The Nation’s Reverse Time Capsule

What can we expect from the next decade of autobiographies?

Here at StoryTerrace, we typically write memoirs for older individuals who have extensive life stories – from the ages of 50 and above.

However, we have noticed a rise in the number of autobiographies being written by the younger generation. Not just in our service, but across a plethora of prolific figures in the public domain.

Therefore, we decided to explore this further and commissioned a large-scale, nationally representative study to delve into the lives of Brits to see how people are looking to turn their lives around this year, post-pandemic, to ensure they have life stories that are worth writing about in years to come.

What did we find? 

What we found was extremely interesting and highlighted a shift in the younger generations who are motivated, now more than ever, to live life to the fullest with over half the population aiming to make their 30s their most exciting years yet!  

BlogforRefinery29_nationsreversetimecapsule_person-stands-on-a-beach-with-their-arms-out-at-sunset_PhotoCredit_ Leandro Bianchini-Burst

How are they planning to go about doing this?

Our research demonstrates that our traditional life trajectories have evolved from our ancestors. For example, over a third of men and women across the nation have decided to delay starting a family until they have achieved more personal goals. This might be travelling the world, or taking the leap into your dream career, or expanding your social circle to meet more new faces. The opportunities in the modern world are endless, with over a third of the population agreeing they are determined to accumulate enough life experience in the next 10 years to be able to write a memoir by the time they’re 40.


What does this mean for the future of life stories being written?

Evidently, our life stories are peaking from a much earlier age. Subsequently, we are expecting to see a significant rise in the number of autobiographies being penned from a younger audience. Coupled with the stats, this is unsurprising as we live in a society littered with opportunity and easier access to exciting new adventures.

Here are the key findings from the survey* we commissioned:

  • 34% (6,058,000) say they have decided to delay parenthood until they’ve achieved some personal goals
  • 33% (8,864,000) say they are no longer prioritising marriage because they want to work on themselves and their future life plans
  • 10% (2,776,000) said they are putting their career prospects on hold so they can travel the world
  • 21% (3,838,000) are keen to have children earlier than they initially intended
  • 34% (9,162,000) said they will not be doing their current job in a year's time
  • 28% (1,282,500) said they want to make a new circle of friends for the new year
  • 13% (3,131,000) said they are planning on taking a sabbatical
  • 37% (1,689,600) agreed that in 2022 they will turn their life around as these past two years have been some of the worst of their life
  • 54% (9,864,000) said they plan to make their 30s the most exciting years of their life
  • 39% (1,000,800) feel that by the age of 40 they will have experienced enough to write their life story so far

    *The research was conducted by StoryTerrace across a nationally representative cohort of 2,090 respondents and complies with the British Polling Council. Due to the nationally representative nature of the research, our data is able to predict the number of people in the UK who would share this sentiment.


Have you been inspired to write your own biography? We're here to help! Get in touch with StoryTerrace or sign up for our newsletter to find out how we can help you to capture the life stories that matter.


Written by StoryTerrace
Image credits: by Samantha Hurley, Leandro Bianchini & Laura BC via

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