Bernard Selling’s book Writing from Within gives us every reason for writing our biographies. Everybody has a story to tell, he reckons. One need not be a celebrity, a politician, a record-breaking Olympic athlete, or the grandchild of an Auschwitz survivor.
Writing the story of one’s life is “a journey of self-discovery,” Selling stresses. It allows us to “affect the future of the families into which we are born.” It gives direction and perspective to our children, their children, and the generations that will come after them. A hundred years from now, Selling promises, “those who follow can clearly see the footprints we made and can begin to gauge their own paths by our direction.”
For someone who has had a troubled life, writing a biography can be therapeutic as it “releases the pain of the past” (although it need not get as embarrassing as the tell-all book of a celebrity offspring).
However, fear gets in the way, inhibiting us “from letting the world see our work.” Don’t be, Selling says. “Some very good work may be lost because of our pessimism.”
What a pep talk! It makes me want to sit down and start writing my own life story.
Tomorrow’s the start of another work week. Go out and get a life, then write about it when you get home.