Is an Auto-Biography Self Indulgent or Boring?


After two days in front of the computer screen my About page is now titled ‘Run of the Mill Biography’.

There are 6,442 words.

And they’re all about me.

As soon as I published it I was hit by the overwhelming sense that everyone who reads it will now hate me. It’s an added twist to my current concern that my main interest in the past two days has been writing about myself. I had actually set out to write a run of the mill biography. I had an image of a list of years and then the forgettable things that happened, such as:

1999 – read ‘Generation X’ and didn’t get it

2002 – wrote an embarrassingly biographical novella

It certainly was not the intention when I started writing to enter into something that feels like self-indulgence. As I remembered one element of my past, other memories come back with it, so that an act of life editing was required to maintain a sense of order. To try and quell my fears, I looked for a few quotes about biographies. This helpful one said:

Every artist writes his own biography (Ellis Havelock)

I like this one a lot as it suggests I’m an artist and not a self-indulgent madam with too much time on her hands.

However, this left me feeling like I was onto something:

And I certainly won’t write an autobiography. Only self obsessed people want to write or talk about themselves! (Kajol)

I mean – it’s a little on the judgmental side – well a lot. Yes, I think this is far too judgmental, in which case, even if I have been self indulgent, their judgmental-ness negates it.

Finally, this is possibly the most accurate attitude:

An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details (Roald Dahl)

That’s – well – that’s fair enough.


About 1000-blank-pages

Meant-to-be-a-writer-but-doesn't-even-blog 31 year old who keeps meaning to do "something"
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