9 Creative Questions To Inspire You To Write About Your Life

Writing about your life can feel daunting. It has the potential to unlock old memories, bring emotions to the surface, and be a revealing process. However, it’s because of these elements that it can also be wonderfully empowering.

Here at Derbyshire Writing School, we believe everyone has a story and life writing is one way to get this out and onto the page.

‘Time is passing – we only have one life, but you have an opportunity to remember the details of it.’ – Everyday Storytellers

It’s important to remember that nobody else needs to see your life writing if you don’t want them to. It can be completely private. By writing about your life, you open yourself up to an amazing learning experience, whether you keep it for yourself or share it with others. It’s up to you. But know it doesn’t detract from the importance of whether you share it or not.

What Is Life Writing?

 Life writing is the act of putting your life on the page. These can be thoughts, ideas, or stories. It can be your most treasured memories, your happiest of days, or reflections on dark experiences. There is no right or wrong way to write about your life. It’s personal. It’s your story and you get to tell it your way.

There are, of course, conventions to the genre of life writing. These are ‘rules’ or agreements that are often made with the reader. You are expected to tell the truth. Your life doesn’t need added sparkle. Your stories are enough as they are. You can’t embellish with life writing. It must be real. That’s the key to it being non-fiction too. It also must be from your perspective, it’s your opinion. So don’t try to write from someone else’s perspective. Write about your experience.

Examples of life writing include:

So Why Explore Life Writing?

 There is so much magic to be found in writing about our lives. It gives us the opportunity to:

  • Learn new things about ourselves.

  • Capture memories that we would otherwise forget.

  • Reflect on our life, experiences, and behaviour.

  • Gain a new perspective on our experiences.

Although it can be scary to put yourself on the page and to feel vulnerable, it can be such a valuable avenue to explore. Keep writing, keep digging and find that creative courage.

Whether you uncover a new lesson from an old experience, gain a new perspective on how you handled a certain situation, or feel excited at remembering an old memory, exploring your life through writing contains so many powerful possibilities.

Try Life Writing With 9 Inspiring Prompts

We’ve put together some questions to help inspire you to explore your life through writing. We recommend freewriting and writing to a timer, as this can encourage creative flow. This technique encourages us to just keep writing, to keep moving rather than trying to think up ideas.

To get the best out of the writing prompts, try to be as honest as you can when answering them. See what emerges and what discoveries reveal themselves to you. Remember, you don’t have to show anyone what you write.

1.    Can you pinpoint a significant experience that has stayed with you? Try to expand on what it means to you. What happened? Where were you? Why did you react the way you did? Who else was there?

2.    When you think about your life so far, what five themes would you use to describe it?

3.    Describe your life using a song title. Can you explain why you’ve chosen that particular song?

4.    Whether it is physical photos or pictures on your phone, which three images stand out the most? What do these pictures mean to you?

5.    Which character from TV, film, or literature do you relate to the most, and can you explain why this is?

6.    Can you list the five people who mean the most to you and write about a favourite memory you have with each of them?

7.    What are the three life lessons that have had the biggest impact on you?

8.    Can you name one thing that you want to achieve in the future and explain the inspiration behind this goal?

9.    When you look back, is there anything in your life you’d do differently? What change would you make and what’s the reason behind this?

We hope these questions help to inspire your life writing! You never know what creative ideas might spring from thinking about your life and experiences. Writing can lead us down so many unexpected and exciting paths!

How To Write About Your Life

Writing about your life can be simple or complex. It can be something you share or something you keep for yourself. You can start today, or you can keep putting it off. The best way to get started is to make a commitment. Try for five minutes, ten minutes, or half an hour, but commit to starting.

Another great way to explore life writing is through Morning Pages. This is Julia Cameron’s technique of freewriting. It is another great way to explore your life through writing. This method is a safe ‘space to be raw and vulnerable, and could help ease you into the process of writing about your life. You could think of it as another version of journaling. It’s not about the quality of the writing, but about getting the words down.

From there, you can be more specific about the topics, memories, or experiences you choose to write about. It could be based on themes like school or relationships. Or you could pick a year to write about. Just keep making that commitment to documenting your life.

How Derbyshire Writing School Can Help You Tell Your Stories

If you’d like to explore life writing further, our Memories to Memoir course can help! It’s perfect if you’re looking to start documenting your life through written stories. After all, we all have a story to tell.

How do you feel about life writing? Do you find it daunting to dive into your life, or do you find it therapeutic? Get in touch and let us know. We’d love to hear your thoughts!


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