For the last 90 lessons of the 9th Grade English course I have been reading and analysing autobiographies. So far I have read Jim Lehrer’s, Helen Keller’s, Mark Twain’s, and Sergei Kourdakov’s autobiographies. Now it is time for me to think about my own autobiography and a question arises: what benefits come from writing an autobiography?
In my opinion, I think people write autobiographies for four reasons: for their own enjoyment, so others can learn from their mistakes, to inspire people, and to leave a legacy behind.
For me, I love to write and I find it fun, unlike some of my friends. I do not doubt that the people who wrote autobiographies also liked to write. When I was younger my Dad would tell me that people love to talk about themselves, and I think that this is the same for writing. Who would not like to write about themselves? Especially when they know that other people may read it. Writing about your life, especially your childhood, will bring back old memories that you may have forgotten, or have not thought about in a long time. Some people may enjoy looking back on their life and remember the adventures they had.
Your autobiography can also help other people. You may have heard the saying “you learn from the mistakes of others,” or something around those lines. Let’s say that you made a bad mistake a few years ago and you do not want others to make the same mistake. Putting this incident into your autobiography, with ways to avoid this situation, can educate and help your readers from making the same mistake and landing themselves in an unfortunate position.
Not only can your autobiography educate your readers, you can also inspire them. For example, Helen Keller’s story is definitely a very inspirational story. When I was a young child she was one of my idols. Her story shows that you can do anything if you put your heart into it, even if you are blind and deaf. If you have an inspirational story with a moral, there is a high chance that your readers will be affected by it.
A couple years ago I found an autobiography by a child actor who was on Broadway. At the time I was only 11 years old and I was not a child who liked to read autobiographies for fun, but this certain one intrigued me. I borrowed the book from the library and inhaled it in under a week. The actor’s story was slightly sad, but very inspirational and enjoyable for me. His story showed me that success is never impossible.
In the 9th Grade English course, and the 9th Grade Business course, Dr North has mentioned leaving behind a legacy many times. Before 9th Grade I never took the time to think about my legacy. As I am only 13 years old I think I have plenty of time to figure out what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.
For me, my legacy is not something that is important to me (yet). But it occurred to me that for adults their legacy is something that matters to them. For some people, their autobiography is their legacy, or is something that they want to be a part of their legacy. Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to leave a legacy. A book about your life, written by you, does seem like the most fun way to make your legacy.
As you can see, there are many benefits to writing an autobiography. I am sure there may be many other reasons, but these are the four that came to mind when I thought about it.
Thanks for reading!