My teacher Dr. North gave a a very unexpected reading assignment for this week. He chose the autobiography of Mark Twain, a name I’ve probably only heard once. What is interesting about this assignment is that the book is not very well put together. It is more of a compilation of descriptions and stories that don’t really hold together all that well. This associates well with the question given to me today: “What can you do now to make your biography less disjointed than Twain’s?
Before I go on answering, here’s why I think the book is so messy. The human mind is very a powerful piece of equipment, but it has its limits. It can store many long-term memories, but it can’t hold all of them. Well, not normally, for there are some with the gift of a vast memory. I do not, however, think Twain was on of them. Some things he wrote in his book may have been clouded by poor recollection, which is detrimental to the writing of an autobiography.
Now, back to the question at hand. What can I do to prevent this from happening to my autobiography? Well the easiest thing I can think of doing, and it’s a fairly logical one too, is to keep a record of what I do in my daily life. Essentially, keep a journal. This is by far on of the simplest ways to ‘save’, so to speak, what happened in my early life. In fact, I still have some journals from when I was about seven or so. Then again, it doesn’t have to be on paper. A lot of people keep video logs or even audio logs in place of writing in a diary, so it doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as you do.
I honestly think that this is really the way to prevent an autobiography from becoming disjointed. Well, maybe one other thing. Putting dates on logs would be helpful so it’s not all out of order as well. So now I have stated all I can think of. I honestly think that Twain should have done this, and I know that his autobiography could have been written a good deal better if he did.