughts, getting an idea of where the story is going and, finally, just writing it.
Talk to a tape or digital recorder and tell your story there first. This allows you to start the process of thinking about the story as a story. It doesn't have to be perfect on the recording. The recording will give you a rough idea of what you want to say and the general flow of the narrative.
Listen to the recording and take notes. You will need an outline for the story before you write it. While some people do this in their heads, creating a written outline allows you to organize your thoughts, determine the story's flow and get started.
Start writing the story using your outline, but don't worry about the opening (the paragraph newspaper people call the lede). The lede is the hook into the story, the paragraph or two that gets the reader interested. Good writers leave the lede until the story is complete because at that point, it tends to write itself.
Simple is best. Don't use big words when they aren't necessary. In fact, don't use any words that aren't necessary. For example, "I said I would go" is better than "I said that I would go". Big words don't impress anyone, and they detract from the narrative flow.
Tell the story in a straight-forward way. Use description sparingly. "I walked into the tiny white kitchen aware something was wrong" is fine. "I walked sluggishly into the gleaming white but very small kitchen sensing something wrong on the wind" is way too much.
Be realistic. This is a story about yourself, not Clark Kent. Don't exaggerate. The real story will be far more interesting and believable if it is true without embellishments. Your story is interesting. Go with it.
Finish the story. Leave it for a month or so. Read it again and start revising. Rarely is a story perfect in the first draft. Don't be afraid to revise the story to make it cleaner, better, crisper. If possible, get a good editor. Friends and family aren't the best for this because they are biased. The best non-professional editor is someone who can write and can be impartial. Listen to this person's advice, but trust your instincts about your own story.
Things You'll Need
Shawn M. Tomlinson has been a newspaper and magazine writer for more than 28 years. He has written for a variety of publications, from "MacWEEK" and "Macintosh-Aided Design" to "Boys' Life," "Antique Week" and numerous websites. He attended several colleges, majoring in English, writing and theater, and has taught college classes about writing.
How to write a book about yourself
1. What is a book that you write about yourself called?
2. How to start writing a book about your life
3. What to put in an autobiography or memoir
4. How to write an introduction for an autobiography or memoir
5. Tips for writing an autobiography or memoir
6. I want someone to write a book about my life
7. How to write a biography about someone else
8. Examples of published life stories, autobiographies and memoirs
9. How to publish an autobiography
➡️ An autobiography is a book about your entire life up until you write your book, while a memoir focuses on a specific event or time period in your life.
➡️ Autobiographies and memoirs are almost always written in the 1st person. They should include emotive descriptions of key events in your life, as well as background information about your past and hopes for your future.
➡️ Self-publishing is a powerful approach for memoirists and autobiography writers. It allows you to share your story with greater freedom than traditional publishing.
Everyone has a story to tell. Whether you’ve travelled the world, danced with movie stars, or brought up an incredible family, many people have fantastic life experiences they want to share with the world. Writing a book about yourself is a powerful, rewarding way to revisit and record some of the most important moments in your life.
But writing a book about yourself can be daunting. You need to be able to craft your experience into a story. That means writing a book that’s full of suspense, intrigue - and real-life experience.
This guide is designed to help you learn how to write a book about yourself - and get it published.
What is a book that you write about yourself called?
Let’s start with the basics. Books about the author’s life typically fall into one of two categories: memoirs and autobiographies. While there are some similarities between these two formats - the major one being that they’re both subjective, first-person accounts of real-life events - there are also some key differences.
What is a memoir?
A memoir is usually focused on a specific event, or a particular time period of a person’s life. For example, your memoir could focus on your formative adolescent years, or a traumatic event that affected you. Memoirs are often written by non-famous people about larger-than-life events.
What is an autobiography?
An autobiography usually recounts the writer’s entire life up until the point the book is written. Autobiographies are usually reserved for celebrities and other famous figures.
What is a biography?
A biography is an account of a person’s life written by someone else. Biographies can be authorised or unauthorised. Authorised biographies have the cooperation and approval of the person the biography is about. Unauthorised biographies, meanwhile, rely on external sources for their information.
How to start writing a book about your life
Writing a book takes a lot of time. It’s extremely rewarding, but can be frustrating - particularly if you’re not sure where to begin. These 4 steps will help you take the plunge into writing a book about yourself.
- Make sure you’re ready - Delving into your memory can be exhilarating, joyful, and painful - so make sure you’re emotionally prepared for the experience. Take some time for self-reflection before you begin planning your autobiography or memoir.
- Make a list of the events in your life you want to include - If possible, take a few minutes to journal about these events as you list them. This can help jog your memory and stir up emotions that will help you write vividly and honestly.
- Tell your loved ones you’re writing a book about yourself - This is especially important if they’re going to feature as identifiable characters in the story. They may have some reservations about their inclusion in the book, so make sure you’re on the same page before you start writing.
- Plan your story - If you haven’t written a book before, mapping your memoir out in advance may be beneficial. An outline can help you stay on track, and give structure and pace to your story. The importance of these elements can’t be underestimated, so planning your book puts you in a strong position to start writing.
What to put in an autobiography or memoir
If you’re writing a book about yourself, you probably already know which key moments you want to include. But it’s important that you take the time to build up context and intrigue in the reader, so you’ll also need to give them some background information about you.
Here are 5 key components every autobiography and memoir should include:
- Your childhood and adolescence - Your formative years will help your readers understand the actions you take and feelings you have in later life. Make sure to explore the events that shaped you in your early years.
- Key life events - These events are the reason you want to write your autobiography or memoir - so be sure to give them the colour and depth they deserve. Write honestly. Give readers details that help them understand and envisage the situation.
- Information about the other characters in your story - The real people in your life who feature in your book also need some backstory. That said, it’s important to discuss the details you’re including in your book with your friends and family before you publish it.
- Episodes of despondency - Without some degree of grief or loss, most stories would be pretty boring. So even if you’re happy, successful and rich now, it’s important to include moments of failure or sadness you’ve experienced in life. This gives the reader a more rounded view of you, and helps them to sympathise with your story.
- Your hopes for the future - Even when the book is finished, your story continues. Ending your autobiography or memoir with a hopeful message is a satisfying way to tie things up.
How to write an introduction for an autobiography or memoir
As in any book, the introduction to your autobiography should be intriguing and make the reader want to learn more. That means you don’t necessarily need to start at the beginning of your life. In fact, unless you had a particularly interesting birth, it’s probably best to skip ahead to a more pivotal moment.
This is particularly true if you’re writing a memoir. In a memoir, you’re writing about a particular time period or event you experienced - so your introduction should relate to that event.
Remember that your introduction sets the scene for the rest of your book, so it should be punchy, relevant, and captivating.
Tips for writing an autobiography or memoir
No matter what theme or tone your book will take, here are some useful tips for how to write a professional autobiography or memoir.
- Write in 1st person - Use the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’ throughout your book. Not only is this the accepted perspective for this kind of writing, it also lends your work subjective authority. This is your story, so make sure the reader knows that by using the 1st person voice.
- Read other autobiographies and memoirs - Reading published work that’s similar to the book you want to write will help you understand the conventions of autobiographical writing.
- Do your research - Even though you’re writing about your own life, it’s possible that you won’t recall the correct details of every incident you’re recounting. Double check all kinds of factual information - such as dates, ages, and names - before you publish your story.
- Write with the benefit of hindsight - You know things now that you didn’t know when the events took place. Writing honestly means being truthful about mistakes you may have made in the past, and acknowledging them with the information you now have.
- Be emotive - You want your readers to understand what you felt at each life stage you’re writing about. Express your emotions in writing to give your readers a sense of empathy.
I want someone to write a book about my life
If you think your life story would make an intriguing read, but you want someone else to write the book on your behalf, you can hire a ghostwriter to write the book for you.
Unlike biographers, ghostwriters write your autobiography as if they are you. Often, you can decide whether or not to credit the ghostwriter. If you credit them, their name will appear on the cover alongside yours - for example: My Story by Joe Bloggs, as told to Jane Doe. If you choose not to credit them, their name won’t appear on the cover. Most ghostwriters charge more for non-credited work.
How to write a biography about someone else
Biographies are similar to autobiographies in structure, but the form is usually very different. Because biographies are written about someone other than the author, they are almost always written in the 3rd person, rather than 1st person. Biographies also tend to depend less on emotion and more on factual information, because the author isn’t writing about their personal experiences.
While research is key for autobiographical writing, it’s doubly important for biographies. If you’re writing a book about someone else’s life, you’ll need to ensure you have all your facts right. That means reading and researching multiple accounts of the same event to ensure you’ve corroborated your information. Biographical inaccuracies can discredit you at best; at worst, they can result in libel lawsuits. So if you’re planning to write a book about someone else, make sure to do as much research as possible.
Examples of published life stories, autobiographies and memoirs
Many famous and non-famous people have published successful autobiographies and memoirs over the years. Here are some bestselling autobiographies and memoirs from well-known public figures:
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
- On Writing - Stephen King
- Becoming - Michelle Obama
Many self-published memoirs and autobiographies have also achieved mainstream success. Some examples of these include:
- Grit: The Banter and Brutality of the Late-Night Cab - Karl Wiggins
- When I Was Lost: A Mother's Struggle with Bipolar Disorder - Glenna Gill
- Beautiful Affliction - Lene Fogelberg
Reading work by other writers is a great way to find out what works in an autobiography or memoir. It’s sure to help you avoid many of the common pitfalls of writing and self-publishing a book .
Penguin has a great list of the best memoirs of all time , as voted by their readers.
How to publish an autobiography
Autobiographies and memoirs from previously unpublished authors are notoriously difficult to market to risk-averse traditional publishers. But that doesn’t mean you should quit before you’ve begun.
Self-publishing is a great publishing option for memoirists who haven’t previously been published. With a self-published book, you’ll receive a higher percentage of royalties than if you’re traditionally published. Plus, there are lots of self-publishing companies out there who can help you get your book in front of a wider audience.
If you choose to self-publish your autobiography or memoir, you’ll be responsible for marketing, printing, and selling your book. This gives you much greater freedom around the content of your book, as well as your marketing and pricing strategy .
Find out more about the world of self-publishing in our writing advice .
Advice from a published writer
Drop us a message, we'll be happy to help.
"I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the team for the exceptional book cover design!"
Should I start writing a book?
We're an independent website which is partly supported by ads and affiliate links. We may receive compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our author opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content.
Subscribe to our newsletter
How to write a great book synopsis
How to write an author bio as a new writer
Why do authors use pen names?
Order your book cover.
If you have any questions or if you're ready to go ahead, please fill out our short design enquiry form.
Professional book services for self-publishing and indie writers. Say hi: [email protected]
When You Write
How To Tell A Short Story About Yourself: Tips And Tricks
We all love to tell a story, say we tell 6 stories a day. That’s 42 stories a week, and 2184 stories a year!
But have you ever been asked to tell a short story about yourself and found yourself lost for words?
Whether it’s for a job interview, a networking event, or a social gathering, telling a short story about yourself can be a powerful tool to connect with others and leave a lasting impression.
But telling a short story about yourself is not just about sharing facts and figures, it’s about conveying a message that resonates with your audience. It’s about making a connection with your listeners and inspiring them to take action
In this article, we will share with you some tips and tricks on how to tell a short story about yourself that is engaging, memorable, and authentic.
- Identifying your message and audience is the first step in crafting a compelling narrative.
- Emphasizing pivotal moments in your life story can engage listeners’ emotions, making your story more relatable and memorable.
- Structure your story in a way that captures your audience’s attention, starting with a hook that draws them in and creating curiosity.
- Deliver the story with confidence, maintaining eye contact, using gestures and body language, and speaking up and projecting the voice to keep listeners engaged.
Identify Your Message and Audience
Now, you need to figure out who you want to reach and what you want to say to them. Crafting a compelling narrative starts with identifying your message and audience.
Who are you speaking to? Is it a group of friends at a party, a potential employer during an interview, or someone you just met on a first date? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your tone and language to effectively communicate your message.
Once you’ve identified your audience, you need to determine your message. What do you want to convey? Is it a personal experience that has shaped who you are today? Is it a lesson you learned that you think others could benefit from? Whatever your message is, make sure it’s clear and concise.
Tailoring your tone to your audience will help you connect with them and make your story more engaging and relatable. Remember, the key to a successful short story about yourself is to keep it interesting and relevant.
Choose the Right Details
When choosing the right details for your story, it’s important to highlight key moments that are relevant to your message and audience. Use descriptive language to paint a vivid picture in their minds and make the story come alive.
Avoid irrelevant information that may detract from the main message and focus on what’s important. By following these guidelines, you can create a compelling and engaging story that resonates with your listeners.
Highlight Key Moments
Emphasizing the pivotal moments in your life story can engage listeners’ emotions, making your story more relatable and memorable. These key moments can be anything from a life-changing decision to a significant accomplishment or even a challenging obstacle that you overcame.
It’s important to remember that the emotional impact of these moments is what will resonate with your audience, so be sure to highlight them with detail and emphasis. When highlighting these pivotal moments, pacing is crucial. You don’t want to rush through them, but you also don’t want to dwell on them for too long.
Your story should flow naturally, with each key moment building on the last. It’s also important to maintain authenticity in your storytelling. While selective memory can be useful in crafting a compelling narrative, be sure to stay true to the facts and emotions you experienced during these key moments.
By emphasizing your pivotal moments with emotional impact, pacing, and authenticity, your story is sure to captivate and inspire your audience.
Use Descriptive Language
Using descriptive language can really help your audience imagine the key moments in your story, making it more powerful and engaging. By using sensory details, you can paint a vivid picture in your audience’s mind, allowing them to feel like they’re right there with you.
For example, instead of simply saying “I was nervous,” you could describe the feeling as “my heart was pounding so hard I could feel it in my throat, and my palms were slick with sweat.”This not only engages the emotions of the audience, but it also helps them connect with you on a deeper level.
Another way to use descriptive language is to set the scene. By describing the environment around you, you can transport your audience to that moment in time.
For instance, if you were telling a story about a camping trip, you could describe the smell of the campfire, the sound of the crickets chirping, and the feel of the cool night air on your skin. This level of detail not only makes your story more interesting, but it also helps your audience feel like they’re experiencing the moment with you.
So, don’t be afraid to use descriptive language to bring your story to life!
Avoid Irrelevant Information
To keep your story engaging and focused, it’s crucial to avoid irrelevant information. When you’re telling your story, it’s easy to get sidetracked by tangents that may seem interesting but ultimately take away from the main point.
Instead, make sure to edit your story carefully and eliminate any unnecessary details that don’t contribute to the overall narrative. One way to do this is to ask yourself: ‘Does this detail add to the story or distract from it?’ If it doesn’t contribute to the main plot, it’s best to leave it out.
By doing this, you’ll be able to keep your audience engaged and invested in the story you’re telling. Remember, the importance of editing cannot be overstated when it comes to telling a short story about yourself.
Structure Your Story
When you’re telling a story about yourself, it’s important to structure it in a way that captures your audience’s attention. Start with a hook that draws them in and creates curiosity.
From there, create a clear beginning, middle, and end that takes them on a journey through your story. Use transitions to connect your ideas and make the story flow smoothly.
With a well-structured story, you’ll be able to leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Start with a Hook
Engaging your audience from the start can greatly enhance the impact of your personal story, so why not begin with a compelling hook?
Crafting an engaging opening is key to grabbing your audience’s attention and keeping them invested in your story. One effective way to do this is to use humor. If you can make your audience laugh, you’ve already won half the battle.
Don’t be afraid to be a little unconventional with your opening. You want to stand out from the crowd and make your story memorable. Consider starting with a surprising fact or statistic, a bold statement, or a question that piques your audience’s curiosity. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s true to your story and sets the tone for the rest of your narrative.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to hook your audience, so make it count!
Create a Clear Beginning, Middle, and End
It’s important to map out a clear beginning, middle, and end for your personal narrative so that your audience can easily follow the flow of your story and understand the deeper meaning behind it.
To create a compelling beginning, try incorporating these tips:
- Start with a question or a surprising statement that’ll pique your audience’s curiosity.
- Set the scene by describing the setting and the characters involved in your story.
- Use sensory details to paint a vivid picture in your audience’s mind.
- Show, don’t tell. Use dialogue and action to draw your audience into the story.
Next, to craft a satisfying ending, consider these tips:
- Tie up loose ends by addressing any unanswered questions or unresolved conflicts from earlier in your story.
- Provide a sense of closure by reflecting on how your story has impacted you and what you’ve learned from it.
- Leave your audience with a lasting impression by ending with a powerful statement or image.
- Consider adding a call to action, encouraging your audience to take action based on the message of your story.
By following these tips, you can create a personal narrative that engages your audience from beginning to end and leaves a lasting impact.
Use Transitions to Connect Ideas
Using transitions to connect ideas is essential in creating a seamless flow within your personal narrative. Without proper transitions, your story can come across as disjointed and confusing.
There are several types of transitions that you can use to connect your ideas, such as chronological, cause and effect, and compare and contrast transitions.
Chronological transitions are useful when you want to tell your story in a linear fashion, moving from one event to the next in a clear and chronological order. Cause and effect transitions can help you explain the reasons for certain events or actions, while compare and contrast transitions can be used to show the differences or similarities between different parts of your story.
By using a combination of these transition types, you can create a smooth and cohesive flow throughout your narrative. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different transition techniques to find the ones that work best for your story.
Practice and Refine
With consistent practice and refinement, you’ll soon be able to tell a story about yourself that truly resonates with your audience. Practicing storytelling doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
Begin by telling your story to friends and family, and ask for their feedback. Self-reflection is also key. Take time to think about what makes your story unique and what emotions you want to convey.
As you continue to practice, pay attention to the pacing of your story. Are there parts that drag on too long or that could be condensed? Are there moments that could be emphasized more? Refine your story by cutting out unnecessary details and adding in more vivid descriptions.
Remember, the goal is to engage and captivate your audience, so focus on making your story both entertaining and meaningful. With enough practice and refinement, you’ll be able to confidently share your story with anyone who’ll listen.
Deliver Your Story with Confidence
When delivering your story, it’s important to maintain eye contact with your audience to establish a connection and keep them engaged.
Using gestures and body language can also enhance your delivery and help convey your emotions and message.
Don’t forget to speak clearly and audibly, so your story can be heard and understood by everyone in the room.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to confidently share your story and leave a lasting impression on your listeners.
Maintain Eye Contact
As you share your story, lock eyes with your listeners like a skilled archer aiming straight at the target. Maintaining eye contact is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience and convey the emotion behind your words. It shows that you’re confident, authentic, and fully invested in your story.
When you make eye contact, you create a sense of intimacy and trust that goes beyond words. You invite your listeners into your world and make them feel like they’re part of the experience. It also helps you gauge their reactions and adjust your delivery accordingly.
So, next time you share your story, remember to maintain eye contact and let your emotions shine through. You’ll be amazed at how much impact it can have on your audience.
Use Gestures and Body Language
Using gestures and body language will help you bring your story to life, allowing your audience to visualize the scenes and emotions you’re describing.
Using facial expressions, such as raising your eyebrows or smiling, can help you convey the tone of your story. For example, if you’re telling a funny anecdote, you can use a big smile or a chuckle to emphasize the humorous aspect of the story. On the other hand, if you’re telling a sad story, you can use a more somber expression to convey the emotion.
Incorporating props can also help you tell your story in a more engaging way. For instance, if you’re telling a story about a vacation, you can show pictures of the place you visited or souvenirs you bought. This will allow your audience to better visualize the setting and immerse themselves in the story.
Additionally, using hand gestures can help you emphasize certain points or actions in your story. For example, if you’re describing a car accident, you can use your hands to mimic the sound of the crash or to show how the cars collided.
Overall, using gestures and body language can help you make your story more dynamic and captivating for your audience.
Speak Clearly and Audibly
To truly captivate your audience, it’s crucial to speak clearly and audibly, ensuring every word is heard and understood. When telling a short story about yourself, speaking confidently and projecting your voice is key to keeping your listeners engaged.
Begin by taking a deep breath and centering yourself, then speak with conviction and purpose. Remember that the tone of your voice can convey emotion and help your audience connect with your story. Use inflection to emphasize important points and vary your pitch to add interest.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and project your voice, especially if you’re speaking in a large or noisy setting. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your audience can hear every word of your story and fully engage with your experience.
Remember, identifying your message and audience is key to crafting a successful story. Choose the right details to support your message and engage your audience.
To illustrate how these tips can be applied in real life, consider the following example. Imagine you’re a job candidate interviewing for a position at a nonprofit organization.
During the interview, you’re asked to share a short story about yourself that demonstrates your passion for social justice. You choose to tell a story about your experience volunteering at a local food bank, where you witnessed firsthand the impact of poverty on families in your community.
By using vivid details and sharing your emotional reactions, you’re able to connect with the interviewer and demonstrate your commitment to the organization’s mission.
Remember, crafting a short story about yourself takes time and effort, but the end result is well worth it. By following these tips and practicing your story, you’ll be able to captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression.
Why short stories are important for readers and writers alike, why do authors use short stories the advantages of this genre, why are short stories so hard to write understanding the challenges, what is a novelette exploring the short story genre.
Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
© 2023 When You Write
Gratitude - The Life Blog
Priyanka's Story - Embracing the Brighter Side
Darlin's Story - How important it is to be polite and respectful
Sorcia's Story - Reclaiming My Power
Survivor's Story - God's love
Sylvia's Story - How to Make a Difference
Connie's Story - My attitude shows gratitude!
70+ Beauty Affirmations to Feel As Beautiful As You Are
100+ Mantras for Self-Love and Self-Care For You
60+ Weight Loss Affirmations To Reach Your Healthy Weight
100+ Vision Board Affirmations for Your Dream Life
100+ Strength Affirmations to Push You Through
100+ Affirmations for Wife to Make Her Feel Cherished
14 Easy Writing Tips for Heartfelt Christmas Cards
60+ Positive Journal Prompts to Focus On The Good
100+ Merry Christmas Wishes & Sayings for Holiday Cards
50+ Thanksgiving Greetings for Your Loved Ones
60+ Sincere Ways to Say Thank You for The Birthday Wishes
40+ Mindfulness Journal Prompts to Live In The Present
60+ Best Thanksgiving Quotes to Spread Gratitude Everywhere
45+ Inspiring Have a Great Day Quotes & Wishes
50+ International Women's Day Quotes & Wishes
40+ April Quotes for Motivation and Inspiration
70+ Mindfulness Quotes to Live Peacefully
30 Best March Quotes to Enjoy Your Time
7 Ways to Be Brave and Finally Overcome Your Fears
13 Ways to Practice Emotional Self-Care
7 Ways to Focus On Yourself As A People Pleaser
70+ Journal Prompts for Easing Anxiety
16 Poems About Self-Love to Celebrate Your Magic
15 Self-Care Night Routine Ideas for a Restful Sleep
60+ writing prompts to write about yourself.
Pick up your pen!
Writing about yourself can be a very fruitful exercise to help you learn more about yourself. Although it can be difficult sometimes to turn the lens on yourself, it gives us the skill to understand our feelings and reasons.
Self-reflection helps us really know what we want, why we want it, and hold our choices firmly because we did the work in building solid ground for them.
Benefits of writing about yourself
- Self-awareness: When we write about ourselves, we explore our thoughts outside of the chatter in our minds. It makes them more organized and easier to analyze. It also helps us discover more aspects of our personality.
- Stress relief: Being honest about how you feel and your opinions without the fear of judgment from others gives you the space to let loose. Often, I have scribbled my racing thoughts and uncomfortable feelings on paper to then feel more centered and capable.
- Clarity: By putting your thoughts into words, you can gain insights, identify patterns, and make connections that might otherwise remain hidden. This clarity can be invaluable when making important decisions or navigating through complex situations.
- Choosing your goals: Writing about yourself is also super helpful in finding and cementing what you want. If you keep seeing that there are patterns in your wants in life, it becomes quite certain what you need.
- Room for creativity: When you write freely about yourself, it gives you the space to explore ideas and think outside of the box.
- Memories of your life: Lastly, I find it really beautiful that I have journal entries written by a younger me that I can read anytime. It helps me reconnect to my childhood and also see how much I have grown. It truly is beautiful.
Tips for writing about yourself
- Make sure that you create a safe, no-judgment space within and outside yourself. When you write, don't judge yourself for your thoughts, feelings, and words, you can ponder on them later. Don't hold back because it doesn't really change your thoughts but only leaves an uncomfortable feeling.
- Forget about grammar, punctuation, beautiful handwriting, and anything else that creates hindrances in your free expression.
- Try to find a time in your routine when you know you'll be able to write and keep up with it. I write at the end of my day when I'm in bed and it's really been helpful to dedicate that time to it.
- Focus on your feelings, and express everything that goes within you. Be honest and try to go deep into your emotions.
- Use prompts to make it easier, that's already sorted with this post!
- Be kind to yourself and have patience. Some days it won't be so easy and wonderfully reflective, and it's okay, it's life.
Prompts to write about yourself
- What is something you're really good at doing?
- If you could pick one color to paint the world, which color would you choose?
- Is there a cool story behind your name? How did your parents decide on it?
- Imagine going on a dream vacation! Which country would you love to explore and what's so exciting about it?
- What's your favorite movie or TV show? What do you like about it?
- When you grow up, what do you want to be?
- Which is your favorite season? Why do you love it? Is it the weather, the holidays, or the activities you get to do?
- If you could invent something amazing, what would it be?
- When you were little, where did you dream of going on vacation? What made that place so magical in your imagination?
- What's your favorite book or story? How did it capture your heart and imagination?
- Imagine meeting someone famous from the past. Who would you choose and what questions or conversations would you have with them?
- What's your favorite thing to do for fun? How does it make you feel and why do you enjoy it so much?
- If you could solve any big problem in the world, what would it be? Why is it important to you?
- Share one of your favorite family traditions or rituals and explain why it's so special to you.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- What is something you love to do in your free time that always brings a smile to your face?
- If you could have any animal as a pet, which one would you choose?
- Imagine you have a magic wand that can make one wish come true. What would you wish for?
- What is your absolute favorite meal or snack?
- Write about someone you admire and why they inspire you.
- If you could have a special talent that you don't currently possess, what would it be? How would it make your life more exciting or interesting?
- Imagine you could live inside a video game for a day. Which game would you choose and what adventures would you embark on?
- Write about a comfort object or item that brings you joy. Describe it and why it holds a special place in your heart.
- Picture yourself as a character in a movie. What kind of movie would it be, and what role would you play?
- If you could have a magical treehouse, what would it look like? Describe your dream treehouse and all the amazing features it would have.
- Think about your best friend or a close friend. What makes them an incredible friend, and why are they so special to you?
- If you could spend a day with a fictional character from a book, who would you choose and why?
- Imagine you could create a brand new holiday. What would it be called, and how would you celebrate it? Share the fun and unique traditions!
- Picture your dream vacation destination. What makes it so appealing? Describe the sights, sounds, and experiences you would have there.
- We all have a favorite quote or saying that inspires us. What is yours, and why does it resonate with you?
- Imagine you have a time machine. Which era or time period would you travel to, and what would you do there?
- If you could be a character in a fairy tale, who would you be and why? Would you be a hero, a princess, or a mischievous trickster?
- What is your current favorite song, and why does it hold a special place in your heart?
- Imagine you had a magical ability to talk to animals. Which animal would you choose to have conversations with, and what would you ask them?
- We all have dreams for the future. What is one big dream or goal you have, and what steps can you take to make it a reality?
- What is your all-time favorite dish or meal? Describe it in delicious detail, from its tantalizing aroma to the flavors that make your taste buds dance.
- What is something you're scared of, and why does it make you feel uneasy or anxious?
- Describe your very best friend. What makes them special to you and why do you cherish your friendship?
- What is the color scheme of your favorite room? Paint a picture with words as you describe the objects and decorations that make it unique and cozy.
- Write about your beloved pet animal. Describe their appearance, personality, and the special bond you share with them.
- Think of a memorable day in your life and describe it in detail.
- What is your favorite dress or outfit? Describe it in detail, from the colors and patterns to how it makes you feel when you wear it.
- Reflect on your achievements and what sets them apart. Share the successes you're proud of and explain why they are meaningful to you.
- If you could change one habit about yourself, what would it be? Describe the habit and explain why you would like to change it and how it would benefit you.
- Describe a time when you didn't do something you really wanted to do. Reflect on whether it was the right or wrong choice and the impact it had on you.
- Write about a moment when you felt truly loved by someone else. Describe the circumstances, the emotions you experienced, and the significance of that love.
- Reflect on the greatest struggle you've faced in your relationships. Describe the challenges and conflicts you've encountered and how you navigate them.
- Describe a time when you learned something profound about yourself. Explain the circumstances that led to this self-discovery and how it has shaped your perspective.
- Share a memorable experience of trying something new or stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Write about a personal quality or trait that you like about yourself and why it brings you joy or makes you proud.
- Describe an activity or hobby that you thoroughly enjoy doing in your free time. What makes it special and why does it bring you happiness?
- Reflect on a strong life value or principle that you live by. Explain why it is important to you and how it shapes your decisions and actions.
- Share the story behind a prized possession that you cherish. Describe its significance to you and the memories or emotions attached to it.
- Recall a time when you helped someone out, big or small, and describe how it made you feel. Reflect on the impact of your actions and the satisfaction it brought.
- Are you an early bird or a night owl? Discuss your preference and what you enjoy about that particular time of day.
- Recall a specific moment when you felt proud of yourself. Describe the achievements or accomplishments that led to that pride and why it mattered to you.
- Reflect on a life lesson or piece of wisdom that has stuck with you. Explain its significance and how it has influenced your actions or decisions.
- Write about a life-changing experience that had a profound impact on you. Describe the event, the emotions involved, and how it transformed your perspective or outlook.
- Share three things that help you stay clean and fresh, whether they are personal hygiene products, rituals, or habits.
- Describe a favorite childhood memory that still brings a smile to your face. Paint a vivid picture of the sights, sounds, and emotions associated with that moment.
- Reflect on a time when you overcame a fear or faced a challenge. Describe the experience and how it taught you resilience and strength.
- Write about a place in nature that holds a special meaning for you.
- Share a piece of advice that has guided you through difficult times. Explain its importance and how it has helped you navigate challenges.
- Describe a memorable encounter with a stranger that left a lasting impact on you. Reflect on the connection, the lessons learned, or the perspective gained.
- Write about a small act of kindness or a random act of generosity that you witnessed or experienced. Describe the impact it had on you and how it inspired you to pay it forward.
- Reflect on a time when you learned a valuable lesson from a mistake or failure. Describe the experience and the wisdom gained from it.
And, that's all! I hope you have a lot of writing about yourself and get closer to the person you are.
If you found the prompts interesting, do share them with your friends and family. Take care!
Continue Reading: 100+ Self-Care Journal Prompts for Healing and Reflection
The writer and affirmations speaker at Gratitude, Aarushi believes that one of the most effective ways of feeling inner peace is by being grateful and having a loving self-relationship.
Free Weekly Gratitude Worksheet!
Discover more from gratitude blog.