Authoring Your Life
Developing Your INTERNAL VOICE to Navigate Life’s Challenges

Illustrated by Matthew Henry Hall
Foreword by Sharon Daloz Parks
Paper: 978 1 57922 272 7 / $22.50
Published: September 2017  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 659 6 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: June 2011  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 700 1 / $17.99
Published: October 2017  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
400 pp., 6" x 9"
10 maps & diagrams
Who am I? What do I want in relationships? How do I know what to believe? How do I manage the stresses of living?

This is a guide to addressing life’s challenges and competing demands. It will help you to reflect on the problems and setbacks you encounter to discover your own voice, uncover your authentic sense of values, build your confidence, and find meaning in your life.

This is, however, far more than a self-help book; and it addresses multiple audiences.

Because everyone’s circumstances differ, and life is unpredictable, this book does not offer simplistic solutions and steps to follow. Instead, Marcia Baxter Magolda immerses you in the stories of thirty-five adults whom she has followed and interviewed for over twenty years. With her guidance, and using the self-authorship framework she has developed, you will recognize in yourself many patterns and parallels from the protagonists’ stories of emotional and intellectual growth. By reflecting on these life stories, you will gain insights about your individual values and identity, and strengthen your sense of self-reliance to handle significant transitions and unexpected circumstances.

In addition to helping you identify the phases of your journey to self-authorship, Marcia Baxter Magolda offers reflective exercises and questions to help you uncover your strengths and identify the barriers that may be inhibiting you from building the internal, psychological compass that will serve as the foundation for your journey.

Offering advice on how to be “good company” for those who have set out on their journey to self-authorship, the book is also addressed to partners, family members, friends, teachers, mentors, and employers, so they can offer support to those that face these challenges.

Finally, for scholars of adult development, this book offers the latest articulation of the developing theory of self-authorship.

Table of Contents:
List of tables and Maps; Acknowledgements; Foreword; Note to Readers; Introduction; 1) Challenges of Adult Life; 2) Dawn’s Story—Bringing Out the Truth in a Character; 3) Mark’s Story—Developing a Spiritual Philosophy of Life; 4) Kurt’s Story—Being True to the Man in the Glass; 5) Sandra’s Story—Living Her Faith; 6) Lydia’s Story—External Chaos, Internal Stability; 7) Evan’s Story—Being the Best You Can Be; 8) How to Be a Good Company for Your Own Journey; 9) Partnerships: How to Provide Good Company for Others’ Journeys; 10) Diverse Self-Authorship Stories; 11) Mapping Your Journey; 12) A Theory of Self-Authorship Development; Longitudinal Study Methodology and Methods; Notes; Index.

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Geared for a popular rather than an academic audience, this book is designed to assist young adults in moving from dependence on external authorities to taking charge of their own life decisions. Secondly, the book serves as a guide to significant others who wish to help these individuals more effectively address the challenges that life brings.

As in her earlier work, Baxter Magolda relies extensively on quoted material from her participants' interviews as the foundation for Authoring Your Life. As a result, Baxter Magolda's discussion is richly textured and her theoretical concepts and applications are well-supported.

Authoring Your Life adds to the growing body of literature on self-authorship. Written in comprehensible language that student staff as well as professionals unfamiliar with the concept of self-authorship can understand, it contains fascinating in-depth narratives that demonstrate the evolution of life during the young adult years."
- Journal of College Student Development
"This book should be considered an essential addition to the library for the young professional just entering a career in academic advising. The emphasis placed on developing the skills to become a more independent thinker is essential to understanding the needs of college and university students who are in the early stages of understanding the complexities of becoming successful contributors to society as a whole."
- NACADA Journal (National Academic Advising Association)