Choose the Right Title for Your Memoir

Is there any such thing really as a “right title??? for your memoir? Maybe not, but before you go calling it My Life—or just Life, which is what Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards called his—at least give some thought to what differentiates your life story from every other one out there.

Maybe it’s your career. Let’s say you’re an accountant or bookkeeper. You could title your book It All Adds Up. Or, instead, you could refer to a cherished hobby. If you love working with your hands, for example, you could name your book Crafting a Life. Perhaps you identify most with being a parent. Then you might choose a title like A Dad’s Tale. If you prefer to focus on how your upbringing shaped your life, you could try something specific like Shy Daughter in a Show Biz Family.

Many of us have a favorite saying that we repeat often and can be reworked to serve as a handy title for an autobiography. For example, if you mention in your book that you’re constantly saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,??? you could call your book Still in the Kitchen as a way to show that you’re always willing to stand up for your beliefs. And then there are puns. Oh, the puns! Let’s save those for next time.