It’s one thing to look at your biography on a computer screen, and another thing to print it out to hold in your hands. Congratulate yourself if you’re at this point, if not-just keep working on your rough draft and write daily. Do set a realistic deadline for when you want to finish this project so you still have time to edit your work in progress or just begin writing your life story if you haven't started yet.
By now you should have added page numbers to your rough draft on the computer and decided on your final paper size and margins (suggestions-1 inch top, bottom and right, 1.5 inch on left for binding) before printing it out. If you have more than 100 pages, your history is too long. I generally do my histories on 8.5”X11” inches standard paper size, but there are other options available. For a shorter life history that I made for my grandkids I cut that size in half. It was a much smaller book for them to read 5.5”X8.5.” and written in simpler language to fit their interest span.
It’s possible to publish online via a blog or webpage or in just episodes via emails or on Facebook. You can also do both print and online. Use Internet resources to generate interest in your printed history especially with the younger generation. You could convert your completed bio to a pdf file that can be copied onto a CD/DVD and mailed to others for them to print out. Or you could just make a video or recording of you telling your story. If all of this seems like Greek to you, talk to your family’s computer guru and get some help to utilize this technology.
As you are continuing to edit, you can still add both photos, captions, chapter headings, etc. But realize each change you make will cause other sections of your story to change. Always start editing on the computer from the first of your story. I like to print my history out and write in corrections or additions in the margins. Then, it’s time to go back to the rough draft on the computer and add or delete parts I want to improve upon.
Breaking your history down into chapters helps. It’s that old adage about eating the elephant at one sitting. Just tackle this job of editing in stages. Chapter one, then the next one, etc. Soon you’ll have it under control.