I have written and spoken numerous times on the subject of one writing an autobiography. I believe it is the one great thing one can do for his or her descendants. I convinced my father to do so about a year before he died and I have read it several times a year for the 30 odd years since he died.
The following anecdote hit home with me (and by the way has nothing to do with politics).
Vice President Dick Cheney was being interviewed recently on television about his just released book, In My Time. His daughter Liz was in the interview with him and indeed helped him write the book.
The interviewer asked if it helped or not to have his daughter part of the writing process. Cheney enthusiastically replied it had helped. He went on to ask how many people have the opportunity to “sit for many hours and tell war stories” to a son or daughter. Cheney writes in his book, “It is a rare blessing to have reason to spend so many hours of quality time telling your daughter about your life and work.”
I doubt I will ever have the opportunity of such a long chat with a child, but I will have my equivalent when my children read the autobiography I have been writing for over 10 years.
My Format: After writing what I quickly remember about where I was living and what I was doing – school, Navy, early jobs and so forth – in chronological fashion with each section headed by the year, I have perhaps several times a month remembered events of some interest and added them to the year they occurred. Today I have about 80 pages, with a sufficiency of pictures or diagrams to add to the words. I will continue to add as I age.
When will it be read, since no one has at this time …… I haven’t figured that out yet.