The easiest way to write the first draft of an "experiences" book is chronologically ... just get it all out onto paper in more or less the order it happened. Don't be too concerned with style - just do a brain dump. Your plot already happened.
Originally Posted by Casiopeia
After you have it on paper, you can decide if the time-based organization works, add explanations of how LDS theology affected events, clean up the grammar, etc. Then you can also decide if it's a "how to cope" book, a personal memoir, or whatever.
But the first critical thing is to just write ... one way to handle something time-based is to open a file in your word processor and set it to "outline" view. Start a bunch of headings: family background, childhood, teenagehood, courtship, marriage, divorce, aftermath, future
As events come to mind, write them as paragraphs in the appropriate section. Learn to collapse and reveal levels of headings and it makes flipping back and forth as you remember events a lot easier. Make notes to yourself about things you need to ask others, or research, as you go. Don't stop writing because you don't a bit of information ... note what you need and keep typing.
When a section gets some material, you may find it easier to add more levels of subheadings and drag the events into things like:
Learning to be LDS from others
Dating non-LDS membersNothing is permanent ... this is just labelling your events in a bucket so you can find them. If you decide later, after the events are on paper that you want to tell the story from the POV of you, your parents and your ex ... it's easier to do because of the headings.
Dating LDS members