What do Teen Autobiographers Write About?

I’m sure you’re excited to learn that passages are being leaked from First Step 2 Forever: My Story, the autobiography of 16-year-old Justin Bieber. Or maybe you’ve never even heard of Justin Bieber, the latest sensation to top the pop charts. In either case, perhaps you wonder: what’s there to write about when you’ve been on the planet only 16 years?

Apparently, there’s enough to inspire quite a few young people to tell their life story, short though it might be. Of course, there’s childhood. Actress Drew Barrymore’s autobiography, also written at the age of 16, recounted less-than-innocent early years with the introduction of drugs and alcohol, and Kelly Osbourne, who waited until she was a ripe 24 before penning her memoir, told some harrowing tales about growing up under the same roof as dad Ozzy. Gymnast Shawn Johnson, 16 when she wrote her book, and British soccer star Wayne Rooney, who was 22, each focused on a life dedicated to competition and sportsmanship. At just 15, both American pop’s Miley Cyrus and British classical vocalist Charlotte Church revealed details about their somewhat ordinary childhood that proceeded during their very extraordinary rise to fame.

These young authors wrote memoirs more for their fans than for themselves or their families. You may not have legions of fans, but if mere teens can find enough interesting about their lives to craft an autobiography, certainly you can draw on your experiences to knock out a book’s worth of chapters. Keep writing!