Informal biographies

Over the last four decades I’ve written well over 500 short biographies. Because I do this so much, I created a simple format I follow nearly every time.

So I’m constantly surprised when parents or grandparents tell me they’d like to tell their kids about the “early years,” but don’t know how to get started.

One way I recommend is that the writer recall her earliest vivid memory, and begin the story from that point. In my case, it was sitting on the couch with my Mom or Dad when I was three or four, and having them read children’s books to me.

What “first event” jump-starts your memory? Is it getting your first dog or cat, or interacting with a sibling? I find that after you get the first few sentences down on paper, the writing gets much easier.

Take a look at Rix’s new book: How to Sell Ideas With the Minute Message.

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Rix Quinn

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and California State University.

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