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5 Wise Tips for writing your autobiography

By Kelly Marone

5 Wise Tips on Autobiography Writing

You decided to share your life story with other people? Autobiography writing may be the most difficult challenge you’ve faced. It will take more time than you assume. Some days will be easy; you’ll be very inspired to write and the memories will write themselves down. Then, you’ll face a blockade and you won’t be able to write a single word for days. You will live through your hardest experiences all over again. However, you should stay persistent and always believe that your story is worth telling.

The following insightful tips will help you write a successful autobiography that will capture the hearth of your readers.

  1. Identify your purpose.                

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The first thing you need to clarify is why you are undertaking this challenge and who you are writing the autobiography for. Will it be a legacy for your family, or you intend to publish it for a greater audience? For some authors, the purpose of writing an autobiography is to go over some emotions that have been setting the tone of their entire lives. When you write something down, it’s easier for you to look at it from a different angle, so you’ll deal with the burden eventually.

Another purpose for writing a biography is giving hope and inspiration to other people. You’ve surpassed extreme obstacles? When you realize that many other people are going through a similar experience, your story may help them get on track. Every reason for writing is valid. However, you must identify your purpose, since it will guide you towards the completion of this project.

  1. Be honest with yourself and everyone else!

Whispering

You cannot tell lies just to add some flare to the story. It’s not a story after all; it’s your life and you have to tell the truth. Otherwise, the autobiography will defy its purpose, whatever it may be. Insightful readers can always tell when the author is hiding something from them. They can also recognize the moments of exaggeration.

Of course, you still have the right to change some aspects, such as the names of the people you are mentioning. However, you should tell the readers that you have changed the names to preserve their privacy. When it comes to your feelings, motivations, and the actual events, there is no space for alternations.

  1. Use the right tools!

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When it’s hard for you to stay committed to the writing schedule or you lack motivation to proceed, then some online tools and resources can bring you back to working mode. For example, this Mind Mapping software will help you organize your ideas and describe the events in a logical flow.

To make the chronological organization of your autobiography simple, you should try using Dipity – a tool that helps you keep track of the most prominent days of your life.

When you get to the editing stage, you’ll have to rely on an expert. Don’t even think about editing your own autobiography; you are too attached to notice even the most obvious flaws and mistakes. PapersGear offers affordable editing services that will add quality and authority to your writing. You can also count on the writers at this website when you lack ideas or information from any niche. They can help you create truly believable work.

If you find speaking easier than writing, then you’ll love Transcribe – an online transcription and dictation tool that will turn your words into text.

  1. If you want to inspire other people, don’t make them depressed!

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When you intend for other people to read your content, you have to think about the impression you are going to make. If your purpose is to help your readers go through their struggles successfully, then you have an obligation to motivate them. Setting the tone of the story doesn’t mean you’ll be cheating. Share the hard times and the good vibes; just make sure that the overall lesson pushes the readers to go forward with their lives.

  1. Ambivalence is good!

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Every experience in your life had a lesson to teach you. Some events were bitter, while others were mostly happy. When you are writing an autobiography, you have to consider both sides of things. Be insightful and observe your memories: how did those events affect your life? No matter how difficult your situation was, you could always learn something from it. Don’t try to be bubbly and happy all the time, but avoid the other extreme as well: do not evoke feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Your life wasn’t black or white; it was everything in between. That’s the reality you want to present.

Geysir-iceland-2

40 things you didn’t know were named after real places

Words aren’t created in a vacuum, and when you trace their origin to the source, you often find that they come from unexpected places. For this list, I’ve found 40 toponyms: words that are named after the place in which they were created or inspired by.

You may know some of them already, but most of these surprised me. Please add your favorites in the comments.

Angora

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.33.42 AM

Named after the breeds of rabbits, cats and goats that frequented the region around Ankara, the present capital of Turkey.

Academia 

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Plato taught classes to his pupils (which included Aristotle) at Akademeia, which translates roughly to the “grove of Akademos”, an enclosed garden located near Athens. Akademos is named after the Trojan war hero of the same name.

Attic 

attic

theglamcorner.com

The word ‘attic’ literally means “Athenian”, and was a decorative but addition placed upon the top of many ancient Greek buildings (The top part of the parthenon is an example of an Attic aesthetic).

Badminton

badminton birdie

aliexpress.com

Named after the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, the game was invented at Badminton House in rural England. Before the sport came to fruition, Badminton House also inspired the name of a mixed drink that includes claret, sugar and spritzer.

Balaclava

Balaclava

The Balaclava is named after The Battle of Balaklava, which occurred during the Crimean War in the 1850’s. Ironically, though, the garment was never worn there, and the name actually derives from the beards donned by many of the British veterans returning from the war.

Bantam

The word often used to describe age and weight groupings in sport derives from a small town in Indonesia, Banten, which hosted a small-to-midsize chicken popular with traders at the time.

Bath

The word actually comes from the name of the English city, and not the other way around. Famous for it’s Roman-era hot springs, the town is still a big draw among tourists. 

Bikini

bomba

The bikini is named after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where Americans conducted atomic bomb testing in 1946. In 1947, French engineer Louis Reard named his two-piece swimsuit invention after the place.

Bohemians

boheme

During the 15th century an influx of gypsies arrived in Paris from Egypt, but many misattributed their home of origin to a small province in the Austrian Empire called Bohemia (now around the Czech Republic). The term was later used to describe the poor artist communities of the city. 

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels

It kind of sounds like an obvious one, but 13th century Belgian farmers deliberately developed the small vegetable long before it became a staple in both French and English cuisine.

Cantaloupes

Cantalupo

Originally from Armenia, the town of Cantalupo in Sabina grew the first cantaloupes in Europe. A few miles north of Rome, Cantalupo contains a Papal villa.

Chartreuse

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The horrific color comes from the liqueur of the same name, which was first distilled by the monks of the Carthusian order near Grenoble, France. 

Cherries

Giresun, Turkey (Wikipedia)

Giresun, Turkey (Wikipedia)

The word ‘cherry’ was taken from the Norman cherise, which was taken from the latin cerasum, which literally means ‘of Cerasus’, an ancient Roman town now known as Giresun in  modern-day Turkey. 

Clink

CLINK

Modern-day Clink Street Prison Museum

The slang tem for prison comes from the London prison, formerly located on Clink Street. It was destroyed during the Gordon riots of 1780, where TK

Cordova

cordoba-spain

Cordoba, Spain

The title of goatskin leather is named after the Spanish city of Cordoba, which was once the heart of Muslim Europe, and even spawned the so-called “Golden Age of Poetry” during the 11th century.

Dalmatian

Dalmatians

The famous movie dog comes from the Croatian region of Dalmatia, but was largely bred for its spotted pattern in England. 

Duffel Bags

Duffel, Belgium

Duffel, Belgium (dronestagr.am)

Duffel bags were actually produced in the small town of Duffel, Belgium, which is located near present-day Antwerp. 

DumDum Bullets

dumdum

The type of expanding bullet were produced at a small military outpost in Dumdum, India, near Kolkata.

Epsom Salts

Ewell Springs, UK

Ewell Springs, UK

Epsom Salts are named after the Epsom Spring, a popular spa among Londoners in the seventeenth century. the spring contained high levels of magnesium sulphate.

Fez Hats

FezHat

popular in North America among the Shriners, Fez hats come from the Moroccan city of Fez, where muslim worshippers would not be able to kneel and pray with a brimmed hat, and therefore needed something practical to cover their head. 

Geysers

Geysir-iceland-2

Geysers are a natural phenomenon caused by the shooting of hot water through a vent. Popular with tourists, the word ‘geyser’ comes from Geysir, the location of a hot spring in Iceland.

Ghetto

Gheto Vechio,  Venice, Italy

Gheto Vechio, Venice, Italy

Possibly derived from the Medieval-Venetian word for ‘founding’ (as in a foundry). A large foundry was located in the poor and walled Jewish district of Venice in the sixteenth century, which is of course featured in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

Italics

Aldus Manutius, inventor of italics.

Aldus Manutius, inventor of italics.

the word ‘italic’ literally means “Of Italy”, and were invented by Italian printer Aldus Manutius in 1501. He wrote an edition of Virgil’s works using the font style in hopes of imitating genuine hand-writing. 

Jerseys

Jersey

Jersey, UK

Part of the United Kingdom, the Channel Island of Jersey made the majority of garments from the cattle they bred. In time, they become a fashionable sweater, and from then on, sports teams adopted them as uniforms.

Laconic

Laconia is the province in red at the bottom of Greece

Laconia is the province in red at the bottom of Greece

Laconic is word describing people who are tight-lipped and generally quiet in speech. The word comes from Laconia, the Ancient Greek district where Sparta was located. Legend has it that Alexander the Great threatened to invade Laconia and uttered:

“If I enter Laconica, I will level Sparta to the ground.”

Then, the Spartans replied with:

“If”

Limericks

Limerick

The type of poem famous for its brevity and bawdiness comes from the Irish city of the same name, but its origins are largely unrelated to the town itself. Rather, a famous chorus sung between limericks during performances contained the line “Will you come up to Limerick”.

Magenta

Courtesy of: fast-meteo.com

Courtesy of: fast-meteo.com

Magenta was the location of a battle during the Franco-Austrian war (The Austrians Lost), and it turned out that an aniline dye could be developed from the coal-tar located near that battle. Magenta ended up being the first synthetic dye used in textiles.

Mayonnaise

Photo Courtesy of: foodbeast.com

Photo Courtesy of: foodbeast.com

Mayonnaise was supposedly created for the first time in Mahon, a small town in Minorca where the French were battling the Spanish. Apparently, the chef of the Duke of Richelieu created it to make the local food taste better. 

It’s origins get even more interesting, though, if you consider that Mahon is named after Mago, a carthaginian admiral, making ‘mayonnaise’ the only word in the English language to have a Punic etymology. 

Manila Envelopes

manila

The beige-colored enveloped used for sending documents and mid-sized packages is named after Manila hemp, which was taken from the tree of the same name grown around the Philippines.

Marathon

Marathon, Greece (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Marathon, Greece (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The popular type of race is named after the legendary spring of an Athenian sold, who supposedly jogged from Marathon to Athens to let to locals know that they had beaten the Persians, then subsequently dropped dead (Herodotus claims that he ran from Athens to Sparta to get reinforcements for the battle of Marathon). Nevertheless, the Greeks commemorated the event by holding an inaugural marathon race during the 1896 Olympics in Athens.

Meander

Classic Buyuk Menderes move (Photo Courtesy of http://www.zamanvadisi.com)

Classic Buyuk Menderes move (Photo Courtesy of http://www.zamanvadisi.com)

This fairly common word comes from a fairly unlikely source—the river Buyuk Menderes in Turkey. The river is known in the region for taking a very lengthy, sinuous route.

Muslin

muslin

The word comes from the cotton fabric once produced in the city of Mosul, Iraq. The city recently made headlines when it was successfully invaded and occupied by ISIS. 

Ottoman

Ottomans were actually a popular fixture among the royalty of the Ottoman empire, and became popular in the West when Victorian England and France grew obsessed with the Orientalist imagery of Eurasia and the Middle-East. 

Port

oporto, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

oporto, Portugal (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The type of fortified wine was mostly exported out from Oporto, Portugal, which is today also known for a successful soccer team. 

Rugby

Rugby School, England

Rugby School, England

The popular sporting event is named after the Rugby School in England, a high school which has long been associated with Oxford. In the nineteenth century, two types of football were popular among schoolboys, Rugby football and Association football. At the time, it was popular slang to called the former rugger and the latter soccer.

Sardonic

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia, Italy

The word often describing a mocking, funny look comes from the island of Sardinia, or more precisely its endemic grass herbs sardonia, which when eaten, causes us to grimace and chuckle. Side note: Sardines are also named after the island, as they were bountiful off its coasts. 

Siamese Twins

Chang and Eng Bunker (Photo Courtesy of http://www.ourstate.com/)

Chang and Eng Bunker (Photo Courtesy of http://www.ourstate.com/)

Siamese twins are a popular if not archaic term for conjoined twins. The phrase comes from the Chang and Eng, conjoined twins from Siam who toured the world in circuses and so-called freak shows during the 19th century.

Spa

Spa, Belgium

Spa, Belgium (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Spas are actually named after the town of Spa, in Belgium, a town famous in the 16th century for its mineral springs. The city is also famous for having a pump-room built by Peter the Great. Spa is also where Kaiser Wilhelm II officially abdicated the German throne in 1918, leading to the end of the First World War. 

Tarantulas

The name of a dance originating in Taranto, Italy called the tarantella—meant to cure a disease called Tarantism—inspired the naming of a local spider who was rumored to cause the disease. 

Tuxedo

Tuxedo Club, NY (Photo coutesy of http://www.thetuxedoclub.org/)

Tuxedo Club, NY (Photo coutesy of http://www.thetuxedoclub.org/)

The tuxedo was actually commonly-known as the dinner jacket before a man called Griswold Lorillard started wearing them to a local haunt called the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo, New York.